LAHORE: Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan, Erik Beishembiev, offered Pakistani pharma companies to take advantage of developing Kyrgyzstan pharmaceutical sector.
In a meeting with president, Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Mian Tariq Misbah at the LCCI, the ambassador said that Kyrgyz markets are open for Pakistani businessmen. “Investment in Kyrgyz Republic is profitable and this opportunity should be availed by Pakistani business community through joint ventures in pharmaceutical, rice agriculture, education, tourism and various other sectors”, he added.
Vice President of LCCI Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry, former Senior Vice President Amjad Ali Jawa, former Vice President Zeshan Khalil, Executive Committee Members Haji Muhammad Asif Sehar, Shahid Nazeer, Mardan Ali Zaidi, Malik Riaz Iqbal, Naeem Haneef, Wadood Alvi and Zeshan Sohail Malik also spoke on the occasion.
The Ambassador said that his country greatly valued relations with Pakistan and that was why it sought further diversification and strengthening of the relations. He said that Kyrgyz-Pakistani historical relations could be traced back centuries ago. “Our peoples have long-time and close cultural and spiritual ties.
He said that direct flights between the two countries on regular basis would help improve trade and cooperation in tourism sector. He said that both countries were rich in mineral resources, have high skilled human resources, excellent opportunities for developing industry and agriculture, attracting foreign investments for joint production and supply of goods, including for export.
Ambassador Erik said that Kyrgyzstan is interested in development of short transportation links through its territory between Central Asia and China and Pakistan with access to the Gwadar and Karachi ports, using railway and automobile roads, which are being constructed in the framework of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Today, shortest automobile roads are connecting China to Kyrgyzstan through two border mountain passes in Kyrgyzstan – Torugart in the North and – Erkeshtam in the South, located only about 200-km from Chinese city of Kashgar.
Answering to a question from the LCCI President, the Kyrgyz Ambassador said that Pakistani businessmen can invest individually or through joint ventures in Kyrgyzstan. He said that Pakistan can use Kyrgyzstan as a gateway to enter into the EU market and can avail benefits from GSP Plus status.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah appreciated the Kyrgyz Ambassador for keeping good liaison with Lahore Chamber on regular basis to find new avenues for increasing the trade and economic ties between two countries.
He said that very few items are being traded between Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan for the last many years. The main reason of such a low level of two-way trade which stood at 2.2 million dollars in 2019 is the little knowledge about each other’s markets.
Mian Tariq Misbah said that Pakistan’s exports to Kyrgyzstan are just 2.17 million dollars while the global imports of Kyrgyzstan are touching 5 billion dollars. There is a great scope for Pakistan to enhance its exports to Kyrgyzstan in the sectors of Pharmaceuticals, Value Added Textiles, Agriculture products, Surgical instruments and Sports Goods. He said that the Pharmaceutical sector deserves a special mention as Pakistan has made great strides in this sector after the COVID pandemic.
LCCI President said that Kyrgyzstan can also help Pakistan to enhance its exports to the EU under the GSP Plus regime. “We would certainly like to encourage Pakistani investors to explore Joint Ventures in Kyrgyzstan to promote exports to EU countries and Central Asia”, he added.
He said that Lahore Chamber has been talking about exploiting the untapped potential of trade in Central Asian Republics. He said that Kyrgyzstan and China share a long border. Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan should make good use of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) for attaining better connectivity to deeply explore each other markets.
Mian Tariq Misbah said that once the Covid situation improves, both sides should plan the exchange of business delegations. The regular flights between the two countries would also help in improving bilateral trade.
LCCI President also appreciated the Embassy of Kyrgyzstan for sponsoring the 4th National Mas-Wrestling Championship being held on 27-28 February in Sports Board Punjab, Lahore. He was hopeful that the cultural events planned under the banner of this Championship would also add more colour and fun to this event which will strengthen the platform to further promote the cooperation and friendship between Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan.