ISLAMABAD, June 16 (APP): Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan said on Thursday that Pakistan wanted to conclude bilateral arrangements of transit trade and Preferential Trade
Agreement (PTA) with Tajikistan this year to generate massive trade and investment activity between Pakistan and Central Asian states.
The minister stated this in a meeting with the visiting Minister of Energy of the Republic of Tajikistan Usmonzoda Usmonali Yunusali here Thursday.
Ministry of Commerce has provided the Tajik trade authorities with the draft of the proposed PTA on which further negotiations will take place, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Commerce here.
Khurram Dastgir said that Pakistan wants to enter into a larger trade facilitation framework with the Central Asian states to alleviate the unwanted restrictions which bar trade and investment to flourish freely.
He said that the CASA-1000 project will provide the basis to convert that transmission zone into energy corridor where energy grids can flow both ways.
The Tajik Minister said that the energy and road projects were extremely vital for the Tajik economy and the Tajik Government was
pursuing them aggressively.
He said that upon successful completion of the CASA-1000 project the two counties may explore the possibility of another relatively smaller electricity line through Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan into Pakistan.
Yunusali hinted at imported oil from Middle East and refining it in Pakistan before taking it up North to Tajikistan through a pipeline.
This, he said would diversify the energy procurement options of Tajikistan in future.
He was of the view that through the transit of energy Pakistan would benefit greatly through the transit fee.
Tajik Minister conveyed the good wishes of his leadership and expressed their desire to convert the warm political relations into
solid economic foundation.
Pakistan’s exports to Tajikistan have risen from US$ 6.89 million in 2012-13 to US$ 7.42 million in 2014-15 while imports decreased from US$ 0.44 million to US$ 0.068 million during the same period.
Pakistan’s major exports to Tajikistan include sugar, dairy products, medical and pharmaceutical products, construction material including cement, rice, handicrafts and meat while major imports include machinery and its parts, chemical material and products, dyeing, tanning and coloring material.
Tajikistan is the first country in Central Asia to run direct flights to Pakistan thus making bilateral trade and people-to people contact ever easier.