ISLAMABAD: H.E. Yerzhan Kistafin, the Ambassador of Kazakhstan, expressed his country’s keen interest in strengthening and expanding trade relations with Pakistan. He believes that both countries have great potential to engage in multiple sectors of trade. These remarks were made during a meeting with a delegation from the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI), led by its President Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari.
The envoy spoke about the opportunities for doing business in Kazakhstan and the advantages of his country as a regional hub. He welcomed ICCI’s plan to take a delegation to Kazakhstan and assured the delegation of the provision of all necessary organizational and logistical support from the Kazakh side to make its visit a successful one.
Speaking on the occasion, Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) said that Pakistan and Kazakhstan can cooperate in many fields including construction, agriculture, energy, textiles, pharmaceuticals, tourism, engineering equipment, machinery, banking & finance for mutual benefits.
He said that ICCI plans to take a big delegation to Kazakhstan in July this year to interact with Kazakh counterparts and develop strong business linkages with them in order to explore all untapped areas of mutual cooperation. He thanked the Ambassador for his assurance to provide all possible support to the delegation.
He welcomed the launch of direct flights by Kazakhstan with Pakistan and stressed that the government of Pakistan should expedite its work for early start of these flights. He said that Pakistani ports provide the shortest route to land-locked Kazakhstan to the Arabia Sea and emphasized that both countries should also establish land and railways links to enhance business relations.
Faad Waheed, Senior Vice President ICCI said that Pakistan and Kazakhstan are gateways for each other to get easy access to their respective regional markets and they should develop close cooperation to take advantage of this potential.
Engr. Azhar ul Islam Zafar, Vice President ICCI said that Kazakhstan is an emerging economy and Pakistan is also a big consumer market. He said that close cooperation between them would be beneficial for the economies of both countries.
During the occasion, Khalid Iqbal Malik, the Group Leader, Zafar Bakhtawari, former President of ICCI and Secretary General of UBG, Dr. Muhammad Usman, and Ameer Hamza expressed their views and considered the launch of direct flights between the two countries a historic development.