ISLAMABAD, Dec 11 (TNS):Pakistan and Russian Federation on Wednesday agreed to strengthen bilateral ties in all areas of mutual interest including political, trade, economic, energy, education and people-to-people contacts.
The agreement was made during a plenary session of 6th Pak-Russia Inter Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation here.
Minister for Economic Affairs, Muhammad Hammad Azhar led the Pakistani delegation while Minister of Industry and trade of the Russian Federation, Denis V. Manutov led the Russian delegation.
From Pakistan side, Secretary, Economic Affairs Division, Foreign Secretary and senior representatives from Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Commerce, Energy, National Food Security and Research, Industries and Production, Planning, Development and Reforms, Aviation, Federal Board of Revenue, Board of Investment, Ministry of Railways, Petroleum Division and Power Division participated in the IGC.
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Muhammad Hammad Azhar, briefed the forum about the recent economic developments and outlooks and highlighted improved indicators of Pakistani economy especially current account balance.
He further apprised the Russian side of the successful implementation of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Programme, bright future prospects of Pakistani economy and huge potential of trade and investment between the two sides.
While both sides exchanged views on the prospects of the mutual economic cooperation in multiple sectors especially energy, trade, transport, industries and production, railways, agriculture and science and technology. Prospects of Russian Investment for revival of Pakistan Steel Mills were also discussed.
The Russian side expressed keen interest in Energy Sector such as North South Gas Pipeline.
Discussions were held on removing the temporary ban on Pakistan’s agriculture exports including rice and potatoes.
The both sides resolved to increase volume of bilateral trade from the present levels to its true potential through greater cooperation and enhanced business activities by the private sector of the two countries.
The Russian side invited Pakistan to organize a road show in Moscow to provide an opportunity to the Russian private companies to explore new avenues in Pakistan.
Pakistani side on the other hand invited Russia for their presence in trade expos held in Pakistan.
The Russian side was apprised that Pakistan held the bilateral and economic relations with the Russian Federation in high esteem which was evident by the recent settlement of the long standing “Settlement of mutual Financial Claims” between the two countries.
The Pakistan side appreciated that Russian had supported in laying foundation for its Industrial growth by extending support in establishing the Pakistan Steel Mills and expressed firm resolve to continue such interactions at higher level to better understand the development needs, opportunities of cooperation and investment in the emerging sectors and remove any obstacles in trade and investment.
The 7th session of IGC will be held in Moscow on mutually agreed dates.
Pakistan-Russia Inter-Government Commissions (IGC) on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation are held alternately in the capitals of both the countries.
Sixth Session of Pakistan-Russia IGC was held in Islamabad.
Addressing to Press briefing on the occasion, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Muhammad Hammad Azhar said that Pakistan and Russia had agreed for Joint Venture to enhance the cooperation for the up gradation and modernization of Pakistan railways infrastructure.
“I believe that Russia have expertise in this sector and we will expand the cooperation for introducing the modern locomotive in local trains for resolved the issues of design and speed of trains,” he added.
He said that Pakistan and Russia relations had now entered in new phase of development to search the new avenues for economic integration and business to business ties.
He said that “we are negotiating for Russian investment in local market and the government has invited them to bring investment in mines sector”.
Meanwhile Minister of Industry and trade of the Russian Federation, Denis V. Manutov said that Pakistan and Russian federation were committed to enhance the bilateral traded and further cooperation in aviation, professional training and capacity building of the local industrial sector.
He said that Russian investment groups were keenly interested to invest Pharmaceutical sector , medical machinery and aviation.