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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Pakistan, Uzbekistan agree to boost trade by diversification, visa facilitation

The two sides recognized the presence of huge opportunities to cooperate in spheres of agriculture, pharmaceuticals, textile, leather and chemical industry, energy, and information technology.

Pakistan and Uzbekistan Wednesday agreed to enhance bilateral trade through diversification of trade, increasing business-to-business contacts, exchange of trade delegations and extending visa facilitation.

The bilateral ties were discussed during the first virtual summit between Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The two leaders reviewed the existing status of bilateral relations and discussed its enhanced future trajectory. They also exchanged views on issues of regional and global interest, including the situation of COVID-19 pandemic.

The two sides recognized the presence of huge opportunities to cooperate in spheres of agriculture, pharmaceuticals, textile, leather and chemical industry, energy and information technology. They agreed to promote mutual collaboration in these sectors, according to a joint declaration issued adopted after the summit.

Read more: Pak-Uzbek to discuss bilateral ties in virtual summit on April 14

They also noted interest to increase industrial cooperation between companies and entrepreneurs of Uzbekistan and Pakistan, especially the growing inter-provincial cooperation after the visit of Governor of Punjab to Namangan region of Uzbekistan.

The two sides agreed to fast-track finalization and signing of the Preferential Trade Agreement to enhance bilateral trade by eliminating trade barriers.

Both the leaders highly appreciated holding of the first Virtual Summit as a landmark event in boosting Uzbek-Pakistan relations.

They agreed to enhance their multi-faceted bilateral cooperation in all areas of common interest and emphasized closer coordination at international fora on issues of mutual convergence.

The leaders decided to regularly convene existing political and economic mechanisms between the two countries, including consultations between their respective foreign ministries and to strengthen parliamentary collaboration.

Expressing satisfaction on the level of bilateral cooperation within the framework of international organizations, including at the UN, they reaffirmed their resolve to continue to support each other at the UN, SCO, OIC, ECO and other international and regional fora.

As members of the UN Human Rights Council, the two sides also expressed readiness to support joint actions to curb human rights violations and combating Islamophobia as well as strengthening interfaith harmony.

Both the leaders underlined the significance of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as an important platform. They exchanged views on the Afghan peace process and reaffirmed their support for a negotiated political solution for lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region.

Read more: Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan make a roadmap for rail link

Pakistan and Uzbekistan expressed their readiness for maintaining regular dialogue and building constructive cooperation in the area of security and defence.

The two leaders agreed to continue mutual participation in joint military exercises and training and to cooperate in the field of professional development, exchange of best practices, and collaboration between military institutions of the two countries.

The two leaders expressed readiness to expand cooperation between law enforcement agencies of the two countries, in particular in the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.

Both the leaders welcomed exchange of high-level visits in the fields of trade, railway and aviation and supported the project for the construction of “Termez – Mazar-e-Sharif – Kabul – Peshawar” Railway line, as an important initiative to establish railway connectivity from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea through Afghanistan and Pakistani Seaports of Karachi, Gwadar and Qasim.

The two leaders favored the resumption of regular flights between Uzbekistan and Pakistan by their respective airlines after stabilization of the COVID-pandemic situation.

Enhancing cultural relations

The importance of convening the Uzbekistan-Pakistan business week and business conference in Tashkent in July, 2021 was also discussed.

President Mirziyoyev and Prime Minister Imran Khan recalled the long-standing cultural, historic, religious and spiritual links between the two countries.

They agreed to further enhance cultural relations and people-to-people contacts and welcomed proposals to build up collaboration between leading universities, research institutions, libraries and museums of the two countries and to conduct joint research on Baburi heritage.

They further identified the development of tourism as a priority area of common interest in particular the spiritual (Ziyarat) tourism between the two countries.

The two leaders highly appreciated the opportunity offered by the Virtual Summit for productive engagement and dialogue.

Read more: Uzbekistan simplifies visa procedure for Pakistani businessmen

They expressed confidence that the understanding reached during the Summit would further deepen bilateral cooperation and contribute towards developing cooperation in a frame of the multi-dimensional relationship. They agreed to continue the Summit-level political dialogue in future.

The Uzbek President re-confirmed his invitation to Prime Minister Imran Khan, to attend the high-level International Conference on regional connectivity to be held in July 2021. Prime Minister Imran Khan thanked the President and reiterated his invitation to him to visit Pakistan at a convenient time.

Courtesy: APP