Pakistan and Uzbekistan recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up of a joint working group on trade and economic affairs for promoting economic partnership. The agreement will help both the nations identify areas for trade enhancement, promotion of inter-governmental projects in different sectors and improve connectivity.

A nine-member delegation headed by Uzbekistan deputy prime minister Sardor Umurzakov arrived yesterday in Pakistan and called on Prime Minister Imran Khan and chief of army staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

According to Abdul Razak Dawood, advisor to prime minister on commerce, industries and production and investment, Pakistan wants to strengthen its ties with the central Asian states in diverse fields.

In a meeting with Dawood, both sides agreed to start negotiations for a bilateral early harvest plan, proceeding to a preferential trade agreement (PTA) to offer increased market access to each other’s products.

They also agreed to have mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) for harmonisation of standards and sanitary and phytosanitary measures. A business forum for the private sector of both countries would also be set up, according to Pakistani media reports.