Visit of Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan in June, 2019 would open new avenues of cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan. This was stated by Ambassador Faisal Niaz Tirmizi while speaking to students and faculty of the Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University in Bishkek on April 11, 2019. The visit of the Pakistani Prime Minister will be preceded by visits of the Defense, Foreign and Information Ministers as well as experts from other Ministries and Agencies in the next three months. The Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University, co-founded by Kyrgyz and Turkish governments, is the biggest Turkish university in Central Asia with over 6,000 students from 14 countries. Currently, there are 78 programmes including professional preparatory programmes, undergraduate, graduate and doctorate programmes in the fields of science and technology, agriculture, veterinary, communications, history, literature and theology etc.
He was received by Rector Sebhattin Balci and Head of the Department of the International Relations. He also spoke of immense business potential between the two countries through Kyrgyzstan, China and Pakistan road link. Present trade between the two countries was US$ 5 million which could easily be raised to US$ 200 million in the next 10 years as Pakistan provided the shortest outlet to international waters to Kyrgyzstan and Kyrgyzstan was the entry point of Pakistani goods and products in Central Asia and the 190-million strong Eurasian Economic markets comprising Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia.
Pakistan could cooperate with Kyrgyzstan in fields of textile and tourism and could provide them with fresh vegetables and fruits during winter seasons. Pakistani investors could also set up textile factories in Kyrgyzstan to export products to Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union to which Kyrgyzstan has duty free access. Similarly, Pakistan could be a big market for top quality Kyrgyz organic meat, honey, fruits and dry fruits. He also briefed them about the progress made in US$ 1.6 billion CASA-1000 project through which Pakistan would buy 1300 MW of electricity from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Ambassador also underscored the need for more tourism from both countries as the 80 million strong Pakistani middle class was looking for new avenues for tourism. At present, 200,000 tourists from Pakistan go to Turkey every year, 40,000 to Azerbaijan and 20,000 to Uzbekistan. Presently, 2600 students are studying in Kyrgyzstan contributing over US$ 24 million to the Kyrgyz economy every year. Kyrgyzstan students could also avail top notch universities in Pakistan.
The talked ended with a 40-minute Questions and Answers session in which questions were raised about Kashmir, Afghanistan, bilateral relations, multilateral relations etc.
11 April 2019
Last modified: November 24, 2019
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