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Afzal identifies areas for investment in Pakistan

RAWALPINDI: State Minister for Finance Rana Afzal has said that Pakistan offers promising investment opportunities while the government has introduced lucrative incentive to attract foreign investment. 
Halal food, tourism, leather, textile and pharmaceutical are the key areas where investors can make joint ventures, the state minister for finance further said while addressing the Pak-Uzbek Networking Session, organised by Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), here on Wednesday. 
Rana Muhammad Afzal was the chief guest on the occasion. Minister of Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan, Khodjaev Jamshid, also attended the session who was heading a 10-member trade delegation including Shamil Burnashev, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee of Uzbekistan on Investments, Adham Ikramov, Chairman of CCI of Uzbekistan, Bahadir Alihanov, Deputy Chairman of the Association Uztextile Industry, and Oybek Mirzabekov, Acting Chairman of JSC Uzsanoatexport (export of chemicals), among others. 
Addressing the Pak-Uzbek Networking Session, Rana Afzal said Pakistan offers promising investment opportunities. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is now offering vast range of rail and road networks to connect Pakistan with Central Asian Republics. There is a need to strengthen trade ties between the two countries. He lauded RCCI efforts in promoting trade activities in the country and the region through organizing exhibitions and business opportunity conferences. He said chambers are playing a vital role in promoting trade activities in the country. He said service sector is growing and investors can take benefit of Pakistani skilled labour in services sector including banking, insurance and leasing. 
He said that energy shortage has been overcome and gradually the government is lowering the per unit price of electricity to attract local and foreign investors. 
Addressing the session, Minister of Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan Khodjaev Jamshid thanked RCCI for inviting for the session and B2B meeting and urged Pakistani investors to opt joint ventures with Uzbek businessmen. He said the trade volume is very low between the two countries and there is need to increase the trade ties in different sectors including pharmaceutical, agriculture, leather and textile. 
Chairman of CCI of Uzbekistan Adham Ikramov, who signed memorandum of understanding with RCCI, said that the major aim of this MOU is to promote trade ties through exchange of trade delegates and exhibitions on reciprocal basis. 
Earlier President RCCI Zahid Latif Khan in his address said that Central Asia is a big market and Pakistan should explore new trade avenues in this region. It is need of the hour to explore new trade avenues and business opportunities between Pakistan and Central Asia. The CPEC offers great regional connectivity and integration from South Asia, Central Asian countries and beyond, he added. 
RCCI President apprised the Uzbek trade delegation of current and upcoming activities of the Rawalpindi chamber. 
Group Leader Suhail Altaf in his address said, “We should transform political relations into economic relations.” He suggested that PIA should start direct flights between Islamabad and Tashkent.