The possibility of Uzbekistan joining the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will be discussed at the forthcoming intergovernmental commission this year, Ambassador of Pakistan to Tashkent, Riaz Hussain Bukhari told Uzbekistan Today.
"We are working on the inclusion of Uzbekistan in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor," said Bukhari.
The Ambassador said that Pakistan together with Chinese partners is working on an ambitious project, which will be completed within the next three years. "In addition to Uzbekistan, we are discussing the possibility of other countries in the region joining the corridor,” he said.
Pakistan and Uzbekistan have huge economic potential, but the situation in Afghanistan does not allow to realize it, says the Ambassador. "We want direct land communication between our countries, which, unfortunately, is not possible due to the situation in Afghanistan,” says Bukhari.
Such a link, he said, will significantly increase the level of cooperation in the humanitarian and economic fields. "According to a study conducted in Pakistan, bilateral trade and economic potential of our countries is about $ 3 billion. However, due to poor logistics, the potential is very difficult to realise”, the Ambassador said.
Joining China - Pakistan Economic Corridor promises significant benefits for Uzbekistan, particularly in terms of exports. Deep-water port of Karachi is the closest port to the country.
"Two of our ports of Karachi and Gwadar are the closest to Uzbekistan, and therefore the most beneficial in terms of time and cost effectiveness. I hope that as soon as there is peace in Afghanistan, our trade relations will improve , "said Bukhari.
This corridor includes the construction of transport and logistic system including railways, roads, oil and gas pipelines, as well as the creation of large storage capacities of oil and electricity production. The volume of Chinese investment in these projects will exceed $ 40 billion.