ICCI calls for expediting TAPI project to boost industrialization

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Mehtab Pirzada

Islamabad (        ) Faad Waheed, Acting President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) said that high energy cost in Pakistan is a major hurdle in smooth growth of industrial activities and urged that Pakistan and Turkmenistan should speed up the work on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project that will ensure cheap energy and boost industrialization in the country. He said this while talking to Mohammad Yaqub Tabani, Honorary Consul of Turkmenistan in Pakistan during his visit to ICCI along with his son Hatim Tabani.

Faad Waheed said that both countries should focus on enhancing bilateral trade and economic relations as they have good potential to do trade in many items. He stressed that Pakistan and Turkmenistan should introduce easy visa policy for businessmen to facilitate the frequent exchange of trade delegations that would help boost two-way trade between the two countries. The current strict visa policy on both sides is a major hurdle in promoting business relations between the two countries. He termed the establishment of air, road and railway connectivity between Pakistan and Central Asian Republics very important to improve Pakistan’s trade and exports with these countries.

Speaking on the occasion, Mohammad Yaqub Tabani, Honorary Consul of Turkmenistan to Pakistan said that Turkmenistan is an energy rich country and can meet energy needs of Pakistan. He said that Turkmenistan is producing cheap electricity which can be supplied to Pakistan to meet the energy needs of its industry and growing population. He said that being a landlocked country, Turkmenistan wants access through the sea to the outside world and Pakistan provides it shortest route through Karachi and Gwadar ports. Therefore, close cooperation between the two counties would produce win-win outcomes for them.

Engr. Azhar ul Islam Zafar, Acting Senior Vice President and Ahmed Khan Acting Vice President ICCI said that direct air connectivity between Pakistan and Turkmenistan should be the focus of both countries to enhance bilateral business and investment relations.