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Pakistan Seeks More Trading Partners Among Central Asian Countries

Pakistan is aiming to improve trade with neighboring country Afghanistan as well as other countries in Central Asia, as it plans to diversify commerce, Bloomberg reported Abdul Razak Dawood as saying.

Adviser to PM on Trade and Commerce Dawood said in an interview that Pakistan is seeking to finalize a new trade accord with Afghanistan by June 2021.

Pakistan plans to grow trade with five landlocked Central Asian nations – Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. The plan is to improve the multilateral trade to $1.5 billion annually, from less than a billion in the past decade, he said.

Pakistan stands to benefit from greater trade with Central Asian markets in another highly beneficial way, especially from those that are rich in energy resources. This can assist Pakistan in pursuit of growing the industrial base, the newspaper report added.

Pakistan is due to sign transit and preferential trade agreement with Uzbekistan in July, Dawood said.

Pakistan is seeking newer markets, as currently it’s trade is heavily reliant on the US, EU and China. Out of Pakistan’s total trade value of $66 billion for the year ended June 2020, China accounted for $11.2 billion and North America $6.76 billion, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) data showed.

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