Bilateral FTA to benefit Pakistan, Russia: Bokhari

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THE NATION, ISLAMABAD, 05th OCTOBER 2013:- Chairman Senate Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari, while addressing the 5th Economic Summit of Russia and OIC countries, proposed that an early finalization of a bilateral free trade agreement would be mutually beneficial for Pakistan and Russia, as it would help in boosting economic relations between the two.
The Chairman Senate is leading a three-member delegation comprising Senators to participate in the said summit in the beautiful and vibrant city of Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tataristan. He observed that Pakistan enjoys excellent relations with the Russian Federation and all member states of the OIC and that we are prepared to pay our role in the enhancement of economic collaboration between Russia and OIC countries. He remarked that Pakistan’s unique geo-strategic location makes it a natural north-south economic corridor through Afghanistan and Central Asia into the Russian Federation.
Addressing the participants of the conference, Bokhari said that it is indeed a privilege to participate in this important meeting on relations between the Russian Federation and member sates of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
“Given our geographical proximity, Russia and the OIC countries are natural partners in the shared enterprise of regional peace and prosperity” the Senate Chairman observed. He further stated that we have a long tradition of historic, cultural and linguistic affinities, which provide a strong foundation for building a mutually beneficial economic relationship. He said that in today’s globalized world, regional economic cooperation and partnerships are an effective vehicle for mutual progress and development.
He pointed out that both the Russian Federation and OIC countries have much to offer to each other and there is great potential for mutually beneficial cooperation in the areas of science and technology, commerce and trade, regional connectivity projects, joint ventures, investments and banking and finance.
He apprised the participants that Pakistan and Russia have maintained mutually beneficial economic relations over the years and proposed firstly, an early finalization of a Bilateral Free Trade Agreement that would further boost our economic relations. Secondly, Pakistan has expressed its desire to work more closely with Russia in trade, banking and investment areas. We look forward to enhanced relations between Pakistani and Russian banks in credit lines, transactions and other banking areas. Thirdly, the organization of a Pakistan-Russia Business Summit would be helpful in generating economic activity between the two countries. Fourthly, we would encourage Russian businessmen to participate in trade exhibitions in Pakistan.
“I am confident that our deliberations would contribute to strengthening cooperation between our countries to the mutual benefit of our people” Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari remarked while appreciating the initiative.
On the sidelines of the summit, Pakistani delegation led by Chairman Senate, held meeting with Rustam Minnikhanov, the President of Tatarstan. Both sides discussed matter of mutual interests particularly focusing on commerce and trade links between Pakistan and Tatarstan. Chairman Senate said that Pakistan would welcome investment of Tatar businesses in various projects in Pakistan.

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