Prime Minister Imran Khan has paid a successful official visit of brotherly Muslim Country Uzbekistan in recent days. During joint press conference with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev Prime Minister said that Uzbekistan can benefit from Pakistan’s geo-strategic location, a market of 220 million people and providing access to the Middle East and Africa, While Pakistan can have access to the Central Asian states through Uzbekistan, an important country of the region. The Prime Minister stated that the two countries were following similar visions of a new Uzbekistan and a new Pakistan to lift their people out of poverty through a welfare state, increased and strong trade and economic relations would be mutually beneficial for the two sides.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan, with a shift from geo-strategic to geo-economics, wanted to strengthen its trade and economic relations with its friendly countries. Pakistan’s strong trade relations with Uzbekistan would be a win-win for the two countries. He said Pakistan’s seriousness to have strong trade and economic relations could be gauged from the visit of the biggest-ever country’s trade delegation comprising representatives of 130 large business houses. The Prime Minister lauded the railway project from Pakistan to Uzbekistan through Peshawar, Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif, a tri-nations regional connectivity project and assured that his government would fully pursue and push for its realization.
Doubtlessly, Prime Minister visit to the brotherly Muslim Country was aimed at boosting economic and trade ties between the two countries. At times Pakistan was facing a huge challenge to find new markets for its products, although Uzbekistan is a potential market for Pakistani goods but Pakistani products find less space due to the huge influx of Chinese, Indian and European commodities in Uzbek market. There was a grave need that Pakistan make preferential arrangements with Uzbekistan while providing the same priority to Uzbek goods in Pakistani market, otherwise our bilateral cooperation would shrink to only security-oriented military to military cooperation. Fortunately, the two sides had agreed to finalize the bilateral Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) within three months. The decision was made during the 6th meeting of Pak-Uzbek Governmental Commission on Trade-Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation (IGC) on Wednesday. Pakistan indigenously manufactured military hardware including tanks, Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs), light aircrafts, JF-17 fighter jets, guns, and ammunition etc. have great attraction in CARs, Middle Eastern and African states and Pakistan must seize export opportunities of its defense products with foreign countries.