Pak-Belarus trade volume raised to $1bn ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Belarus have agreed to raise the volume of bilateral trade from $50 million to $1 billion over the next four years.
The agreement was made during a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko on Wednesday.
Mr Sharif emphasised that the two countries needed to work hard to increase bilateral trade. “We need to encourage joint ventures and business-to-business contacts in the areas of textiles, agricultural equipment and products, heavy machinery, pharmaceuticals and automotives,” said Mr Sharif.
Mr Lukashenko said that Belarus was eager to enhance cooperation with Pakistan in diverse fields and sectors, stressing that both countries need to capitalise on the huge potential which would benefit the people on both sides.
During the formal bilateral talks, the prime minister claimed that Pakistan was one of the most investor-friendly countries, offering opportunities for foreign investors with a market of nearly 200 million people. The establishment of a joint trade committee was an important vehicle to identify bottlenecks and resolve issues in trade relations between the two countries, he added.
The Belarusian president suggested developing joint ventures and business-to-business contracts in building of heavy machinery, including automotive engineering, agricultural harvesting machinery, road construction machinery and dump trucks. He said the ventures should process surgical instruments, pharmaceuticals and other areas of mutual benefit as well.
The meeting noted that economic relations with Belarus could be an investment window to Europe for Pakistan.
According to informed sources, the Minister for National Food Security, Sikander Hayat Khan Bosan, will soon visit Belarus to explore the possibilities of setting up joint ventures in agro-based industries.
The fourth Belarus-Pakistan Business and Investment Forum concluded with the finalisation of documents to boost cooperation between the two countries, including memorandums, agreements and protocols. The protocol of exchange of instruments for ratification of the friendship treaty between Belarus and Pakistan was also signed.
Other agreements included mutual legal assistance in civil and economic affairs and assistance in customs matters. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the National Bank of Belarus and the State Bank of Pakistan.