Kazakhstan to start talks on trade deal next month: envoy.

ISLAMABAD -- KazakhsAtan would initiate dialogue on the preferential trade agreement with Pakistan next month and one of its airlines would start operations to Pakistan's major cities from January, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Pakistan Yerzhan Kistafin said on Sunday.

Speaking to the media at a seminar organised by the Centre for Pakistan and International Relations (COPAIR), the envoy said Kazakhstan's commerce and industry minister would visit Pakistan next month to discuss the trade agreement, among other things.

Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Kemeluly Tokayev would also visit Pakistan soon 'to develop close relations between the two nations', the ambassador said.

He hoped that the trade volume could easily be expanded from $197 million at present to $1 billion, and underlined information technology, pharmaceuticals, textiles and agriculture as important sectors.

Says direct flights to major cities of Pakistan will also begin from January

Mr Kistafin said a joint working group was already working to improve economic relations and regional economic integration in Pakistan and Kazakhstan.

The ambassador said his country believed in regional connectivity and stressed that mutual economic integration of South Asia and Central Asia would lead to prosperity across the region.

Major changes had taken place in the global economic scenario, which could improve the livelihoods of both countries, he said, adding that there were around 60 Russian companies working in Kazakhstan at...

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