Pakistan should diversify its export destinations and enhance the number of its markets from just a few mainstream countries, said Belarus Honorary Consul Walid Mushtaq.

Talking to members of the Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (Paapam) on Friday, he assured them of full cooperation in arranging meetings between Pakistani auto parts makers and their Belarusian counterparts.

He pointed out that Belarus enjoyed an ideal geographical location and the European country earned modest revenue from cargo services.

Effective business-to-business exchanges between the two nations could lift bilateral ties, he said.

The honorary consul urged Paapam members to forge joint ventures in the fields of automobile, services and other industrial products and said an enormous trade and economic potential existed which would allow both countries to benefit from each other.

Speaking on the occasion, Paapam members stressed the need for technical collaboration with international companies including Belarusian firms for hi-tech auto parts manufacturing in Pakistan.

In addition to that, they called for deepening cooperation in the automobile sector, specifically the production of trucks, tractors, electric buses, and in IT and services sector.

Paapam Senior Vice Chairman Abdur Razzak Gohar praised efforts of the Belarusian embassy for enhancing cooperation between the two countries and underscored the need for frequent people-to-people contacts and regular exchange of trade and business delegations.

The objective of the meeting was to take an overall view of automotive industries of Belarus and Pakistan to pave the way for joint ventures between engineering industries of the two sides.

He pointed out that Paapam was interested in collaborating with foreign companies and was analysing the possibility of forming joint ventures.

“We are looking for joint ventures and trade agreements for the manufacturing of engine and hi-tech consumable parts for aftermarket and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), besides targeting the Middle Eastern, Central Asian and African markets,” he added.

He lamented that despite having cordial bilateral relations, the annual trade between Pakistan and Belarus was a mere $50.2 million.

“Exports of Belarusian goods to Pakistan amount to $35 million. Trade balance is heavily skewed in favour of Belarus because Pakistan exports just $15 million worth of products to the European nation,” he said.

Pakistan mainly imports tractors, tractor parts, potash fertiliser, tyres, synthetic yarn and synthetic fibre from Belarus. “There is a huge scope of enhancing collaboration in agriculture and energy,” he emphasised.