Pakistan-Russia virtual trade conference held at Rawalpindi Chamber

Rise in cost of doing business is hurting the industrial growth: Saqib Rafiq

RAWALPINDI, Feb 29 (dna):Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with Saint Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and  Industry ,Russia organized the "Pakistan-Russia Virtual Trade Conference" at Chamber House here on Thursday. 

In his welcome address President RCCI Saqib Rafiq lauded St. Petersburg Chamber for the cooperation and assistance for the virtual trade conference.

He gave a short briefing on Pakistan and Russia trade relations, imports and exports, key sectors and future prospects of trade relations. Trade between Pakistan and Russia has been growing steadily, although it remains below its potential ,he said and added that both countries have expressed the desire to enhance trade and economic cooperation.

Saqib informed that the total bilateral trade amounted to $920 million in 2022-23 while Pakistan’s exports to Russia totaled $74 million and imports reached $8 46m. 

The trade between Pakistan and Russia primarily includes goods such as wheat, textiles, surgical instruments, rice ,fruits, chickpeas and leather products from Pakistan, while Russia exports machinery, steel products, fertilizers, and energy resources to Pakistan, he added.

Ms. Ekaterina Lebedeva, Vice President of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Arbi Abubakarov, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for External Relations of St. Petersburg, Pavel Burlakov, Acting Trade Representative of the Russian Federation, Ms. Maria Qazi Joint Secretary MOFA, RCCI office bearers and members attended the conference.

The moderator and host, Ms. Ekaterina Lebedeva, Vice President of the St.Petersburg Chamber, in her remarks appreciated RCCI role for connectivity, networking and organizing this important conference. Joint Secretary, MOFA, Ms Maria Qazi, shared key trade data on import and exports between Pakistan and Russia.

Shahid Saleem, Former President and Chairman International Affairs Committee highlighted the scope of trade opportunities for JVs and investment in various sectors including IT, Gem Stone, Agriculture and Renewable energy.

During the Q/A session, participants shared key recommendations and highlighted the challenges mainly, financial settlements, banking channels, direct flights and barter trade .

In the end SVP Hamza Sarosh in his closing remarks said that “We look forward to witness the positive outcomes that will undoubtedly emerge from the “Pakistan-Russia Virtual Trade Conference.”