Karachi: Trade Representative of the Russian Federation, Yury Kozlov has said that trade and investment cooperation between Pakistan and Russia has been improving, both countries will have to explore more areas of cooperation in different sectors of the economy. Speaking at the meeting of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Yury Kozlov pointed out that Russia was keen to enhance trade and investment cooperation in numerous sectors including the energy sector, construction and industrial machinery, mines, metallurgy, railways engineering, pharmaceutical products, medical equipment, LED Lighting Systems, fertilizers & chemicals, water management & irrigation facilities, unmanned aircrafts, drones and food products etc. 

He said they had witnessed improvement in exchange of trade delegations between the two countries but more such delegations were required to enhance the existing trade and investment cooperation. He advised Karachi Chamber to line up trade delegations to Russia in order to explore trade opportunities and improve ties with Russian counterparts. Agreeing to Karachi Chamber’s concerns over lack of direct banking channel hindering trade between the two countries, Yury Kozlov said the absence of direct banking channel was a problem which has to be addressed by the two sides. He informed that Russia was already cooperating with Pakistan in the construction of North and South gas pipelines and was also engaged at Jamshoro Power Plant but the cooperation had to be expanded to other sectors as well. 

While handing over a CD carrying presentations of 150 Russian companies to President KCCI, Yuri Kozlov said all these companies were keen to explore opportunities in Pakistan. President KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik said KCCI was keen to strengthen trade ties and explore new bilateral trade prospects with Russia. We strongly believe that Pakistan’s improved relations and enhanced trade with countries like Russia would surely help in dealing with numerous economic challenges being faced by the country and prove to be very beneficial for both the countries. He was of the view that after Russian accession to the WTO, ample opportunities for enhancing trade will emerge between Pakistan and Russia. 

Muffasar Malik said that many countries had been taking a keen interest in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which would lead to improved regional economic integration and provides tax holiday of up to 10 years to foreign investors. Therefore, the Russian investors must also take advantage of the situation by either investing or undertaking joint ventures in CPEC-related projects. Pakistan can also seek Russian assistance in the field of communication, irrigation, atomic energy, transport, and infrastructure etc. Senior Vice President Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak and KCCI Managing Committee members and other attended the meeting.

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