MABAD - Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has asked the Government to review its strategic trade and export policies with USA and European Union and shift focus towards Russia and Central Asian States which could turn out to be a potential huge market for Pakistani products.
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 neighbouring countries form an attractive market for Pakistani exports, especially 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 the energy sector as Moscow is in a good position to help our country in overcoming its issues of power shortfall.
He said government should also try to 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.
He said issues like heavy duties and complicated customs regime should be streamlined by reducing duties on items of special interest. Both countries should make efforts to finalise a free trade agreement that will enable Pakistan and Russia to have better access to each others 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 others country, creating awareness among their people regarding economic opportunities and developing channels and means of transportation for easy movement of goods.