Yury Kozlov the Russian trade representative revealed that Pak-Russia bilateral trade is expected to reach around $750 to $800 million by the end of 2018. The trade between the two nations reached $660 million in the first 10 months. There has been a lack of direct banking channels that has affected the pace of the trade volume between Pakistan and Russia.
Kozlov during a meeting at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) said, “In this regard, the State Bank of Pakistan and the Central Bank of Russian Federation signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in January 2018, but the progress was too slow as not much has happened since then; therefore, the state banks of both countries will have to act more energetically.”
Kozlov further revealed that Russia has cooperated with Pakistan in different projects including the construction of Karachi to Lahore of north and south gas pipeline.
He said, “Russia had offered assistance in the expansion of Pakistan Steel Mills while Russia’s Gazprom has also shown interest in financing Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project.”
As he handed over presentations of 200 Russian firms, he said these companies are keen to work in Pakistan and explore different markets.
He asked KCCI to send their trade delegation to Russia to cooperate in trade and commerce.
He said, “We are not much interested in hosting trade delegations from business councils or forums but would like to see a business delegation from KCCI so that you could explore trade opportunities and improve ties with Russian counterparts.”
Earlier, KCCI President Junaid Esmail Makda said, “Pakistan Steel Mills, which has unfortunately become the dark side of Pakistan’s economy with zero production, can be turned around through Russian assistance.
Adding, “Pakistan can export livestock, meat, apple, mango, citrus and seafood to Russian markets.”