Pakistan and Uzbekistan on Monday signed several agreements to expand bilateral investment and increase the two-way trade to USD 1 billion.
The visiting Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister, Khodjave Jamshid Abdukhakimovich, signed nine MoUs with Pakistan's Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar.
The two countries also decided to implement the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) from February 1, 2023, Qamar told the media.
The commerce ministry said that the two countries discussed the implementation of the Agreement between Uzbekistan and Pakistan on Transit Trade (AUPTT) and Uzbekistan would notify rules in this regard in February next year.
Qamar said that after the implementation of PTA and other trade agreements between the two countries, “there is a possibility of increasing the bilateral trade to USD 1 billion.”
They also decided to undertake a joint visit to the Afghan capital next month to discuss the issues faced by Pakistani and Uzbek transporters.
“Both sides agreed to formulate a joint strategy for transit trade through Afghanistan. Regional understanding on Transit and Trade Framework to be prepared including joint fund/mechanism for the upkeep of road infrastructure in Afghanistan,” according to a statement.
Uzbekistan has requested an off-dock terminal at Karachi and Gwadar ports and was assured full facilitation, the statement said.
The two countries also decided to hold trade exhibitions and prepare a strategy to cooperate in e-commerce.
The Uzbek delegation is also scheduled to meet a number of officials during its visit, including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
Pakistan and Uzbekistan enjoy close ties and the Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev visited Pakistan earlier this year to further bolster bilateral ties and discuss connectivity projects.