ICCI eyes Russia as a potential market for Pakistani exports

  • August 18, 2010
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has asked the government to review its strategic trade and export policies from USA & European Union and turn focus to Russia and Central Asian States which could turn out to be a huge market for Pakistani products.

Mr.Zahid Maqbool, President, ICCI said that Russia is a market of 145 million people with consumer goods demand of billions of dollars. Thus Russia and its neighboring countries form an attractive market for Pakistani exports, especially in the field of textile & garments, rice, leather, sports goods, surgical equipments and pharmaceuticals. 

He said industry in Pakistan is badly suffering due to energy problems and government should increase cooperation with Russia in energy sector as Russia is in a good position to help our country in overcoming its power issues.

He said government should also try establish roads and rail links with Russia and other regional countries in order to accelerate its trade and exports with this part of the world.

Mr.Zahid Maqbool said that as the Russian President has invited his Pakistani, Afghan and Tajik counterparts to a summit meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in August 2010, government should take advantage of this opportunity and discuss all those issues with Russia for remedial measures that are hampering growth of bilateral trade and exports between the two countries.

He said issues like heavy duties and complicated customs should be streamlined by reducing duties on items of special interest. Both countries should make efforts to finalize a free trade agreement that will enable Pakistan and Russia to have better market access to each other’s markets.

He said both countries should strive for establishing direct contacts between their chambers and trade bodies. They should also look for forming a joint business council, establishing banks in each other’s country, creating awareness among their people regarding economic opportunities and developing channels & means of transportation for easy flow of goods.

He said that steps like frequent exchange of trade delegations and facilitating businessmen by issuing them quick visas will help in promoting bilateral trade and investment up to the potential of both countries.