Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan should capitalize on CPEC to improve connectivity, explore markets: High-level delegation head

Lahore: Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan should capitalize on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to improve connectivity and explore each other’s markets more deeply, the head of a high-level Pakistani delegation said before flying to Kyrgyzstan.

The high-level trade delegation from Pakistan departed for Kyrgyzstan to enhance bilateral trade and exports by fostering close collaboration with the private sector of both countries.

Before leaving, Meher Kashif Younis, the head of the delegation, emphasized the significance of prioritizing trade, economic relations, and investment for mutual benefits.

He highlighted the untapped potential of trade and urged both nations to benefit from CPEC to improve connectivity and explore each other’s markets.

Meher Kashif, who also serves as an honorary Consul of Kyrgyzstan, mentioned that the delegation will engage with Kyrgyz private sector representatives in various sectors such as agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and textiles to facilitate mutually beneficial discussions.

“Joint business forums have played a pivotal role in strengthening collaborations, and we are planning more forums in the upcoming year to encourage the participation of major companies,” he maintained, underscoring that Kyrgyzstan would provide detailed information on sectors like energy, agriculture, and food production to enhance bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

Younis acknowledged the assistance of Kyrgyz Ambassador Ulanbek Totuiaev in arranging meetings with Kyrgyz businessmen and investors.

Meher Kashif also highlighted the importance of the quadrilateral trade transit agreement involving Pakistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan.

He praised initiatives such as the Pakistan-operated route through Karakoram, which has significantly reduced transit times.

Younis mentioned the ongoing establishment of railway connections between China, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, welcoming Pakistan’s involvement via Afghanistan in this project. He also noted that 12,000 Pakistani students are currently pursuing higher education in Kyrgyzstan, contributing positively to cultural exchanges between the two countries.

Pakistan’s total exports to Kyrgyzstan were US $2.6 million in 2021, a figure that increased to US $9.9 million in 2022-23, while imports from Kyrgyzstan in Pakistan remain relatively low.