Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday invited the business community of Tajikistan to invest in Pakistan, assuring them of facilitation by his government.
The premier is in Tajikistan on a two-day visit, during which he will attend the 20th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO’s) Heads of State Summit in Dushanbe, according to a tweet by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
After arriving in Dushanbe, the prime minister inaugurated the maiden meeting of the Pakistan-Tajikistan Business Forum, for which a group of Pakistani businessmen have also travelled to Tajikistan.
The joint business forum will catalyse growing trade and investment relations and promote business-to-business contacts between the trading communities of both countries, Radio Pakistan reported.
Addressing the forum, Prime Minister Imran stressed the need to increase bilateral trade between the two countries, regretting that presently it amounted to a “minuscule” $80 million and there was a lot of potential still.
He said Pakistan, with a population of 220m people, was a “huge market” for the Tajik business community and investors. Inviting them to Pakistan, he assured them of government facilitation to make business activity easier.
The premier said that both countries would benefit from more trade.
He also praised Tajikistan’s cheap and clean energy, particularly hydroelectricity, saying: “Unfortunately we have very expensive electricity in Pakistan.”
The premier said work on the CASA-1000 power transmission line would be expedited so Pakistan too could benefit from “your clean and cheap energy [such as] hydroelectricity”.
On Afghanistan, the prime minister prayed for peace in the country, saying that it was “extremely important” for Pakistan-Tajikistan trade due to better connectivity.
“Your president and I will be trying everything to make sure there is peace [in Afghanistan], especially between the two major communities of Tajiks and Pakhtuns. We will be doing our best to make sure they get together and there is an inclusive government,” he said.
Earlier, the prime minister was received by Tajik Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda and was accorded a red carpet welcome at Dushanbe International Airport, the PMO said.