By Sara Israfilbayova
Ambassador of Azerbaijan in Pakistan Ali Alizada has invited the members of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry to set up various facilities, particularly in the pharmaceutical sphere, at Azerbaijan’s Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Baku.
The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry said in a message that the pharmaceutical products cannot only be supplied to the Azerbaijani market but also to other countries as there is huge demand for pharmaceutical products in the region, he said.
He also touched upon the possibility of developing business ties among entrepreneurs on the supplies of rice and textiles to Azerbaijan and strawberries, grapes and pomegranates to Pakistan.
Earlier, Pakistani Ambassador to Baku Saeed Khan Mohmand said that several pharmaceutical companies currently eye partnership with Azerbaijan.
He stressed that Pakistan's pharma industry is quite huge and owns modern technologies, further mentioning that Azerbaijan can also import surgical goods and medical instruments from Pakistan.
Pakistan has a very vibrant pharma industry, with about 400 pharmaceutical manufacturing units including those operated by 25 multinationals present in the country. The Pakistan Pharmaceutical Industry meets around 70 percent of the country’s demand of Finished Medicine.
President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on March 17, 2016, on measures to create a Free Trade Zone type special economic area covering the territory of the Baku International Sea Trade Port in the Alat township of Baku’s Garadagh district.
FTZ is expected to bring up to $1 billion just in the first few years. Special tax and customs policy, which will be pursued in the territory of the free trade zone will also stipulate further development and simplification of a number of procedures.
FTZ will be located within the grounds of the new port, covering an area of 100 hectares. Since the new port is being built at the major railway juncture connecting the North-South and the East-West railway lines in Azerbaijan, FTZ will also have rail access. Serving as a multimodal transit logistics hub, the new port and FTZ will become a major consolidation and distribution centre in Central Eurasia that provides a wide range of value added services.
Pakistan and Azerbaijan have friendly and warm relations characterized by common views on major global and regional issues.
Bilateral relations between Pakistan and Azerbaijan are constantly on the move. Exchange of visits of Azerbaijan and Pakistani leaders as well as the other high level delegations played a pivotal role in cementing the links between the countries.
The trade turnover between the countries amounted to $7.34 million in January-October 2017. Almost $5.7 million fells on the import of Pakistani products, according to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee.
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