111-member business delegation visits Tajikistan


Pakistan has planned to establish a textile plant through a joint venture of at least 25 million euros in Tajikistan. A cement plant worth Rs2 billion is also under consideration.
This was stated by the Advisor to Prime Minister on Textile Mirza Ikhtiar Baig while talking to the media in Dushanbe. He said a memorandum of understanding would be singed in the next couple of days to establish and renovate textile plants in the foreign country with a joint venture of business groups from both Tajikistan and Pakistan.
These developments were made on the second day of the visit of a large number of business delegations which are headed by Chief Executive of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Tariq Iqbal Puri. An 111 member delegation of businessmen from Pakistan, visiting Tajikistan on Monday, attended a business forum chaired by the Prime Minister of Tajikistan Oqil Oqilov in Dushanbe on Tuesday.
Addressing a large gathering of business groups from both countries, the Tajik Prime Minister said that this was the third gathering that took place between the two countries’ business communities and further meetings would be organized to boost bilateral trade. More joint ventures and investments are needed in Tajikistan and Pakistan as they could play a pivotal role in developing various sectors, he commented.
He said that after the visit of President Asif Ali Zardari to Dushanbe in 2009 and the visit of Tajik President to Pakistan this year, has enhanced bilateral trade, which has started showing a positive and rapid trend. Addressing the “Tajik-Pakistan Business Forum” here, he noted that one of the important projects of the region, ‘CASA-1000 power’ has gone through its feasibility study stage and other aspects of the project were being examined. Under this project, over 1,100 kilometers of an electricity transmission line would be laid from Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan via Tajikistan and Afghanistan with the help of the World Bank. Having a 60 percent hydropower capacity in the Central Asian region, establishment of hydropower projects like ‘CASA-1000’ would help in meeting power demands of Afghanistan and Pakistan. He further announced that Dushanbe would export electricity to Afghanistan by next year.
He said that both the countries were determined to cooperate in infrastructure development projects, hydropower plants and joint ventures. He stated that Pakistan has exempted all taxes over the investment of hydro-power projects for 2-5 years.  Whereas diplomatic relations between the two countries commenced in 1992, trade relations continue to reach higher levels and an increase of 20 percent was observed in bilateral trade during 2009 as compared to the statistics of 2007, he said. Puri said that with a fresh strategy to strengthen relations with Central Asian countries, Pakistan is focusing to attain trade opportunities with CIS countries whereas Tajikistan could act as a gate way for the country’s products in the regional market.
The forum was also addressed by the President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Haji Ghulam Ali Saido, Chairman of State Property of Republic of Tajikistan and other heads of various departments and ministries of the hosting country.
Later, the business groups of various sectors participated in individual meetings with their counterparts in Dushanbe and according to sources; various agreements are expected in the next couple of days. Besides, a separate meeting was also organised between FPCCI members and their counterparts at the Tajik Chamber of Commerce Head Office. Another meeting was also organised by the Tajik government, including the Pakistani delegation, Ministry of Trade and Economic Development and the Ministry of Environment and Industry of Tajikistan. Puri headed the meetings from the Pakistani side.

Demands permit for air link, banking facility: Pakistan has asked Tajikistan to allow Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to begin a direct air service between the two countries in order to foster trade links. In addition, a proper banking facility is also a primary needed to ramp up bilateral trade.
This was revealed during discussions conducted between the Pakistani business group led by Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Chief Executive Tariq Iqbal Puri in a meeting with the Tajik minister of trade and economic development here on Wednesday. Puri said that as there the lack of a direct flight between the two countries hurt economic activity. Besides the landing rate of flights at Dushanbe was also around $30,000 as compared to an average rate of around $5,000 at other airports in the world which was not only affected trade links but also dealt a blow to many potential opportunities.


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