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Direct banking channels must to further cement trade ties

Russian Ambassador in LCCI

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M J Hayat

LAHORE: Bilateral trade between Pakistan and Russia can be enhanced to a record high if direct banking channels are set in both the countries.

These views were expressed by the Russian Ambassador to Pakistan Alexey Y. Dedov while addressing businessmen and traders at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

The Ambassador said that currently Pakistan and Russian bilateral trade numbers interim of dollar are encouraging on as till the September 2018, mutual trade has touched the figure of $624 million and the figure will further be enhanced once the chairman of Trade and Economic Commission is appointed as agreed between the prime ministers of both the countries.

He said that both of the countries were busy in elections and in the upcoming years there very bright prospective for enhancing the bilateral trade to further highest.

To a question about the ambassador said that if the direct banking channels are set up the trade volume can further be enhance.

Trade Representative Yury M Kozlov said that earlier two years before it was decided between Russian central Bank and the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) one NBP branch will be set up in Russia but the decision was never materialized. He added that there is a need to enhance bilateral cooperation.

While conducting mutual trade both the countries have to face huge losses in terms of money when the payments are paid through other banks via Dubai etc.

In reply to the answers of businessmen and trades, he also welcomed the idea of barter system between the two countries.

LCCI President Almas Haider said that there is a huge bilateral potential between the two countries.

Although there trade has improved significantly in the recent years from $331 million to $442 million, there is a great yet a great untapped potential for which mutual corporation is required.

“These figures don’t reflect the actual potential. It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan exports to Russia were around $206 million in 2013 that further dipped to $130 million which Pakistan needs to untimely” enhance to tackle its current account deficit.

The mutual exchange of trade delegations between the countries is need of the hour; he said hopping that the meeting will prove instrumental in further cementing the working relationship between the both countries.

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