Pakistan desires to enhance trade ties with Central Asia: FM Qureshi

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Thursday that the government seeks market access for Pakistani commodities to the Central Asian countries, a private media outlet reported.

Addressing the Pakistani community and students in Bishkek, FM Qureshi said Pakistan has always given great importance to its ties with all the Central Asian states, adding that they (government) would focus more on trade with the Central Asian countries after the restoration of peace in war-torn Afghanistan.

“Unfortunately, trade cooperation with Central Asian states could not be materialised owing to lack of deliberations and connectivity,” he maintained.

FM Qureshi urged the Pakistani community to play its due role in highlighting the soft image of the country.

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He termed Pakistani students in Kyrgyzstan as the “roaming ambassadors” of the country, adding that they (students) should play a proactive role in promoting Pakistan’s strength areas.

The foreign minister remarked, “A community can play a cardinal role in creating goodwill and an enabling environment for trade, investment, tourism, and people-to-people contacts.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday reached Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, to represent Pakistan at the 19th Meeting of the Council of the Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

Kyrgyzstan Prime Minister Mukhammedkalyi Abylgaziev and health minister Kosmosbek Sarievich Cholponbaev received the premier, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) shared on social media.

According to Radio Pakistan, Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov had extended the invitation to Prime Minister Imran Khan to attend the two-day summit. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Special Assistant to PM on Youth Affairs Mohammad Usman Dar are accompanying the premier.

Earlier on April 10, President Dr Arif Alvi had urged Kazakhstan to facilitate access of Pakistani commodities to its markets.

Talking to Kazakhstan Ambassador Barlybay Sadykov, who had called on him in Islamabad, Dr Arif Alvi had called for exploring possibilities to enhance trade and economic cooperation between Pakistan and Kazakhstan.

The president had highlighted the need to explore possibilities of cooperation and joint ventures in sectors like food processing, textile, machinery and equipment, construction and infrastructure.

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