ISLAMABAD, Feb 9 (Alliance News): Pakistan and Uzbekistan here on Wednesday agreed for enhancing bilateral trade and investment relations, particularly agriculture trade and machinery development via joint ventures to develop and promote local agriculture sector on modern lines.
The agreement to this regard was developed in meeting between Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Pakistan Oybek Usmanov, said a news release.
Adviser to Ministry Dr Akmal Siddique and Senior Joint Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research Javed Humayun were also attended the meeting.
The minister welcomed the Uzbekistan’s interest in investing in development of agriculture machinery in Pakistan via joint ventures and said that Pakistan’s 60 percent exports are of textile industry, adding that country has predominantly
agro-economy and value addition in this sector is vital for future economic growth.
He said Pakistan exported 3.7 million tonne of rice last year and this year has twice of that available for export. He welcomed Uzbekistan’s interest in importing rice from Pakistan.
Fakhar said the two countries could immensely benefit from exchange in agriculture research and value-added technologies and praised the quality of mechanization in Uzbekistan and said that Uzbekistan and Pakistan have huge trade potential.
Fakhar said Pakistan had immense export potential with respect to citrus fruits, rice, mangoes, onion, potatoes, fisheries and livestock, adding that it has 8 million tons of rice which can be exported.
The minister also acknowledged that value added industry needed to be set up by Pakistan to fully take advantage of its agricultural products, adding that Pakistan exported about 144,000 tonnes of mangoes last year, hence its export to Uzbekistan also has huge potential.
Oybek Usmanov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Pakistan told the federal minister that Uzbekistan is ready to increase multifaceted cooperation with Pakistan. He said high level engagement between the two countries was expected to reap fruitful results for both countries.
Pakistani agricultural products have huge potential if they are converted into value added products through processing, he said adding that Pakistan was a key exporter of citrus fruits and rice to Uzbekistan.
He said high-yielding cotton seed available that is pest and drought resistant which can increase Pakistan’s cotton output, adding that exchange of technical knowledge can benefit both countries.
The Ambassador showed great interest in importing rice from Pakistan and said that Uzbekistan was greatly interested in increasing trade between the two countries.