The Pakistani authorities hope for the reduction of customs and banking barriers between removal of Pakistan and Russia to give impetus to the development of economic ties, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan said.
"The Pakistani and Russian sides are currently negotiating two areas that can give impetus to the development of economic ties between the countries, i.e. customs duties and banking cooperation. If we make efforts in these areas, then we will see the result. Our countries are discussing how to remove customs and banking barriers to increase investment in Pakistan," he said.
Ayub Khan recalled that in the Soviet times, the Karachi steel mill was a large joint project of the two countries. Currently, the countries are working on the construction of the Pakistan Stream gas pipeline with a length of more than 1,000 kilometers. The launch of the project, according to the minister, "will give confidence" to other Russian companies that they can invest in Pakistan, "in any area of interest," for example, metallurgy, energy, automotive industry.
"There are other areas in which Russia could invest. These are metallurgy and energy. The Pakistani economy has a pretty serious size, but people do not know its real size. Officially, Pakistan's GDP is $ 300 billion, but there is also an undocumented sector, which is also equal to $ 300 billion. In total, the Pakistani economy is estimated at $ 600 billion," the minister noted.
He added that the training of young people from Pakistan in Russian universities - for example, engineering and sciences, genetics and others - is also one of the opportunities for cooperation between the countries.