ISLAMABAD - Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Pakistan, Yerzhan Kistafin on Wednesday said that Pakistan and Kazakhstan have the potential of $1 billion of bilateral trade for which the communication and interaction between both sides is pivotal.
He said this while addressing a seminar on the theme of “Small and Medium Enterprises and Women Entrepreneurs” organized by Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) along with the Founder President of IWCCI, Samina Fazil here.
The envoy said that the IWCCI and other local business chambers can play an important role in increasing bilateral trade between Pakistan and Kazakhstan. Yerzhan Kistafin said that 47% contribution to the economy of Kazakhstan is currently from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which are growing day by day.
He said that women have a very important role in the economy of Kazakhstan, women entrepreneurs are the owners of big brands in Kazakhstan, and there are a lot of women, especially in the textile, clothing, fashion and IT sectors. The ambassador said that the delegation of IWCCI under the leadership of Samina Fazil should visit the cities of Almaty, Astana and others to evaluate the business opportunities there so that they can have an idea about the local market and also both sides could establish business links.
Meanwhile, Yerzhan Kistafin said that Kazakhstan is currently the most attractive country for foreign investment. In the last 10 years, the volume of foreign investment reached $400 billion in Kazakhstan, and in the same way, the volume of foreign investment in the last fiscal year 2022 was $26 billion in the economy of Kazakhstan. He said that Kazakhstan currently ranks 25th in the World Bank, Ease of Doing Business ranking in the world.
The ambassador said that the two countries can establish bilateral trade and mutual cooperation in textile, pharmaceutical and agriculture, tourism and IT. Talking on the bilateral banking channel, he said that a mutual agreement has been finalized between the Bank of Punjab and the Bank of Uzbekistan, which will facilitate the opening of LCs. While discussing the transit trade between Pakistan and Kazakhstan, he said there are two options for transit trade routes, one is the route through Afghanistan to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The second route for transit trade is from China to Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan, from which the first transit consignment has successfully reached Kazakhstan through the Sust border located on the historical Silk Route and there is a possibility of further progress in the future.
He said that transit trade consignment is a continuation of the recent Quadrilateral Traffic in Transit Agreement (QTTA), which will speed up the trade between the countries in the near future. Yerzhan Kistafin said that this trade agreement was signed between Pakistan, China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. The Ambassador said that the transit trade agreement and customs agreement between the two countries will be signed soon, the implementation of which will have a positive impact on bilateral trade.
He said that Pakistan is the fifth largest market in the world in terms of population, with which Kazakhstan’s trade links are very important. The envoy said that there are many opportunities for ties between both countries in education and especially in medical education. He said that currently 1500 Pakistani students are studying in Kazakhstan and there is a possibility of a further increase.
He said that efforts are also underway for a bilateral cooperation agreement in the big cities of both countries, in which the memorandum of mutual cooperation will be signed soon in Karachi, Lahore and Multan and Kazakhstan cities of Almaty, Astana and Turkistan.
On this occasion, Samina Fazil, founder president of IWCCI, said that the business community wants to increase the volume of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Kazakhstan and strengthen bilateral relations in the SMEs sector in both countries, in which the role of IWCCI will be very important.
She said that Kazakhstan and Pakistan are major players in economic integration in the region, which will pave the way for economic cooperation in the region. Meanwhile, President IWCCI Rizwana Asif said that Kazakhstan is an important country in Central Asia and bilateral relations and mutual cooperation between Islamabad Women’s Chamber and Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Kazakhstan is necessary.
On this occasion, former president of IWCCI, Naima Ansari, former senior vice president of IWCCI, Sadaf Asim Abbasi, former president of Women’s Chamber Mumtaz Akhtar Raja and others also addressed the event.
In the end, the Ambassador of Kazakhstan participated in a cake-cutting cerem