TASHKENT: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said Pakistan’s connectivity with Uzbekistan in trade and bilateral spheres would open up new avenues of prosperity in the region.
“Pakistan has immense potential to connect Central Asia with rest of the world and become a hub of trade,” the prime minister said in his address at the Uzbekistan-Pakistan Business Forum, held here in the Uzbek capital.
The forum was attended by a large number of businessmen from Pakistan and Uzbekistan besides the delegation of prime minister including Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi, National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Minister for Information Technology Atif Khan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan assured the businessmen and traders of Uzbekistan that Pakistan would extend them every possible facilitation in promotion of trade. “I want to assure the business community of Uzbekistan that this relationship is just the beginning of the journey of development and prosperity,” he said.
The prime minister said the railway project among Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan would prove to be a revolution of development. The prime minister stressed that to exploit the region’s potential, peace and security in the neighbourhood was essential.
On the situation in Afghanistan, he said peace in the war-torn country was important to ensure materialization of development projects in Central Asia. “Pakistan is keen for peace in Afghanistan and considers it vital for trade connectivity among the regional countries,” he said, adding that such trade linkages helped in raising the living standards of the citizens.
Imran Khan referred to the cooperation among the neighbouring countries of the European Union, that focused on bilateral trade arrangements for the benefit of their people. He hoped that with the support and will of the regional States, the situation in Afghanistan would lead to improvement.
The prime minister said Pakistan and Uzbekistan enjoyed relations rooted in common faith, culture and history and offered a unique dimension to the two nations to explore each other in diverse areas. Earlier, Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov in his speech mentioned the strong ties between Pakistan and Uzbekistan in multiple areas of cooperation.
He welcomed PM Imran Khan on his official visit to Uzbekistan, which he said would usher in a new area of cooperation and joint ventures between the two brotherly countries. Speaking to media in Tashkent, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan and Uzbekistan had vast potential to explore the opportunities of bilateral trade and investment for their mutual interest.