Adviser to Prime Minister of Pakistan for Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood, on March 11, met the Kazakh Ambassador, Yerzhan Kistafinin, to discuss customs cooperation, transit trade, and preferential trade agreements. After meeting with the Kazakh Ambassador, the adviser notified that the Kazakh Ambassadors was fully committed to support the “Silk Route Reconnect” initiative and said that the Ambassador gave him his “full support”. In a tweet, Razak Dawood further mentioned that a meeting with his Kazakh counterpart would follow this meeting.
I had a meeting today with H.E. Mr. Yerzhan Kistafin, the Ambassador of 🇰🇿 Kazakhstan in Pakistan. Further to what we have achieved under MOC’s Silk Route Reconnect policy with 🇦🇫 Afghanistan and 🇺🇿Uzbekistan, we are now focusing on other Central Asian Republics. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/QHg3mdCIUb
— Abdul Razak Dawood (@razak_dawood) March 11, 2022
After initiating the Silk Route Reconnect Policy, Pakistan signed transit trade agreements with Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. As a result, trade between the countries witnessed exponential growth. Under the agreement, Pakistan gained access to a $90 billion market in Central Asia, Uzbekistan gained access to the Gwadar deep seaport, and Afghanistan generated a handsome amount of transit fee.
A few months after its adoption, the Adviser to Prime Minister for Commerce and Investment announced on Twitter that the Ministry of Commerce’s Silk Route Reconnect initiative is “bearing results”. Pakistan’s export to the Central Asian Republics (CARs) showed an upward trend and soared from $104 million in 2019-20 to $145 million in 2020-21, a 39.42 percent increase compared to the previous year. From July 2021 to December 2021, exports to the CARs increased by 173 percent to $134 million compared to $49 million in the same time period of the previous year.
Under the Silk Route reconnect initiative, Pakistan signed a transit trade agreement with Uzbekistan in 2021 and is now discussing Preferential trade agreements with Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan.
In a major shift in its strategic objectives regarding exports, Pakistan has moved towards product and geographical diversification. Abdul Razak Dawood, in his tweet, said that “Geographical diversification and enhancing regional trade & connectivity are major pillars of MOC’s Strategic Trade Policy Framework.”
Geographical diversification and enhancing regional trade & connectivity are major pillars of MOC’s Strategic Trade Policy Framework. We have put in place “Look Africa” and “Silk Reconnect” policy initiatives for Africa & Central Asian Republics respectively. 1/3
— Abdul Razak Dawood (@razak_dawood) March 8, 2022
In his interview with Global Village Space, the Adviser to PM on Commerce mentioned that as a result of this diversification, the export of traditional products in non-traditional markets grew by 7 percent, and the export of traditional products in non-traditional markets grew by a whopping 60 percent.
Currently, Pakistan’s exports to Kazakhstan stand at around $71 million. However, if trade agreements are signed between the two countries, bilateral trade would see exponential growth. Pakistan was among the first few countries which recognized Kazakhstan when it attained independence in December 1991. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1992 during an official visit by Kazak President Nursultan Nazarbayev to Pakistan.