ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Under the new regional and strategic alliance, Pakistan and Russia will usher in a new era of economic cooperation in important areas such as IT, agriculture, power, petroleum, railways, water, and commerce.
According to well-placed diplomatic sources, both parties are expected to sign some major pacts on Friday in Russia.
Both the countries are in talks under the Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) on Trade, Economic, Scientific, and Technical Cooperation. Umar Ayub, the Federal Minister for EAD, is in Russia for three days of negotiations. Umar is leading Pakistan's team, and a hopeful sign is that a 16-member delegation from diverse sectors of the economy is also in Russia to undertake B2B meetings with Russian businesspeople.
The Russian media is giving the IGC level negotiations with Pakistan top priority. The Russian side's warmth may be gauged by the fact that three major media groups have already interviewed Umar Ayub, signaling the start of a new era between the two countries on economic fronts.
A Shareholders Agreement on the $3 billion Pakistan Stream gas Pipeline Project is also being negotiated by Moscow.
Russia is also interested in developing LNG-based floating power plants for Pakistan and supplying gas to the country. Moscow is willing to invest in power transmission lines, apart from extending its capabilities and investment in Pakistan's water sector.
More significantly, it wants Pakistan to export its agricultural and food supplies to Russia.
Russia has already established good defense connections with Pakistan, and now it wants to expand its involvement in vital economic sectors in the country.
A corporate delegation from Pakistan representing surgery, clothing, food, and agriculture met with Russian businesspeople and had excellent discussions.