Bilateral trade between Kazakhstan, Pakistan continues to witness expansion each year: Envoy

Celina Ali

Islamabad: Ambassador Yerzhan Kistafin of Kazakhstan to Pakistan has said that the bilateral trade between Kazakhstan and Pakistan continues to witness steady and robust expansion each year.

“Interaction between Kazakhstan and Pakistan in the scientific and educational spheres is intensifying, coupled with an increase in the number of Pakistani students attending universities in Kazakhstan. Along with a progressive improvement in bilateral relations in the banking sector,” he said in an interview.

The ambassador said that both nations are celebrating the remarkable 30-year friendship, peace, and harmony between Kazakhstan and Pakistan.

Kistafin said that during the past 30 years, the countries have established and reinforced close relations across various domains, including political interaction, trade, economics, culture, and humanitarian cooperation.

He said that positive dynamics have become evident in the industrial production sector. “Key elements driving trade, economic, and investment interaction between the two countries included meetings of the Intergovernmental Commission,

Business Council, business forums, and reciprocal visits by business delegations,” he added.

He further said that cooperation in the field of inter-parliamentary interaction, particularly at the upper houses of legislative assemblies, is generating substantial interest not only in bilateral relations but also in multilateral formats. The Ambassador expressed confidence that such interaction at the legislative level would significantly advance the matters discussed between the two governments.

He recalled the frequent meetings between President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif in 2022, which further strengthened their relationship.

In 2023, on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum, a meeting took place between the President of Kazakhstan and the caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan, Anwaar-Ul Haq Kakar, in Beijing.

“This new contract is expected to drive additional incentives for strengthening and expanding bilateral cooperation”.

Kistafin underlined Kazakhstan’s special focus on developing multifaceted cooperation with Pakistan.

He highlighted the increased intensity of interactions between the two countries due to the launch of direct flights during the summer. This development, he said, has already led to a surge in business activities, with Pakistani and Kazakh businessmen exploring opportunities for collaboration.

The President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, has consistently emphasized the high potential for relations between the two nations in the context of developing transit and logistics capabilities.

His annual address to the people of Kazakhstan, titled “Economic Course of a Fair Kazakhstan,” underscores the importance of positive relations with neighboring countries in South Asia.

This vision involved the development of an International Transport Corridor along the North-South route, providing Kazakhstan with access to the Arabian Sea through Pakistani seaports in Karachi and Gwadar.

This corridor, he said, is expected to be a cornerstone for bilateral development. The ambassador said that Kazakhstan and Pakistan share close or similar positions on current global political issues. These positions serve as the foundation for effective interstate interaction within various international organizations, including the UN, OIC, CICA, SCO, and ECO.

He also highlighted a significant achievement in bilateral relations: the entry of the Kazakh Human Rights Commissioner into the international regional structure, the Asian Ombudsmen Association, with full support from Pakistan.

Kistafin said that building closer relations between Kazakhstan and Pakistan within a multilateral format would significantly strengthen the position and role of Central and South Asia on the Eurasian continent.