FAISALABAD: A delegation of Russian businessmen will visit Pakistan very soon to explore new opportunities for investment, said Mr Vladirmir Berezyuk, Acting Ambassador of the Russian Federation.
Addressing the members of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) here on Monday, he mentioned Russian cooperation in the development of Pak economy and said, “Karachi Steel Mills and Gudhu Power Plant are examples of our mutual and highly productive cooperation.”
He said that recently Pakistan and Russia have inked an agreement to lay a landmark Karachi-Lahore pipelines which are expected to resolve multiple energy-related problems of Pakistan.
He said that this year Pakistan and a consortium of Russian Federation have inked an agreement to establish an oil refinery at Kohat. “It will have the capacity to refine hundred thousand barrel of oil per day,” he said and added that yet another agreement would also be signed to promote banking channels between the two countries.
He told that a delegation of Russian businessmen will also visit Pakistan which will open new avenues of direct cooperation between the businessmen of two countries.
Expressing satisfaction over the promotion of bilateral trade between the two countries, Mr Vladirmir Berezyuk said that it is growing at a much faster pace, adding that during 2015-17 Russian exports recorded an increase of 96 percent while a phenomenal growth of 209 percent was recorded in Pakistani exports to Russian Federation. However, he stressed the need to diversify the trade to fully capitalize potentialities available in the two countries.
He also identified railways, communication, construction, refinery and other major sectors in which two countries could further expand their collaboration in the coming years. However, he said that after concerted efforts by the two governments, the businessmen of Pakistan and Russia should also play a proactive role to strengthen their mutual relations.
Regarding the participation of Russian Federation in “Belt & Road” initiative, he said Russia was eagerly waiting for a formal invitation from China and Pakistan to invest in CPEC related projects.
About cooperation in the education sector, he said that Moscow is ready to send a delegation to Pakistan to explore opportunities for bilateral exchange of students and faculty members of leading universities of the two countries.
He also welcomed a proposal of FCCI to send a trade delegation and assured full cooperation in this regard. He also appreciated a proposal to declare Faisalabad twin city with leading textile cities of Russian Federation.
Earlier in his welcome address, Acting President FCCI Farooq Yusuf said that Pakistan and Russian Federation are enjoying good economic and diplomatic ties since 1948.
He said that the trade volume between the two countries in 2016 was 402.78 Million Dollars. However, Pakistan exported goods worth 144.71 million dollars as against the imports of 258.01 million dollars from the Russian Federation. Thus the balance of trade is in favour of Russia, he added.
On the occasion, FCCI shield was presented to Mr Vladirmir Berezyuk, Acting Ambassador of Russian Federation whereas Russian Ambassador also reciprocated and presented a gift to FCCI acting President Farooq Yusuf while Mirza Tauseef Ahmad presented FCCI shield to Mr Vadim Zaetcov, visa officer of the Russian Federation.
Later, Russian Ambassador also visited Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PHMA) complex and had a meeting with hosiery industrialists.
He discussed matters of mutual interest and assured full cooperation for increasing bilateral trade between the two countries.