Pakistan and Azerbaijan set to boost cooperation in IT and Telecom

Pakistan and Azerbaijan agreed to enhance cooperation in the IT and telecom sector during the delegation-level visit of Azerbaijan’s Minister of Digital Development Rashad Nabiyev on Tuesday.

The delegation held discussions with Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar on the finalization of the eagerly awaited Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and Transit Trade Agreement (TTA) between the two countries.

During the high-level meeting, Minister Nabiyev expressed optimism about concluding the PTA during the first week of August, marking a major step forward in boosting trade ties between Azerbaijan and Pakistan. The PTA aims to facilitate the exchange of goods on preferential terms, benefiting both economies and fostering deeper economic cooperation.

Tech Collaboration

The delegation also met with Pakistan’s Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque, to discuss digital transformation, software development, and IT exports. Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in the technology and telecom sectors. Minister Nabiyev emphasized the need for a joint working group to strengthen ties and explore software development partnerships.

The meeting also included a comprehensive briefing by Syed Junaid Imam, Member IT, on the digital landscape of Pakistan, providing the Azerbaijani delegation with valuable insights into the country’s IT ecosystem. Pakistan expressed its commitment to achieving the Digital Pakistan vision.

Trade agreements discussed

Minister Nabiyev further informed Minister Qamar that the Transit Trade Agreement is well on its way to being signed either by the end of August or early September. As for the Transit Trade Agreement, the draft was shared with Azerbaijan on September 15, 2022, with the consensus of all stakeholders. The comprehensive agreement encompasses all modes of transportation, including road, railways, air, and sea, aiming to facilitate the smooth transit of goods between the two nations.

During the discussions, both sides thoroughly deliberated on tariff reduction modalities and lists, with the mutual goal of further easing trade procedures and promoting the exchange of goods and services.

Recognizing the urgency and importance of concluding the Transit Trade Agreement, Federal Minister Syed Naveed Qamar proposed the establishment of a High-Level Joint Working Group. The group’s primary objective will be to ensure swift and effective finalization of the agreement, fostering seamless trade and transit processes.

Moreover, both Pakistan and Azerbaijan have been actively engaged in negotiations for the Preferential Trade Agreement. Pakistan has already shared its list of requested items, comprising 103 goods, with Azerbaijan on June 14, 2023, to gain better market access. Simultaneously, Azerbaijan has presented its request list, featuring 84 items, to the Ministry of Commerce in Pakistan, which is currently holding stakeholder consultations on these items.

Baku and Islamabad flights to resume soon

Addressing the matter of enhanced connectivity, Minister Nabiyev revealed Azerbaijan’s plans to initiate direct flights between Islamabad and Baku soon. This move is expected to bolster tourism and trade prospects by enabling more efficient movement of goods and people between the two nations.

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