Pakistan & Russia equally important for each other
Pakistan and Russia are equally important for each other therefore both countries should strengthen cooperation in all economic sectors for mutual interests.
This was stated by the LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid while talking to the Trade Representative, Embassy of Russian Federation in Pakistan Yury Kozlov here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rashid, Vice President Zeshan Khalil, Moazam Rasheed and Hasnain Raza Mirza also spoke on the occasion.
The LCCI President spoke highly about the trade and opportunities and economic potential of Pakistan and importance of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said that Russian expertise in energy and engineering sector can help Pakistan grow these sectors with impressive pace.
He said that Russia helped Pakistan for establishing Pakistan Steel Mills which played crucial role in development of the country.
Malik Tahir Javaid said that Pakistan and Russia have been regular trading partners but the volume of two-way trade hardly reflects the actual potential of trade. He said that the balance of trade favours Russia and among the top importing and exporting destinations of Pakistan around the globe, Russia comes at 33rd and 28th places.
Referring to recent trade figures, the LCCI President said that it is good to see that the volume of bilateral trade has improved after some years. In 2015, it was around dollar 331 million which went up to dollar 403 million in 2016. This positive change was the result of increase in imports from Russia which ascended from dollar 170 million to dollar 258 million during that period. He said that in contrast to that there has been consistent declining trend in Pakistan’s exports to Russia. From 2013 on, our exports dipped from dollar 188 million to dollar 161 million and ended up at dollar 145 million last year.
He said that development formal banking channels and direct flights between two countries is need of the hour as these steps will certainly give boost to bilateral trade. He said that CPEC project is well on the way towards completion and Gwadar Port has also become operational. We are glad to see that Russia has shown interest to be part of this mega project.
“We are optimistic that active collaboration between Pakistan and Russia in CPEC will definitely strengthen trade and economic ties. I think by developing private to private contacts, we can gradually increase the volume of bilateral trade and Pakistan would wish to achieve the favourable balance of trade with Russia”, the LCCI President concluded.
Mr. Yury Kozlove pledged to make joint efforts to enhance the volume of two-way trade and to cement the economic and diplomatic relations between the two countries.