Pakistan&Tajikistan Decide To Enhance Bilateral Trade and Business

Arif Qureshi  

Islamabad: The 5th Session of Pakistan–Tajikistan Joint Commission on Trade, Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation was held in Islamabad on June 15-16, 2016. The Session was jointly chaired by Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Federal Minister for Water and Power and Mr. Usmonali Usmonzoda, Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Republic of Tajikistan.

During the two days of the Session, detailed meetings were held between the experts of the two sides on a number of issues, especially focusing on Trade & Commerce, Energy, Agriculture, Education, Science & Technology and other matters of mutual interest.  During the closing session, Protocol of the Session was signed by both Co-chairs, based on major actions/decisions.

During his stay in Islamabad, Mr. Usmonali Usmonzoda, Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Republic of Tajikistan made series of meetings with Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Haqan Abbasi and Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastigir Khan. Ambassador of Tajikistan to Pakistan Sherali S. Jononov assisted his country’s delegation during the meetings.

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Addressing a joint press conference after the conclusion of The 5th Session of Pakistan–Tajikistan  the  Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif floated the idea that Pakistan is seriously considering to establish land link with Tajikistan, we have many options in this regard, two links pass through Afghanistan while the third link is through Kashgar, China. Pressing the idea Khawaja Asif said that the third link which is Margab-Kashgar and Khunjarab is more practical.

Speaking on the occasion, Tajik Minister for Energy and Water Mr. Usmonali Usmondzada said that his country paid particular attention to the development of friendly and mutual beneficial relations with Pakistan. The expansion of cooperation in commercial and economic, agriculture, education, culture, healthcare, foreign trade, investment, energy, water, exploration and extraction of oil and gas, transport and communication was one of the main directions of regional and international policy of independent Tajikistan, he highlighted.

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Mr. Usmonali Usmondzada, Tajik Minister for Energy and Water said that CASA-1000 was the first inter-regional joint project of the Central and South Asian countries that would connect the power grid of the Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Highlights of Major Decisions Taken during the Meetings of The 5th-session of Pakistan–Tajikistan Joint Commission are as under:

a)      Both sides agreed to enhance business to business contacts through organizing the second meeting of Joint Business Council on the sidelines of the Inaugural Session of Joint Working Group on Trade, Investment and Transport at Dushanbe in October 2016.

b)      Both sides agreed to sign a MoU between the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) on Supervisory cooperation. In this regard, SBP will share a draft MoU through diplomatic channels within three months.

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c)      Tajik side was apprised that their request for accession to Quadrilateral Agreement for Traffic-in-Transit (among Pakistan, China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan), given to Pakistan being the Depository of Quadrilateral Agreement, is under consideration.

d)     Tajikistan appreciated the initiative of Pakistan to organize a truck caravan under the framework of Quadrilateral Agreement and has agreed to participate in this project.

e)      Bilateral Transport Agreement will also be discussed during the first meeting of Joint Working Group on Trade, Investment and Transport, scheduled in October 2016 at Dushanbe.

f)       The sides noted with satisfaction the progress made so far in realization of CASA-1000 project and also expressed the resolve to initiate the physical work on the project as early as possible to achieve the desired delivery of energy.

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g)      The Parties also noted the mutual interest for export of additional 1000 MW by Tajikistan to Pakistan outside CASA-1000 Project. The Parties have notified the technical committee members and the first meeting of the committee is proposed to be held as early as possible. The committee will review the previous reports prepared by Tajikistan side and will develop a road map for future activities.

h)      Both sides agreed to establish joint ventures with “Oil and Gas Development Company Limited” (OGDCL) and “Pakistan Petroleum Limited” (PPL) on detection and processing of oil and gas in the Republic of Tajikistan on Government to Government basis.

i)        The Tajikistan side showed interest to establish joint ventures with Pakistan investors in the field of processing of ginned cotton, wool and leather finished products (cotton fabric, sewn and knitted products, leather jackets, bags and shoes).

j)        In order to effectively collaborate in the field of agriculture a Joint Working Group (JWG) will be formed. Both sides agreed to share the composition of members of JWG through diplomatic channels.

k)      The two sides agreed to the renewal of Agreement between Pakistan and Tajikistan on Scientific and Technological Cooperation signed in 1992 through exchange of diplomatic notes.

L)        Both sides decided to appoint Focal points to combat the menace of drug and narcotics trafficking.

The Writer is Editor Daily Online News Paper “The Fortress” can be reached # arifqoreshi@gmail.com

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