Uzbek Ambassador Furqat Sidiqov’s valuable services


Dr. Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan

President of Uzbekistan Mirziyoyev has appointed Ambassador Furqat SIDIQOV, deputy foreign minister which showed a paradigm shift in the foreign policy of Uzbekistan based on “engaging” world through “commercial diplomacy” and Ambassador Furqat SIDIQOV is indeed a “champion” of commercial diplomacy.

On his appointment as Deputy Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, the Center for Global & Strategic Studies, Islamabad congratulated Ambassador Furqat SIDIQOV which is indeed recognition of his tireless hard-work and superior professional qualities.

Ambassador Furqat SIDIQOV has been “striving” hard to achieve desired goals of bilateral trade volumes, foreign direct investments (FDIs), and regional connectivity since his arrival in Pakistan. He has been pursuing diversified but integrated plans to achieve greater commercial diplomacy, religious diplomacy, economic integration, and science and technology cooperation for further strengthening of bilateral relations between the two sides.  Uzbekistan and Pakistan offer lots of untapped potentials which ambassador SIDIQOV successfully explored and untapped for the betterment of bilateral relations of both the countries.

Diplomacy is a sensitive job which requires height of professionalism and human traits and Ambassador Furqat SIDIQOV is the ideal combination of both the arts through which he revolutionized the nature, composition, utility and prospects of Uzbekistan-Pakistan bilateral relations. He has been an innovative, purposeful, and result oriented diplomat in Pakistan who successfully demonstrated real beauty and economic potential of his beloved country, Uzbekistan, the land of human wisdom and knowledge.

He has been pioneer of cultural, people, commercial, digital and last but not least military diplomacy in Pakistan. He has been a living wire even in diplomatic community in Islamabad who always institutionalized true colors of Uzbekistan’s diversity, rich culture, heritage, traditions, civilization, humanity and hospitality in national receptions, seminars, conferences and events.

Many prominent experts of modern diplomacy pinpoint three important benchmarks to evaluate overall performance of an ambassadorial slot i.e. close political affiliation/consultation or better understanding, rise to bilateral trade volumes, business and commerce activities, rise to commercial diplomacy and last but not least cultural ties and Ambassador Furqat SIDIQOV undoubtedly, achieved a grand success in all these fields of diplomacy and professional career during his stay in Pakistan.

Uzbekistan-Pakistan bilateral relations were further strengthened during ambassadorial tenure of Ambassador Furqat SIDIQOV  because of the better political understanding, improvement in bilateral trade volumes, phenomenal rise to tourism and last but not least joint efforts to bring peace and harmony in the region especially in Afghanistan.

According to latest statistical data of Board of Investment and finance ministry (March, 2020), trade turnover of Uzbekistan with Pakistan reached more than 122 million dollars in 2019. In 2018 the volume was estimated at 98 million dollars while in 2017 it was just 36.6 million. Through rigorous commercial diplomacy of Ambassador Furqat SIDIQOV bilateral trade may reach to US$300 million in the days to come. Thanks to his immaculate qualities of commercial diplomacy, trade & commerce and people-to-people connectivity, the Republic of Uzbekistan has now become one of the largest trading partners of Pakistan in Central Asian Region (CAR).

Ambassador Furqat SIDIQOV’s passionate persuasions of commercial diplomacy, close consultation and motivation with interested Pakistani businessmen, investors and of course partners, Uzbekistan has succeeded to seek investments in restaurants, hotels, trade companies, textile and pharmaceutical factories, and chemical industries of Uzbekistan.

He successfully institutionalized concept of “Uzbek-Pakistani Joint ventures” as well as establishment of trade representation in Tashkent, which both countries acknowledged beneficial for further development of mutually valuable trade and economic cooperation as one of the key priorities in bilateral relations. As a true serviceman of his country and expert of international marketing he introduced the Uzbekistan’s agricultural-machinery in Pakistan with the possibilities of exporting the output to contiguous countries expanding from year to year. He arranged various “Road-Shows” for the projection of Uzbek agricultural machinery in different cities of Pakistan i.e. Multan, Karachi and Sialkot.

Ambassador Furqat SIDIQOV’s had urged Pakistani farmers to explore possibilities of importing Uzbekistan manufactured high quality tractors, agriculture machinery, heavy duty trucks and buses that would help in improving agriculture productivity and transportation facilities in Pakistan.

Ambassador Furqat SIDIQOV’s has been staunch supporter of greater socio-economic integration and regional connectivity. He always showed his country keen interest to be part of the CPEC, reaching Pakistani sea ports Gwadar and Karachi.

Most recently, he signed a meaningful Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood to establish a ‘Joint Working Group’ for trade and investment. Being pioneer of bilateral, trilateral or cluster trading propositions, he assured the Uzbek support to join Quadrilateral Traffic in Transit Agreement (QTTA).

Uzbek Ambassador to Pakistan Furqat Sidikov had a fruitful meeting at the Ministry of Commerce, Islamabad during which both sides expressed their desire to enhance trade relations between the two countries, establishing joint ventures in the fields of agriculture, textile, pharma, tourism and construction.

Pakistan and Uzbekistan also agreed on greater utilisation of the institutions like Inter-Governmental Commission and Joint Business Council for giving impetus to Government to Government and Business to Business cooperation.

Ambassador Furqat SIDIQOV established Uzbekistan-Pakistan Business Council which instrumented to realize mutual untapped potential and will of business circles of both the countries towards further enhancing trade & investment cooperation, economic coordination, investments, tourism and cultural collaboration as well as to bring private sectors’ active interaction.

For the further strengthening of bilateral relations, the Business Council proved a game changer and organized more than 30 bilateral business visits to Uzbekistan and Pakistan as well as organized 63 Pak-Uzbek business forums in the cities Lahore, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Peshawar, Karachi, Multan, Rawalpindi, Swabi and others. Moreover, 200 Pakistani companies visited Uzbekistan in order to hold negations on the matters of export and import of wide range of goods and to realize joint investment projects.

Due to his assiduous advocacy Pakistani importers showed their interest in Uzbek textile yarns, petrochemical products, 100% natural and healthy fruit-vegetables, red & white kidney beans, green mugs, peas, pure Uzbek silk products and agricultural machinery. On the other hand, Uzbek importers got interested in Pakistani ready textile and leather garments, pharmacy, sugar and potatoes as well as mango and kinnows. As a result of this, in 2018-2019 years Uzbekistan became main trade partner of Pakistan in Central Asian states.

It is worth mentioning that he separately worked out establishment of trade houses of five cities of Pakistan which deemed to project trade & commerce potential of Namangan province of Uzbekistan.  Through these trade houses volumes of import-export of Uzbekistan-Pakistan would be further increased.

Ambassador Furqat SIDIQOV was the pioneer of religious diplomacy in Pakistan and introduced “Ziarat tourism” which achieved a grand success.  He institutionalized the initiative of Uzbekistan’s president to develop “Ziarat Tourism” for foreign pilgrims. He developed religious tourism quickly and created the most favourable conditions for tourists.

His sincere efforts showcasing his country religious treasure to rest of the world and especially Pakistan motivated them to pay homage to great Islamic scholars and thinkers such as Al-Khorazmiy, Al-Beruniy, Imom Al-Bukhariy, Bahouddin Naqshbandiy, Al-Motrudiy, At-Termiziy and others.

He truly projected greatness and holiness of ancient and precious cities such as Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Termez, Kokand and Namangan among Pakistani tourists which has been geared up having direct flights between Uzbekistan and Pakistan (Tashkent-Lahore-Tashkent in April 2017).

Because of his untiring efforts, direct flights from Tashkent to Lahore and from Lahore to Tashkent were resumed. Annually 12 thousand passengers of Pakistan use this direction. It served as an only bridge connecting Pakistan with Central Asian countries.

He has been center of gravity in terms of greater socio-economic integration, high bilateral trade volumes, regional connectivity, booming commercial diplomacy, military ties, tourism, cultural activities and last but not least, close liaison of political understanding. The CGSS, Pakistan wishes him great success in all his future ministerial commitments.