Turkmenistan envoy highlights significance of CPEC’s Gwadar port

Islamabad: Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Pakistan and Dean of Diplomatic Corps Atadjan Movlamov has highlighted the significance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)’s Gwadar port.

Addressing the business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), the envoy mentioned that the Gwadar Port provided a short-cut trade route to the regional countries.

Ambassador Atadjan Movlamov stressed that Turkmenistan and Pakistan had huge potential of bilateral trade that can be enhanced through people-to-people contacts. He said that Turkmenistan was rich in energy and can meet energy needs of Pakistan.

The envoy contended that Turkmenistan wanted more access through the sea, as it is a landlocked country. “The transit trade is important for our country, as the shortest route of trade is through Gwadar and Karachi ports,” he remarked.

The Ambassador underlined that Turkmenistan was producing electricity at a very cheap rate and gave a detailed presentation on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) project, which will help Pakistan to meet the energy needs of its growing population.

He opined that both countries should be connected through optical fiber cable by Arabian Sea and Pakistan can benefit millions of dollars from it.

He reminded 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 ICCI said that Pakistan and Turkmenistan enjoy mutually respectful and cordial relations, which are supported by history, culture and religion.

He urged both countries to focus on enhancing bilateral trade and economic relations as they have good potential to do trade in many items.

He said that CPEC provided 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 emphasized that both countries should focus on developing strong business linkages between their private sectors to explore all untapped areas of mutual collaboration.

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.