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Pakistan and Russia are discussing ways to broaden their economic cooperation

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Russia are holding extensive discussions aimed at strengthening economic cooperation, focusing on key sectors such as banking, investment, energy, and agriculture.

The representatives from both countries are engaging with the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) to explore various avenues for collaboration.

The discussions aim to facilitate smoother financial transactions, including the establishment of correspondent accounts and bank branches in both nations. Pakistan seeks to connect its banks to Russia’s Financial Messaging System (SPFS).

Additionally, both sides are exploring investment opportunities and barter trade, exchanging lists of free trade zones and outlining potential barter deals between Pakistani and Russian companies.

Infrastructure and Transport: Cooperation in the transport sector is a key focus, with plans to enhance cargo transportation through the port of Karachi and develop the “Quetta-Taftan” railway section as part of the “North-South” International Transport Corridor. The possibility of allowing Russian ships access to the port of Gwadar and establishing direct flights between the two countries is also being considered.

Energy Cooperation: Russia is interested in developing Pakistan’s gas industry, including the construction of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and potential swap gas supplies from Russia. Discussions include the modernization of Pakistan’s energy generating capacities, with Russian companies potentially playing a role. A working group on energy cooperation is also being considered.

Industrial and Agricultural Collaboration: Pakistan seeks Russian participation in the modernization of its transport infrastructure and heavy and light industries, as well as the establishment of new enterprises. Discussions are underway about expanding fertilizer supplies to Pakistan, exchanging medicines and medical devices, and promoting agricultural trade, including investment in Pakistan’s agro-industrial complex.

These discussions signal a significant push towards strengthening economic ties between Pakistan and Russia, potentially opening new avenues for trade, investment, and development in key sectors. The outcome of these talks could significantly impact the economic landscape of both countries.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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