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Discussion of road and rail connectivity with CARs

Shehbaz Sharif Discussion of road and rail connectivity with CARs

The area will enter a new era of peace and prosperity, according to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who stated on Tuesday that road and railway connection projects between Pakistan and Central Asian states will not only bring the trading communities together.

In Islamabad : the premier met with a high-level team from Uzbekistan, which was led by Khodjaev Jamshid Abdukhakimovich, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Investment and Foreign Trade. The two business groups had a constructive discussion, which the premier praised since “developing business-to-business contacts will promote bilateral commerce and investment.”

Recalling his recent meetings with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Samarkand and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Summit in Astana, Shehbaz reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve to further enhance the existing ties between the two brotherly countries. The delegation apprised the prime minister of their meetings in Pakistan during which it was agreed to enhance economic and trade ties between the two countries.

They expressed satisfaction that bilateral relations between Pakistan and Uzbekistan are further deepening and the pace of interaction is moving at a positive trajectory. A day earlier, Pakistan and Uzbekistan signed an agreement to implement the Pakistan-Uzbekistan Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), which would take effect from February 1, 2023, aimed at enhancing the trade volume to $1 billion.

To overcome the problems being faced by Pakistani and Uzbek transporters, both countries agreed to take up all the relevant issues with the Afghan authorities. This will be done in a joint visit to Kabul to be undertaken in the last week of January 2023, after finalising a joint agenda to be presented to the Afghan side. In addition to this agreement, the countries signed eight other agreements to boost bilateral relations in different sectors. The Uzbek side will complete internal formalities in January 2023 while the Pakistan side has already completed the same to implement the PTA from February 1, 2023.

Federal Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar signed MoUs with Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister Khodjave Jamshid Abdukhakimovich. Both sides discussed the implementation of the agreement between Uzbekistan and Pakistan on Transit Trade (AUPTT). Uzbekistan will notify rules in this regard in February 2023.

A cooperative plan to facilitate transit trade through Afghanistan was agreed upon by both parties. A regional framework for transit and trade is to be created, along with a shared finance mechanism for Afghanistan’s road maintenance.