Nazir Siyal

KARACHI: Ambassador of Kazakhstan Yerzhan Kistafin has said that trade and business ties between the business communities of Kazakhstan and Pakistan have been improving as the trade volume, which stood at US$45 million in 2020, rose to US$95 million in 2021 and there was a lot of room for further improvement through exchange of trade delegations and enhancing cooperation.Exchanging views during the visit of Kazakhstani trade delegation to Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) here on Monday, Kazakhstani Ambassador informed that this delegation, after successfully completing visits to Islamabad and Lahore, was here in Karachi to explore possibilities of partnering with this city’s business community and explore new avenues of trade and investment cooperation. “President of Kazakhstan will also be visiting Pakistan in the month of September 2022 whereas Pakistan’s single country exhibition will also be organized in May 2022 in Almaty which would surely help in further strengthening the trade and investment cooperation between the two countries”, he added.Head of the Delegation Galymzhan Tastanbekov, President KCCI Muhammad Idrees, Senior Vice President Abdul Rehman Naqi, Vice President Qazi Zahid Hussain, Chairman Fairs Exhibitions & Trade Delegations Subcommittee Azeem Alvi, Chairman Diplomatic Missions & Embassies Liaison Subcommittee Zia ul Arfeen, Former President Majyd Aziz and KCCI Managing Committee Members were also present at the meeting.The Ambassador stressed that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Kazakhstan needs to be enhanced as both the countries have potential and resources to strengthen their economic ties. He said that Pakistan and Kazakhstan’s two-way trade is not significant, but the visit of Kazakhstani trade delegation will help increase the overall volume of trade between the two countries.Yerzhan Kistafin appreciated Karachi Chamber for arranging the meeting aimed at promoting trade relations between Kazakhstan and Pakistan by conducting B2B meetings and match making in various sectors.  President KCCI, in his remarks, pointed out that despite close relations, trade between Pakistan and Kazakhstan does not commensurate with true potential and needs attention. “In 2020, Pakistan’s exports to Kazakhstan amounted to $59.1 million while goods worth $16.1 million were imported from Kazakhstan.”, he said, adding that there were numerous commodities, which the two countries have been trading with other countries but not at all with each other. “For instance, in 2020, Kazakhstan imported $4.2 billion worth of Petroleum oils that are obtained from bituminous minerals. Whereas, Pakistan exported around $69.7 million worth of this commodity to other countries. However, trade in this segment between Pakistan and Kazakhstan does not exist”, Muhammad Idrees said, “Similarly, in 2020, Pakistan exported $362.21 million worth of Instruments that are used in medical, surgical, dental or veterinary sciences. However, none of these were exported to Kazakhstan, even though it imported $241.86 million worth of these goods from other countries.”Highlighting some of the potential products and commodities for enhancing trade, he said that the business communities of the two countries can look for trade opportunities by focusing on clothing, Synthetic organic coloring matter, Polyacetals, fresh or chilled Onions, shallots, garlic, leeks and other alliaceous vegetables, New pneumatic tyres, telephone sets, Polymers of ethylene and many more. “Kazakhstan can explore possibilities of cooperation and JVs in sectors like food processing, textile, machinery and equipment, construction and infrastructure. Similarly, taking into account Pakistan’s huge market, Kazakhstan may export energy resources, electricity and mining products.”He also invited Kazakhstan’s business community to participate in My Karachi Exhibition which was scheduled to be held at Karachi Expo Center in the month of June 2022. This mega event provides an excellent opportunity to businessmen for B2B meetings and for interaction providing a one window facility for promotion of trade.