An eight member Kyrgyz parliamentary delegation led by the speaker of the People's Representative Assembly of Kyrgyzstan, Borubaev Altai Asylkanovich met with the federal minister for commerce, Humayun Akhtar Khan. The secretary commerce. Yasin Tahir and vice chairman EPBTariq Puri also attended the meeting, said a press release.
Both sides agreed to enhance political and trade relations between the two countries. The Kyrgyz speaker offered cooperation in the hydropower sector. He said that Kyrgyzstan has tremendous capacity for producing electricity and at present is not utilizing its full capacity because production is greater than consumption.
He showed interest in selling electricity to Pakistan. Mr. Borubaev also expressed his interest in cooperation between the banking and education sectors of the two countries. He also proposed to start flights between the two capitals i.e. Bishkek and Islamabad, in order to facilitate trade and people to people contact between the two countries.
The commerce minister informed the delegation that there is tremendous scope of trade in textile, pharmaceutical and textile sectors between the two countries. He informed the delegation that Pakistan could offer its expertise to Kyrgyzstan's textile and health sectors. He said that the quadrilateral agreement signed by Pakistan, China, the Kyrgyz Republic and Kazakhstan is expected to give a boost to trading activities among the member-countries through the Karakuram Highway. Mr Khan emphasized to expedite the completion of the land route from Bishkek to Karachi and vice versa through the Xinjiang Province of China.
The commerce minister said that the Kyrgyz republic might consider joining the ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) and Protocol on Preferential Tariffs, which envisages a 10 percent tariff reduction on the agreed lists of items. Mr Khan said that the two countries had already signed an Agreement on Trade and Economic Ties in 1994, which could be used for development of trade and economic relations between Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan. This agreement envisages granting of Most Favored Nation treatment to each other and conducting trade in convertible currency. Mr Khan emphasized on the exchange of delegations, trade related information and participation in exhibitions bilaterally. Both the sides agreed to increase trade and economic cooperation in future. The Kyrgyz Speaker also extended invitation to the commerce minister to visit his country so that further opportunities in boosting bilateral economic relations might be explored.
Daily Times, May 13, 2004