The business community of Pakistan and Tajikistan should forge their direct contacts in order to encourage and promote direct trade between the two countries, said Mr. Maruf Jon Abdurahmonov Consular economic section and head of the visa section of the Embassy of Tajikistan in Islamabad.
Addressing the business community of Faisalabad in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry here today, he said that Tajikistan is also a Muslim country that embraced independence in 1991. Its 93% is hilly with population equal to Faisalabad. He termed Tajikistan as gateway to central Asian states for Pakistan and said that Afghans and Turk people are doing two-way trade between Pakistan and Tajikistan and hence they are the main beneficiary of this trade.
He told that Pakistani Kinnow, garments, potato and Mango juice is very popular in Tajikistan. Similarly Tajikistan rich in gas and electricity is providing gas to Pakistan through CASA-1000 while in future we could also provide electricity to Paksitan.
He stressed the need to develop direct contacts between the business communities of the 2 countries to fully capture the existing trade in addition to exploiting the available potentialities.
Mr. Maruf Jon Abdurahmonov told that during soviet era big textile unit was established in Tajikistan which was to cater to the big market of Soviet Union. This unit has now become redundant. However new and small units are being established to cater to the needs of its domestic market. He said that businessmen and industrialist of Faisalabad who have specialized in textile sector should come forward and establish their textile units in Tajikistan. He further told that there are five free trade zones in Tajikistan with lucrative incentives. He said that Pakistani investors could import textile machinery without any taxes or duties while government has also allowed them to recruit 40% Pakistani labor for their units in Tajikistan.
Continuing, Mr. Maruf said that up till 2007, the Pak-Tajik trade was restricted to only 100 Million Dollars which is now growing satisfactorily. However, there is still room to give a quantum jump to the bilateral trade between the two countries.
He told that Tajikistan has adopted a liberal visa policy. Three multiple business visas will be issued on the recommendation of FCCI, he assured.
Replying to a question, he said that there is a renowned medical university in Tajikistan and many Pakistanis are also enrolled in it however we have acute dearth of pharmaceutical industry. Earlier most of medicines were imported from India, however now 60 to 70 percent medicines are imported from Pakistan.
He told that Tajikistan is holding various international exhibitions including, Interfood, Dushanbe International Health care exhibition, Info com expo and TajikBuild from October 14 to 16. These exhibitions would be followed by Made in Pakistan Exhibition in Dushanbe which is expected from 22 to 24 October.
He said that Pakistani business community must avail from these opportunities to explore the trade potential of Tajikistan.
Replying to yet another question about banking sector he said that Pakistani businessmen are lucky as there is a well established branch of NBP in Tajikistan.
Earlier, Engineer Rizwan Ashraf President FCCI in his welcome address said that out of total Pakistani exports of 25 billion dollars the share of textile is 13 billion dollars. And out of it 6 billion dollars are contributed from Faisalabad.
He further told that Faisalabad is strategically located in the heart of Pakistan. You can have access to any part of Pakistan within 2 to 3 hours drive. Similarly, it is also very suitable to have access to the regional countries via well-knit and safe road network.
He also assured to facilitate the business community intending to visit Tajikistan for business purposes.