Uzbekistan to hold talks every year to review PTA



ISLAMABAD:

Uzbekistan Ambassador to Pakistan Aybek Arif Usmanov on Monday said that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) bloc had a significant role in economic and trade integration between the member countries.

As chair of the SCO, Uzbekistan will host the 2022 annual summit of the SCO Heads of State Council on September 15-16 in Samarkand.

Talking to APP, the ambassador underlined that economic and trade relations among the members of the SCO were crucial to regional growth and prosperity. In the upcoming conference, transit trade and commercial cooperation between the member states will be discussed in different sessions.

He said that member countries would also talk about establishing industrial zones, with the first industrial zone being established in the city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

The eradication of poverty and economic development remains the main focus of the conference. Discussions will also be held on the promotion of digital transformation in the member countries.

The ambassador noted that information technology and renewable energy would be the other salient topics of the SCO summit this year. Member states are expected to sign agreements on renewable energy.

There will also be sessions on telemedicine at the summit this year, a field that has expanded in the wake of Covid-19. Mutual cooperation and dialogue between SCO member states remains critical to achieving these objectives.

The Uzbek ambassador expressed the hope that Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif would attend the SCO conference.

He emphasised that Pakistan and Uzbekistan had a very important role to play in enhancing trade and economic integration in the SCO bloc.

The implementation of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Uzbekistan will boost bilateral trade in the future. The ambassador said that negotiations would be held every year to review the PTA between the two countries.

Both countries are working on a mechanism to reduce mutual trade barriers and resolve customs issues in order to enhance economic integration.

The ambassador underscored that infrastructure and road and rail links were pivotal in promoting bilateral and transit trade.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2022.

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Originally published at tribune.com.pk

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