ISLAMABAD: Russia is a huge market for Pakistani products as it is among the top 10 economies of the world with annual imports of around $175 billion, but Pakistan’s share in trade with Russia was just 0.06%, says Qazi M Khalilullah, Pakistan’s Ambassador-designate to the Russian Federation.
“This is quite negligible and businessmen should step up efforts to explore the Russian market for promoting trade and exports,” Khalilullah stressed while exchanging views with the business community at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).
Calling Russia a major importer of food products that constituted 13% of total imports, he pointed out that Pakistan had a good opportunity to promote export of its food products by improving quality and ensuring compliance with sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards.
Russia annually holds an international food exhibition entitled “World Food Moscow” and this year the fair will be held in September.
“It is a good opportunity for the food exporters to participate and explore the export potential for fruits, vegetables, fish and seafood, meat, poultry and other products,” he said.
Apart from these, Pakistani textiles, pharmaceuticals, surgical instruments, cosmetics, leather goods, plastic and many other products could find a lucrative market in Russia.
He suggested that businessmen should consider setting up a certification agency for improving the quality and standard of their products in line with the international requirements, which would help them in boosting exports.
He asked the ICCI to take a delegation to Russia and assured the businessmen of all possible facilitation to connect them to the right counterparts in Russia.
Earlier in his speech, ICCI President Atif Ikram Sheikh insisted that trade with Russia of around $350-400 million did not reflect the real potential of both countries and more efforts were needed to improve it.
He said Russia was still an unexplored market and Pakistan Embassy in Russia should help in identifying potential areas of cooperation. Sheikh suggested that the government should cooperate in establishing warehouses in Russia for displaying Pakistani products and promoting their exports.
Source: The Express Tribune