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The News

Published Date: May 23, 2014

Govt has changed traditional stance for bolstering trade with neighbours

Minister for commerce Khurram Dastagir Khan has said that PML-N
government changed the traditional stance with neighbours encouraging
and initiating trade relations with the regional countries.

minister was speaking at the Regional Conference on ‘Trans-boundary
cooperation in the energy sector’ organised by Sustainable Development
Institute in collaboration with CUTS International and FES India here

Khurram Dastagir Khan said that the government
recognised connectivity in the form of banking, infrastructure, cell
phone and energy for trade and investment. He said that in trade and
investment, the connectivity is very important in regional integration
where regional cooperation provides opportunities. He said that the
country will hopefully balance the demand and supply in 2 to 3 years. He
said that the second phase is renovation of energy sector, which
includes import o 1000 MW electricity from Tajikistan to Pakistan, which
required peace in Fata and Afghanistan.

The minister said conferences like this help in opinion making in favour of greater Indo-Pak trade relations.

Najeeb Azizi, professor in public policy and economics, Kabul
University, Afghanistan, said that issues like Climate Change shifted
the interest from regional to beyond regional approach. He said that
multilateralism is a precondition for talking issues involving
trans-boundary issues.

Asian Development Bank Country
Director Wener Leipach said that location of power station and grid
system is devised keeping in view demography of a country. He said that
starting from lower level indicates that you want to move ahead to mega
projects. He said that the private sector is ready to invest and
Pakistan should try to work in tackling security aspect.

Aminjonov, Deputy Director for Chinese and Central Asian Studies in
Kazakhstan, said that South Asia looks at Central Asia as energy
producer and trade partner. He said that Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are
rich in generating electricity and transmitting it to other countries in
the summer season while gas can be supplied for winter season. He said
that TAPI project may not materialise very soon due to security
situation in Afghanistan.

Adil Khattak, Chief, Attock Oil
Refineries, said that energy is as a big issue as health and sanitation
which is affecting Pakistan and Afghanistan the most.

Chatterji from CUTS-India said that energy consumption per capita is
very low in South Asia. He stressed the need of exploiting
non-conventional sources of energy like wind, biogas and solar energy.

Mehmood Janjua from SDPI talking to ‘The News’ said that Nawaz Sharif
had a better comfort level with BJP in the past and hoped that after the
ascendance of Narendra Modi to premiership, the bilateral relations
between Pakistan and India will move towards peace, greater trade and
relaxation of visa regime. He said that trans-boundary cooperation in
energy sector needs to be enhanced but stressed that being a smaller
market, the interests of businesspersons in Pakistan should be given due