Pakistani products are in high demand in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan and exports of the country can go up by promoting regional trade, said Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) President Osman Ashraf.

In a statement on Tuesday, he called for tapping new markets and asked the government to explore new trade avenues and strengthen regional trade ties.

“Pakistan can benefit from increase in trade with the Central Asian Republics (CARs), which have oil, gas and energy resources in abundance,” he said. “There is a need to sign a higher number of transit and preferential trade agreements with these countries.”

He added that half of the world population lived in this region and Pakistan, Russia, China, CARs and Saarc member countries could form a new economic bloc.

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Ashraf underlined that Pakistan’s exports had been affected by the Covid-induced lockdown and the country needed to promote its products through virtual platforms.

In the current uncertain situation, there is a huge opportunity for the government of Pakistan to re-examine the markets and products.

Through the virtual platforms, the chambers of commerce could forge linkages with the government to identify different sectors and industrial zones as well as to share information about respective trade sectors with commercial counsellors abroad, he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2021.

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