Ministry of Water & Power

1,300MW project to start next year: Tajik envoy

 The Ambassador of Tajikistan, Jononov Sherali, has said the work on the project for the provision of electricity to Pakistan will be started in January 2014 and completed within next two to three years.

`The signing of resolution by inter-governmental council of Central Asia South Asia (CASA) for the provision of 1,300MW electricity during the summer season would further strengthen relations between Pakistan and Tajikistan,` said the ambassador in a meeting at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Monday.He said the bilateral trade between the two countries could excel through exchange of trade delegations and holding of single country exhibitions. `China and Iran used to hold single country exhibitions in Tajikistan and the Lahore chamber should take lead in this regard,` said the ambassador and added that he was ready to arrange B-2-B meetings of Pakistani businessmen in Tajikistan provided the LCCI arranged a delegation`s visit there.

Tajikistan, said the envoy, was keen to further develop bilateral ties with Pakistan as both sides have a huge potential in various sectors of the economy.

`As much as 60 per cent of the cement consumed inTajikistan is being imported from Pakistan while a number of other companies belonging to pharmaceutical sector, agriculture and livestock are doing good business,` he said.

He said the embassy of Tajikistan in Islamabad would continue to facilitate Pakistani businessmen in getting visa on a priority basis.

LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari said that Pakistan and Tajikistan have good diplomatic relations.

However, the relationship as members of the OIC and ECO and the proximity to each other has not been translated into tangible economic ties. Working relations between the Tajik embassy and the LCCI would certainly contribute in improvingthe situation.

Mr Lashari was of the view that the regional grouping of the ECO needed to be activated on the lines of EU and ASEAN.

He said he hoped that Tajikistan being an important country among the CIS would try to play a leading role in developing closer linkages among the member states.

Unfortunately, the LCCI president said, Pakistan did not figure prominently among the trading partners of Tajikistan.

The major reasons for such a low level of the two-way trade have been lack of transportation facilities, absence of developed banking system in Tajikistan and to some extent security issues, etc.