ICCI calls for air and land connectivity to promote Pak-Turkmenistan bilateral trade

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Islamabad
Atadjan Movlamov, Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Pakistan and Dean of Diplomatic Corps said that Turkmenistan and Pakistan have huge potential of bilateral trade that can be enhanced through people-to-people contacts.
He said that Turkmenistan is rich in energy and can meet energy needs of Pakistan. He said that Turkmenistan wants more access through the sea, as it is a landlocked country.
He said that transit trade is important for his country, as the shortest route of trade is through Karachi and Gwadar ports. He said this while addressing the business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).
The Ambassador said that Turkmenistan is producing electricity at a very cheap rate and gave a detailed presentation on the TAPI project, which will help Pakistan to meet the energy needs of its growing population.
He said that both countries should be connected through optical fiber cable by Arabian Sea and Pakistan can benefit millions of dollars from it. He said that both countries have 30th years of diplomatic relationship and expressed a desire to strengthen these relations through trade and investment.
Speaking at the occasion, Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) said that Pakistan and Turkmenistan enjoy mutually respectful and cordial relations, which are supported by history, culture and religion.
He stressed that both countries should focus on enhancing bilateral trade and economic relations as they have good potential to do trade in many items. He said that CPEC provides a good opportunity to increase bilateral cooperation and shift the focus of the relationship to address the socio-economic challenges, build economic linkages and enhance bilateral trade. He stressed that both countries should focus on developing strong business linkages between their private sectors to explore all untapped areas of mutual collaboration.
Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari said that Pakistan and Turkmenistan should facilitate frequent exchange of trade delegations and organize single country exhibitions on reciprocal basis to promote trade ties. He highlighted the connectivity issue and suggested that one Transport and Goods Company should be established to solve the logistic problems between the two countries. He also suggested a long-term visa for businessmen to facilitate frequent exchange of trade delegations from both sides. He termed it important to establish air, road and railway connectivity between Pakistan and Central Asian Republics to improve trade relations. He underscored the importance of establishing road link via Istanbul, Turkmenistan and Karachi, which is the shortest route of 6 days for transport, even at a speed of 50 km/hour, whereas transportation of goods through sea takes about 35-day besides incurring huge freight cost.
Mr.FaadWaheed, Senior Vice President said that ICCI is planning to organize ECO Business Forum in which diplomats and relevant Government officials shall be invited to discuss important issues including TAPI project and developing direct links between Pakistan and Turkmenistan.