close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

Minister stresses regional railways lines to boost integration

Business

May 26, 2019

ISLAMABAD: A proposed railways line that will pass through Uzbekistan, Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan would boost regional trade and increase connectivity to benefit the member countries, planning minister said on Saturday.

Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Khusro Bakhtyar was talking to Ambassador of Uzbekistan Furqat Sidiqov who said the proposal for 700 kilometers long railway line is in the pipeline.

Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan, member infrastructure and senior officials

of the ministry were also present at the meeting.

The railways authorities of the four countries signed a protocol last year to set up a joint working group and financial consortium to build the railways line in the region. The railway would cross Mazar-i-Sharif, Khulm, Puli, Khumri, Doshi, Surabai, Jalalabad, and Torkham. The railways line would provide means for cargo transportation in the region.

The project also envisaged construction of high-voltage power lines along the lines to electrify the railway bogeys. It will also create job opportunities across the region and lead to transit fees of $400 to 500 million alone for Afghanistan. The estimated cost of the project with an expansive regional corridor is around three billion dollars. The planning minister said other infrastructure projects are also in the pipeline for development of north-south connectivity besides the proposed corridor between Torkham and Dushanbe. “Uzbekistan and Pakistan enjoy excellent relations and noted with appreciation that bilateral cooperation has increased manifold in various areas,” the statement quoted the minister as saying. Bakhtyar emphasised the need to explore more possibilities of cooperation and initiate joint ventures in oil and gas, agriculture, food, textile, construction and infrastructure areas.

“Joint ventures in various areas can boost regional trade and tourism as well as enhance regional integration,” the minister said.

Pakistan is the second biggest trade partner of Uzbekistan in the Central Asian region after Russia. Pakistan is importing vegetables and fruit of $70 million from Uzbekistan and it exports sugar, potatoes and citrus fruits and others of $60 million to the central Asian country. Analysts said trade volume between the two countries could be increased if Pakistani traders are facilitated to build direct trading connection with the central Asian country for various products. Pakistan currently imports cotton from Afghan border, but the commodity originally comes from Uzbek exporters.

Topstory minus plus

Opinion minus plus

Newspost minus plus

Editorial minus plus

National minus plus

World minus plus

Sports minus plus

Business minus plus

Karachi minus plus

Lahore minus plus

Islamabad minus plus

Peshawar minus plus