Thursday May 23, 2024

Pakistan invites Uzbekistan to join CPEC

By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir
December 24, 2016

Uzbek deputy PM meets Nawaz

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday formally invited land-locked Central Asian State Uzbekistan to join the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and has maintained that both the countries need to formulate a joint integrated strategy to exploit the potential of trade in the region, especially in view of CPEC. 

Talking to visiting Deputy Prime Minister Uzbekistan, Ulugbek Rozikulv in a meeting at the PM House, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan-Uzbekistan Joint Business Council is needed to be established and the Joint Commission is to be revived. “Pakistan also awaits to see Uzbekistan joining the CPEC,” underlined the prime minister. Welcoming the visiting delegation to Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif expressed the confidence that the visit will contribute towards enhancing the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Uzbekistan. He conveyed his heartiest felicitations to Shavkat Mirziyoyev on his election as the president of the Republic of Uzbekistan. 

Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan cherishes its close, friendly and fraternal relations with Uzbekistan, as both the countries are bound by strong commonalities of history, faith and culture. “We wish to take our bilateral relations to new heights based on mutually-beneficial cooperation. Pakistan is keen to further expand ties in all fields, particularly economic and energy cooperation, connectivity and human resource development,” he said. 

The prime minister emphasised that both the countries need to make efforts to enhance cooperation in the economic and commercial fields and fully exploit the huge potential for mutual trade. He said that Uzbekistan’s impressive annual economic growth and rich energy resources, and Pakistan's large industrial and agricultural base provide an ideal environment for expansion of trade and commercial cooperation between the two countries.

He proposed that both countries work together for making appropriate reforms in trade policies to facilitate trade, investment and free flow of goods and services between Pakistan and Uzbekistan. 

The prime minister welcomed the concrete proposals from Uzbekistan for collaboration in the field of agricultural machinery, which are presently under consideration at the Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of National Food Security. “On behalf of the people, government and on my own behalf, I express our sincere condolence on the sad demise of late President Islam Karimov. The visionary leadership of President Islam Karimov had been a source of continuity, stability and strength for Uzbekistan,” concluded the prime minister. 

Ulugbek Rozikulov thanked the prime minister for the warm welcome extended to the visiting delegation in Pakistan. He said that all necessary steps would be taken to explore and exploit the huge business and trade opportunities between the two countries. The Uzbekistan deputy prime minister extended an invitation to Nawaz Sharif on behalf of the Uzbek president to visit Uzbekistan. The prime minister accepted the invitation.