Karachi, March 18, 2016 (PPI-OT): Abdul Rauf Alam, President FPCCI and ECO – Chamber of Commerce and Industry has appreciated the vision of the government to prioritize trade relations and connectivity in increasing energy and rail and road links with Central Asian countries which has been observed during the recent visit of the President of Turkmenistan to Pakistan along with a large high profile delegation.
He said that Pakistan has a good opportunity to revive the historical trade route by offering central Asian countries the privileges of utilization of China – Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to provide them shortest access to Middle East, Africa and Far East countries. He further said that during the Soviet regime the trade through historical routes between central Asia and South Asia was stopped and diverted to Europe.
Rauf Alam stated that six central Asian states are the members of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). He said that Turkmenistan has enormous abundant natural resources but its GDP and per capita income is lowest in the region. He said that after fall of Soviet Union Turkmenistan could not yet established strong trade relations with ECO member countries including Pakistan.
He further said that ECO-Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECO-CCI) is endeavouring to trigger the activities of Chamber of Commerce in Turkmenistan as they don’t have such experience because there was no need of Chambers of Commerce in the centrally planned Soviet Union.
The President FPCCI and ECO-CCI said that the challenges between Pakistan and Turkmenistan have now switched into business opportunities and both countries can further strengthen trade and economic relations. He emphasized on enhancement of cooperation in agriculture, communication, telecommunication and other sectors. He also emphasized the need for greater people to people contacts between the two countries.
Rauf Alam also drew the attention of the government towards Gwadar-Termez motorway which will connect Gwadar with Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. He further emphasized on revival of Istanbul – Tehran – Islamabad (ITI) Cargo Train project of ECO and said that train connectivity can further be extended to Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan through Iran while Pakistan has already signed TIR Convention which will encourage frictionless moment of goods in transportation among central Asian countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said these transportation links would give a boost to trade between Pakistan and Central Asian countries and will be useful to overcome energy deficits and expand trade opportunities for economic growth for Pakistan.
He further highlighted the importance of TAPI pipeline project in the economic domain and said that US $ 10 billion worth TAPI is important project for Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. He said that TAPI’s long 1735km pipeline is planned to transmit 27 billion cubic meters of gas annually to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The pipeline will be routed from Dolatabad (Turkmenistan) to Fazilka (India) via Hirat, Qandhar (Afghanistan); Quetta, Multan (Pakistan).
The President ECO-CCI further informed that ECO-CCI will participate in the forthcoming Investment Conference scheduled to be held next month in Turkmenistan where Pakistani delegation will highlight the possible avenues for investment in special economic zones adjacent to CPEC.
For more information, contact:
M. A. Lodhi
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Tel: +92-21-35873691, 93-94