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This year Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan are celebrating thirty years of their diplomatic relationship with full diplomatic vigor and excitement. Both the states continue to evolve bilateral relationships driven by goodwill, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation. Since the inception of diplomatic relations in 1991, Islamabad and Bishkek have been on close terms with each other.
Pakistan was amongst the first tier of countries that immediately established diplomatic relations with Kyrgyzstan and operationalized their embassies by 1995. The cornerstone of the bilateral relationships is the trade and economy which is now being capitalized through connectivity between the Central Asian region and Pakistan.
Pakistan was among the pioneers to understand the trade potential of the Kyrgyz Republic and established a branch of the State Bank of Pakistan in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Capital. It is a landlocked country sharing borders with Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan, the biggest and richest in the region.
It reflects the trade potential because of the regional economies’ connectivity, interdependence, and interoperability. In this regard, Kyrgyzstan also expressed the willingness to become part of China’s Pakistan Economic Corridor while highlighting the liberal trade regime of Bishkek extending protection to investments, untapped repatriation of profits, low business cost, developed human resources, and freedom of currency exchange.
Kyrgyzstan holds a lot of opportunities for Pakistan to benefit especially through gaining access to the 182 million-strong ‘Eurasian Economic Markets in the country. The energy cooperation is another significant product of thirty years of bilateral relations between Bishkek and Islamabad.
Central Asia- South Asia 1000 hydel electricity transmission line between Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Pakistan is an energy-scarce country with limited resources for cheap power production whereby the Kyrgyz republic enjoys the natural luxury of abundant hydel resources.
It is a two-way transmission line able to transmit surplus electricity back and forth provided by availability as Pakistan needs more energy in the summer months every year. It further opens the avenues of cooperation into transmission efficiency and integration for power management and water resource management.
As a measure to strengthen the bilateral economic ties between the two countries, the Kyrgyz-Pakistan trade and investment forum in April was held at a local hotel in Islamabad.
The event was hosted by the Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, with support from the USAID Regional Office for Economic Integration, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, and Lahore.
The forum was held as part of the Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic’s efforts to improve economic diplomacy by setting up and strengthening business contacts between representatives of the two countries’ business communities, with the primary goal of strengthening mutually beneficial trade, as well as investment cooperation between the two countries.
The growth of financial collaboration between Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan, which will also help enhance contact and establish new export markets and investments between the nations of the area, is one of the key aims of hosting such events. The forum resulted in the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation between the General Directorate of the Free Economic Zone “Bishkek” and the International Special Economic Zone “Pvt. OOO and the Memorandum of Understanding between the LLC “By Elim Company” and the HAC AGRI Limited in the sphere of sugar supplies.
The thirty years journey of the bilateral relationship began to bear fruit and has identified their respective potential and strengths. It is necessary for the leadership of both states to keep the momentum going and jointly work to remove the hindrances if any on the way to mutual development. The notion of development and regional connectivity has also transformed with the Belt and Road Initiative as states became more conscious of their economic security, human resource development, and the importance of industrialization. Pakistan and the Kyrgyz Republic are not without the potential to build a fortune out of existing regional connectivity endeavors.
Long live Pakistan- Kyrgyzstani Friendship