ISLAMABAD ( 2009-04-28 04:48:32 ) :Pakistan is to offer Tajikistan transit trade to and from Pakistan using its ports, warehousing facilities and other communication networks, sources in Commerce Ministry told Business Recorder. Tajikistan’s Ambassador in Pakistan was scheduled to meet Commerce Minister Amin Fahim, last week but the meeting did not materialise due to the Minister’s engagements in the Presidency, sources said.
New date for the meeting is expected to be finalised shortly. “We will offer to Tajikistan transit trade to and from Pakistan using Pakistani ports and means of communications. We may also offer them the warehousing facility for their goods in transit,” sources in the Ministry said.
They said that Pakistan would take up the issue of cotton imports from Tajikistan and would encourage its businessmen to meet its import needs from Tajikistan. In this context, Pakistan would recommend that a Tajik business/private sector delegation should visit Pakistan for one-to-one contacts with Pakistan’s business community. Pakistan is ready to extend all possible assistance/logistic support in this regard, sources added.
They said that Pakistan has also requested Tajikistan to enter into a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) identifying select commodities of interest to the two countries with a view to increasing trade in commodities currently exchanged. This would enable the trading communities of the two countries to make their products more competitive due to preferential tariffs to be agreed through PTA.
Pakistan is organising a mega event (Expo) on annual basis. Tajikistan will be requested to participate in the next Expo which would provide opportunity to buyers to see Pakistan’s potential under one roof. It is pertinent to note that Pakistan is importing only a single commodity–raw cotton–while exporting various commodities.
Another bottleneck in trade between the two countries is excessive requirement of certifications and product registration, source said, adding that Commerce Minister would suggest simplification of procedures for enhancing the trade between the two countries. There are no quantitative restrictions on imports, but there is a list of commodities that can be imported only after the Ministry of Economy and Foreign Economic Relations has examined the contracts.
This list includes trucks, oil and oil products, fertilisers, wheat, flour, rice, tea, sugar and vegetable oil. The list of commodities which need government permission to import include natural gas, uranium and other radioactive substances, narcotic and psychotropic substances, weapons and other military equipment, ammunition cipher equipment, and electric power.