Islamabad—Russia was a huge market for Pakistani products as it was among top 10 economies of the world with annual imports of over $ 175 billion, but Pakistan’s share of trade with Russia was 0.06 percent of its total trade which was quite negligible and Pakistani businessmen should step up efforts to explore Russian market for promoting trade and exports, observed Qazi M. Khalilulllah, Pakistan’s Ambassador-designate to Russian Federation while exchanging views with business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He said Russia was a major importer of food products which accounted for 13 percent of its total imports and Pakistan has good opportunity to promote export of its food products to Russia by improving their quality and ensuring compliance of sanitary and phytosanitary standards. He said Russia held annual International Food Exhibition “WorldFood Moscow: and this year’s exhibition would be held in September 2016. It was a good opportunity for Pakistani food exporters to participate in this Expo and explore export potential for Pakistani fruits & vegetables, fish & seafood, meat & poultry and other products.
He said Pakistani textiles, pharmaceuticals, surgical instruments, cosmetics, leather goods, plastic and many other products could find good market in Russia. He suggested that Pakistani businessmen should consider setting up a certification agency to improve the quality and standards of their products at par with international requirements which would help them in boosting exports. He said ICCI should take a delegation to Russia and assured that he would extend all possible facilitation services to connect them with right counterparts in Russia.
In his welcome address, Atif Ikram Sheikh, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that Pakistan-Russia bilateral trade of around US$ 350-400 million did not reflect the real potential of both countries and more efforts were needed to improve it. He said Russia was still an explored market for our businessmen and Pakistan Embassy in Russia should help in identifying potential markets for Pakistani products.
He said government should cooperate in establishing warehouses in Russia to display Pakistani products which would help in promoting exports with Russia. He said Russian technology & machinery could help in modernizing Pakistan’s industry and Embassy should facilitate in such efforts. He said Russian investors should be convinced to invest in Pakistan’s power generation, textiles, construction, LNG, oil & gas, petrochemical and other sectors.