Both countries will also share their expertise in different segments of the economy

From KHALID BUTT, Lahore
May 09 - 15, 2005

Trade fairs and exhibitions always give boost to the export of any country and those states who adopted the strategy a few years back are standing tall today among the comity of nations.

In other words one can say that it is a sure shot way to achieve economic stability. Now-a-days the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry is acting on same strategy to supplement government efforts to make Pakistan prosperous in every way.

Only a few days back, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry delegation headed by LCCI Senior Vice President Sohail Lashari has signed trade and investments agreement worth billion of rupees on the conclusion of a three-day 'Made in Pakistan' exhibition where products of 38 Pakistani companies were displayed in Tajikistan.

The exhibition which was a big success besides pulling the local crowd also attracted a large number of visitors from three CARs states Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and of course Tajikistan.

This single country exhibition helped Pakistan business to enter into bilateral trade agreements in different sectors of the two economies. On the import side, agreements were signed on the sidelines of the exhibition included: Steel billet, raw wool, raw silk and raw leather while export pacts were inked in the fields of paints, home appliances, and fashion Apparels from Pakistan.

The details of the export agreements signed with Tajikistan government are including dispatch of Pakistan assembled computers, Pakistani dresses, the aromatic Basmati rice, pharmaceuticals, sports goods and track suits, cutlery, Pak assembled Samsung TVs, DVDs, Pakistan Hero Motorcycles, can packaging, plastic packaging, labels printing, mango pulp and plastic pipes.

The auto sector, it may be mentioned, has emerged as a major large scale manufacturing sector which resultantly has help developing a large downstream vendor industry in Pakistan. As far as production of two wheelers was concerned the production of motorcycles is around to touch 0.4 million mark. Though the two wheelers produced in Pakistan were costlier in terms of price when compared to China and Indian bikes, yet Pakistan motorcycles were far superior in quality and are much in demand within the country. Entering into an agreement for export of motorcycles means that this segment of the auto sector is poised to emerge as a major export earner if the people behind the trade succeeded in capturing that lucrative market by applying an aggressive and convincing marketing approach in that region.

The Senior Vice President of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry was of the view that the exhibition recently concluded in Tajikistan would help highlight the soft image of Pakistan besides gaining accessibility in that so far untapped market of the Central Asia.

Primarily, the exhibition was an effort to supplement government efforts generates maximum economic activity in Pakistan besides boosting the exports of the country.

Sohail Lashari on his return from Tajikistan said that both countries would be sharing their expertise in different segments of the economy. Pakistan which has developed a strong textile base would extend a helping hand to develop textile industry in that country while Tajikistan can export the raw and semi finished goods to Pakistan especially oilseed and aluminum and raw hides and skins. He said that Pakistan can help Tajikistan develop its aluminum industry too.

Chairman of Pak-Tajik Trade Company and Deputy Leaders of the delegation Mian Shafqat Ali, Mohsan Bandey, Executive Committee Member Kashif Mehar and LTIA Chairman Nasrullah Moghal were also present on the occasion.

Mian Shafqat Ali said that they have selected this venue being the hub of regional trade and that's why they have run a media campaign in the neighboring countries too. He said that Tajikistan is considered to be the poorest state amongst all five CARs but having free trade agreements with these states as well as Russia, it may be work as launching pad of business to CARs.

Earlier, the LCCI delegation was seen off by Governor of Sugd Region (Province) and Member Parliament, Kosim Rahbarovich Kosimov while Pakistan ambassador to Tajikistan, Ikramullah Mehsood along with Mayor Khujand Region Olim Talov were also present at the airport.

Pakistan ambassador to Tajikistan, Ikramullah Mehsood while speaking on the occasion, underlined the need for enhancing bilateral relations. He said that there is a political will from his government for improving bilateral relations and business community of Pakistan is leading from this front. World has turned into global village while business and trade relations are playing pivotal role in it, Mehsood said and added that air links with Tajikistan may improve in near future through direct flight to this area.

He said that both countries enjoy historic centuries old relations and Khujand may be a milestone to improve these relations as of being the major destination on historic silk route from sub continent to CARs. He said that Pakistani products are higher in quality and competitive in prices, therefore, once the road links are restored, Pakistan would have no competitor in the market.

Governor of Sugd province and Member Parliament, Kosim Rahbarovich Kosimov said that people to people interaction is a must to improve the relations. He said that leaders of both the countries Gen Pervez Musharraf from Pakistan and President Imamali Sharipovich Rahmonov from Tajikistan have already agreed to a number of agreements of mutual interests.