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Kazakhstan hosting trade summit for Pakistan in Almaty in May: envoy

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Naveed Ahmad Khan

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Republic of Kazakhstan to Pakistan Yerzhan Kistafin called on the Federal Minister of National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam here on Friday. Senior Joint Secretary Javed Humayun also attended the meeting. Fakhar welcomed the Ambassador of Kazakhstan and said that Pakistan looks forward to taking the relationship with Kazakhstan to the next level.

Imam said that the current trade between Kazakhstan and Pakistan is the most Pakistan has with any Central Asian country however, it is far below its true potential. Fakhar said that Pakistan and Kazakhstan should take advantage of the opportunity at hand and ensure maximum cooperation.

He said that the bilateral cooperation between the two countries can be of immense benefit to Pakistan and Kazakhstan. Both dignitaries discussed the MoU signed between the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of National Food Security and Research on the cooperation in the field of agriculture.

Fakhar stressed cooperation in the field of livestock breeding and plant cultivation, agricultural products trade, quarantine and plant protection, veterinary medicine and agricultural research. Fakhar said that Pakistan has excess rice and potato which can be exported to Kazakhstan. H.E. Yerzhan Kistafin showed keen interest in importing rice from Pakistan and stated that Kazakhstan already imports rice from Russia and so it would be beneficial for them to directly import from Pakistan.

Both dignitaries agreed to conduct an online meeting in April of this year between the officials of Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to further enhance cooperation. Yerzhan Kistafin briefed the minister that Kazakhstan is hosting a trade summit only for Pakistan in Atakent Expo Centre, Almaty, Kazakhstan in May of this year to allow Pakistani companies an opportunity to show case their products to the Kazakhstan business community.

He informed the minister that over 60 Pakistani companies will attend from various sectors such as agricultural machinery, agricultural products sports goods, surgical instruments, handicrafts, confectionary He said that he was extremely excited to enhance bilateral ties with Pakistan. Yerzhan Kistafin informed the minister that during the 10th session of Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation between Kazakhstan and Pakistan which occurred in November, 2021, both governments agreed to increase turnover of agriculture products between the two countries. Fakhar Imam said that collaboration in scientific research can be a cornerstone in increasing trade potential of the two countries.

Yerzhan Kistafin said that Cotton Research Institute of Multan and Kazakh Research Institute of Cotton Growing can work together for exchange of cotton germplasm, training of scientists, joint breeding programs and to promote joint publications and seminars which was welcomed by the federal minister. Fakhar said that Pakistan faces a number of challenges but with the right policy interventions under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, agriculture sector can be transformed.

He said that Pakistani agriculture has been tottering along the traditional agricultural techniques and it is time that we start to look ahead to the future in terms of modernization. Fakhar Imam praised the current governments efforts and said that in the last 70 years the main set back to research was insufficient funds.

This is the first time in the history of Pakistan that under Prime Minister Initiative Program billions of Rupees have been invested in agricultural research which has led to record production of wheat, maize and rice last year.

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