Islamabad, 9 November 2022 (TDI): Turkmenistan and Pakistan have a significant amount of potential for bilateral trade. The Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Pakistan, Atadjan Movlamov gave this statement while visiting the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).
He underscored that this potential can be increased through people-to-people contacts. Moreover, Turkmenistan has abundant energy and can supply Pakistan’s energy needs. However, Turkmenistan, a landlocked nation is looking for more access to the sea.
In this vein, the shortest route for trade is through the ports of Karachi and Gwadar. Ambassador Atadjan Movlamov claimed that transit trade is significant for his nation.
Aside from that, the Ambassador shared that Turkmenistan produces electricity at a very low cost. He provided a detailed presentation on the TAPI project, which will assist Pakistan in meeting its growing population’s energy needs.
Furthermore, both countries should be linked by an optical fiber cable across the Arabian Sea. The Ambassador of Turkmenistan went to further state that Pakistan could benefit financially from collaboration in the aforementioned domain.
He also highlighted that both countries are celebrating their 30th diplomatic anniversary and expressed a desire to strengthen these ties through trade and investment.
While Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, the President of the ICCI speaking at the event, stated that Pakistan and Turkmenistan have mutually respectful and cordial relations based on history, culture, and religion.
He emphasized that both countries should focus on improving bilateral trade and economic relations because they have a lot of potential in many areas.
He stated that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) provides a good opportunity to increase bilateral cooperation and shift the relationship’s focus to address socioeconomic challenges, build economic links, and boost bilateral trade.
Along these lines, he underscored that both countries should prioritize the development of strong business ties between their private sectors in order to explore all untapped areas of mutual collaboration.
To promote trade ties, Pakistan and Turkmenistan should facilitate frequent exchanges of trade delegations and organize single-country exhibitions on a reciprocal basis, according to Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari.
He underlined the issue of connectivity and proposed the formation of a single Transport and Goods Company to address logistical issues between the two countries.
Likewise, he proposed a long-term visa for businesspeople in order to facilitate the frequent exchange of trade delegations from both sides.
In addition, he emphasized the importance of establishing air, road, and rail connectivity between Pakistan and Central Asian republics in order to improve trade relations.
Establishing a road link via Istanbul, Turkmenistan, and Karachi, which is the shortest route of 6 days for transport, even at a speed of 50 km/h is important. This is because shipping goods by sea takes about 35 days and incurs huge freight costs.
Faad Waheed, the Senior Vice President stated that ICCI is planning to organize ECO Business Forum in which diplomats & relevant Government officials shall be invited to discuss important issues including the TAPI project & developing direct links between Pakistan & Turkmenistan.