Global economy is passing through server recession and acute financial shortages. Economic protectionism is also a new phenomenon in international trade system which discourages the free and fair exchange of goods and services. In the doctrines of globalization, the advanced countries have always upper hand to explore and exploit the resources and reservoirs of the emerging and developing economies. Furthermore, the arena of dismissing growth rates and declining economic projections, also advise us to enhance our bilateral relations and ultimately achieve economic integration and high volumes of trade and commerce in the future
Trust worthy bilateral relations play very important and decisive role in the regional and international financial as well as power game. Strong bilateral relations provide ideal platform for better understanding and break each and every misperception between the two countries. It facilitates the easy and smooth exchange of goods and services. It brightens the chances of joint ventures and FDIs. It increases the volumes of bilateral trade between the two countries. So, a trustworthy bilateral relation is must for functional diplomacy, dialogue and development.
Pakistan and Uzbekistan has made encouraging progress in realizing the goal of establishing functional transport corridors and institutionalizing business linkages. Both the countries need to take full advantage of their geographic proximity to enhance cooperation. Shared heritage and history is reinforced by geography, culture and religion and that ensured a common destiny of Pakistan and Uzbekistan and the time had come to realize the true potential in their relationship.
Pakistan and Uzbekistan have been enjoying cordial bilateral relations since the independence of Uzbekistan in 1991. Uzbekistan is interested in promoting all round relations with Pakistan in different areas including trade, commerce and culture.
TRADE BETWEEN PAKISTAN & UZBEKISTAN
Pakistan’s exports to Uzbekistan
Medical & Pharmaceutical Products, edible products, medical & surgical instruments, chemical materials, clothing and sports fabrics and goods, tobacco/tobacco manufacture, Leather & Leather manufacture.
Pakistan’s imports from Uzbekistan
Raw cotton, non-ferrous metals, leather, medical and pharmaceutical products, chemical products, natural honey
MAIN CONTRIBUTORY FACTORS UZBEKISTAN’S MACRO-ECONOMY
Since its independence 1991, the government of Uzbekistan rigorously followed and implemented the prophecies of liberalization of economy and ultimately succeeded to achieve the desired goals of socio-economic prosperity.
1) Open market reforms
2) Attraction of foreign investments
3) Deep structural changes in economy
4) Modernization and renovation of production
5) Creation of the new export-bound sectors and enterprises
6) Accelerated development of business and private entrepreneurship
Both the countries have signed more than 29 agreements and MOUs which guideline us in all spheres of bilateral cooperation and brotherly relations
EXPECTED MUTUAL COOPERATION
Uzbekistan would consider entering into a tri-partite agreement with Pakistan via Afghanistan in order to gain access to the Pakistani ports at Karachi and Gwadar in order to increase volumes of bilateral trade. The Gwadar deep seaport provides Central Asia with the shortest access to sea. It is an ideal location for investment in the field of petrochemicals, fish and food processing, heavy engineering, metal work, steel products and others export oriented industries.
(b) FDIs and Joint ventures (Uzbekistan)
In international economics it is commonly said that foreign investors and like migratory birds and whenever, they feel insecurity in a particular country they tend to fly-away in search of save heavens. I assure you that Uzbekistan is the save heavens for Pakistani investors and business community. So, go and make investments in Uzbekistan.
For the potential foreign investors Uzbekistan offers different forms of ventures, setting up joint-ventures, enterprises with 100% foreign capital, acquisition of part or entire issues of shares of privatized companies and etc, as well as groups of projects in different spheres of economy
1) Industrial complex
6) Public health
(b2) Pakistan’s potential exports
1) Engineering products and tools
2) Medical, surgical and sports goods
3) Textile fabrics
(b3) Uzbekistan’s potential exports
1) Cotton fiber
2) Chemical production
4) Mineral products
7) Construc¬tion material
8) Agriculture machinery
(b4) Potential role of PAK CASPIAN TRADE LINKS Company
Uzbekistan lies in the heart of Central Asia and at a major intersection of the Silk Road. The potential markets of Central Asia (60 million people) and the Silk Road region (142 million people) lie unexploited. There are a growing number of formal cooperation programmes to renew trade, transit, investment and tourism in Central Asia and along the ancient Silk Road.
PAK CASPIAN TRADE LINKS Company has also opened up a corridor for transit cargo to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan through Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. It would be instrumental to increase trade between the CIS and Pakistan in the days to come.
POTENTIAL AREAS OF MUTUAL COOPERATION
• Tourism: Uzbekistan is the only country in the region of CIS having such a good opportunity for bilateral tourism. With the exchange of visits of our Presidents, Uzbekistan Airways has opened regular commercial flights (2-3 times a week) between Lahore and Tashkent. This has opened a huge opportunity for bilateral tourism. More than 20 Pakistani tourist companies had signed MOUs with Uzbek counterparts. In 2007 Pakistani Company “Travel Planners” has become an official representative of National Tourism Company of Uzbekistan “Uzbekturism” in Pakistan. “New Arabian Express” and “Crystal Travels” Companies were agents for Uzbek Airways in 2006-2008. In 2009 “Travel Planners” was appointed as agent for Uzbek Airways.
• Education: Medical and health sciences, exchange of intellectuals and researchers, grant of scholarship technical assistance courses, science & technology
• Information and broadcasting
• Banking and finance.
The government of Pakistan is diversifying its energy sources. Uzbekistan is rich in energy resources and the two countries can enter into joint ventures in the fields of oil, gas and petroleum sectors. To fulfill the supply and demand gap both the country can extend their cooperation in the field of energy.
Uzbekistan after its independence has gained independence in gas, oil industry and grain sufficiently. Nature has blessed Uzbekistan with minerals and energy resources too. Both the countries are consideration the possible options to extent our cooperation in energy particularly in gas in the near future. Uzbekistan already supplies electricity to seven Northern provinces of Afghanistan. So, it is a matter of time and negotiations to extent these supplies to Pakistan.
Mineral and metal cooperation
Uzbekistan occupies leading places on confirmed stocks of useful fossilized, such as gold, Uranus, copper, natural gas, tungsten, potassium salts, phosphorus, kaolin in the world. The value of total proven reserves is estimated at 1.3 trillion USD, and the total mineral-resource potential of the country at over 3.5 trillion USD.
Our largest province Balochistan also possesses large mineral and metals reservoirs which needs to be explored. So, mutual cooperation between the two countries in the fields of mineral and metal exploration would be win-win position for both the countries.
• On stocks of gold republic occupies a fourth place in the world, but on the level of its mining seventh place
• On stocks of copper tenth-eleventh place
• Uranus seventh-eighth place, but on its mining-eleventh-a twelfth place
Uzbekistan has great level of defence cooperation with many countries, including brotherly Pakistan. For example, Uzbekistan produces three types of aircrafts “IL-86”, “IL-86M” and “IL-114” which are being exported to Russia, Jordan, India and Azerbaijan. Again this a matter of time and economic prudence to explore the possibility of joint cooperation in this filed too.
1) Prevailing worsening geo-political and geo-strategic situation in Afghanistan
2) Ongoing energy crisis in Pakistan
3) Deteriorating law and order situation in Pakistan
4) Lack of skilled labour
5) Absence of intellectual properties rights
6) Lack of openness for higher technological investments
(a) Business connectivity
• More people-to-people contacts
• Regular business missions
• Industrial exhibitions
• Exchange of delegations of business communities
• Exchange of information
• Frequent visits of chambers of commerce would be instrumental to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries
• Easy and swift issuance of visas especially to business communities of both the countries
(b) Political interaction
• Exchange of parliamentary delegations
• Strong political will to promote bilateral relations
• Political understanding of each other geo-political and geo-strategic problems
• More emphasis on diplomacy, dialogue and development
• Frequent visits of concerned ministers (finance, agriculture, water and power, agriculture, textile, foreign affairs etc)
(c) Develop academic and cultural exchange programs
• The memorandum of understanding has already been signed between International Islamic University Islamabad and Tashkent Islamic University Uzbekistan, Area Study Centre, University of Peshawar Pakistan and Institute of Oriental Studies Academy of Sciences Tashkent Uzbekistan are the greats.
• Academic interaction would necessarily enhance cooperative relations between the two states and would develop academic and cultural exchange in different areas of research in various disciplines.
Prospects are bright and opportunities are unlimited. Keeping in view the geographical advantages of both the countries along with their unlimited natural reservoirs the prospects of having enhanced bilateral relations between Pakistan and Uzbekistan are very bright. The essential thing is needed, a strong political commitment of both the countries, close linkage between the business communities, chambers of commerce an industry, better understanding between the intelligentsia and people-to-people interaction would bring dividends in the days to come. From Sialkot to Samarkand and from Faisalabad to Ferghana and from Karachi to Khiva there would be bridge of trust, harmony, cooperation and collaboration.