Islamabad, 14 November 2023 (TDI): The 4th Session of the Kyrgyz-Pakistan Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) on Trade- Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation was held in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic.

The Pakistani delegation was led by Muhammad Ali, the Federal Minister for Energy (Power Division) of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and comprised of senior officials from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, and Ministry of Energy (Power Division).

The Co-Chairs for the 4th Session of the IGC were the Minister for Energy (Power Division) of Pakistan and His Excellency Baisalov Edil Zholdubaevich, the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic.

In his opening remarks, the Deputy Chairman warmly welcomed the distinguished delegation from Pakistan and emphasized the session’s importance in enhancing the bilateral relationship between the two nations.

He emphasized the Kyrgyz Republic’s interest in utilizing the potential of Pakistani seaports, Karachi and Gwadar, given country’s lack of direct access to the open sea. He underscored that this would provide the shortest access to Central Asian countries and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) to the open sea.

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In addition to economic considerations, Baisalov highlighted the growing collaboration in culture and humanitarian efforts, particularly noting the rapid development of joint training centers in fields such as medicine, distance learning, law, and finance.

The Minister for Energy (Power Division) emphasized the enduring historical and cultural bonds shared by Pakistan and the Kyrgyz Republic, affirming that the 4th Session of the Kyrgyz- Pakistan Inter-Governmental Commission is pivotal in establishing a stronger economic foundation and fostering enhanced mutual cooperation.

The 4th Session of the Kyrgyz-Pakistan Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) on Trade- Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation
The 4th Session of the Kyrgyz-Pakistan Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) on Trade- Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation

He further expressed the readiness of the Pakistani side for an active dialogue and practical actions to further deepen bilateral cooperation.

Underscoring collaboration in the energy sector, the Minister reaffirmed its crucial role in mutual growth. Stressing the importance of the CASA-1000 regional project, he emphasized the commitment from both sides for its expeditious completion to realize shared goals.

While highlighting a significant trade surge from US$ 1.14 million in January 2017 to US$ 11.23 million, the Minister emphasized the need for a robust Plan of Action to address trade barriers, with the Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment playing a pivotal role.

He lauded ongoing talks for the Transit Trade Agreement, citing the year-round accessibility of the Karakoram Highway as a key opportunity for facilitating transit trade and fortifying bilateral economic ties.

Additionally, the Minister reiterated Pakistan’s interest in fostering cooperation for a bilateral E-Commerce platform, recognizing the Kyrgyz Republic’s growing role as a logistics and e-commerce hub.

Delving into cultural and people- to-people connections, he highlighted the presence of over 15,000 Pakistani students pursuing higher education in the Kyrgyz Republic and the growing influx of tourists to the country, illustrating a shared affinity for Kyrgyz culture, heritage, and scenic landscapes.

Moreover, he also acknowledged the significance of the agriculture sector and advocated for collaboration in research, value addition, food processing, and joint ventures.

During the meeting, delegates engaged in discussions aimed at actualizing enhanced regional connectivity between Central Asia and South Asia, placing particular emphasis on the advancement of rail, road, and air links, alongside fostering increased people-to-people engagement. These collective endeavors are oriented towards promoting enduring stability, peace, and prosperity in the region.