Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..

Islamabad ( Commerce Reporter  ) All issues related to Central-Asia-South-Asia transmission line project (CASA-1000) have been addressed and hopefully the project will be materialized soon and start supplying electricity to Pakistan by 2018, observed H.E. Mr. Sherali S. Jononov, Ambassador of the Republic of Tajikistan while addressing the business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He said completion of this project will greatly help Pakistan in overcoming its energy problems. He said Pakistan needs to improve and upgrade its transmission lines network for this purpose.

He said energy, trade and investment were the main focus of Tajikistan with Pakistan. He said most of Pakistani products were reaching Tajikistan via Afghanistan and stressed for direct trade between the two countries that would make Pakistani products more cost effective and affordable for Tajik consumers. He was optimistic that early finalization of trilateral transit trade agreement between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan will pave way for enhanced trade between the two countries.

He said Tajikistan has established 4 Free Economic Zones with attractive incentive including 4 years tax exemption on investment exceeding US$ 5 million. He emphasized that Pakistani investors should invest in these zones in areas of interest. They could set up textile and other units in these zones. He said Pakistani investors could get up to 3 years visas for making investment of USD 5 million in Tajikistan. He said a Made in Pakistan exhibition will be held from 29-31 October 2015 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan and added that it was a good opportunity for Pakistani entrepreneurs to attend this event to introduce the potential of their products in Tajikistan market. He said Tajikistan was also working to start direct flights with Pakistan that would facilitate bilateral trade as well.

In his welcome address, Atif Ikram Sheikh, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that Tajikistan was the nearest country to Pakistan among Central Asian States, but despite this geographical advantage, bilateral trade was far below available potential. He stressed that both countries should encourage frequent exchange of trade delegations and focus on holding single country exhibitions that would help in identifying all untapped areas of mutual cooperation.

He said many Pakistani products including textiles, agro-processed food, fruits and vegetables, pharmaceuticals, leather products, surgical & sports goods and others have good potential in Tajikistan market and both countries should focus on building direct road, rail and air links to facilitate the two-way trade. He assured that ICCI would work Tajikistan embassy to promote connectivity between the private sectors of two countries. Former President ICCI Mr Zafar Bakhtawari and prominent business woman Zahra Siraj Welaani were also present at the occasion.