Ambassador of Kazakhstan Yerzhan Kistafin on Monday said his country was keen to strengthen and deepen trade ties with Pakistan as the two countries had good potential to trade with each other in multiple sectors. The envoy was talking to a delegation of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) that called on him led by its President Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari. Ambassador Yerzhan Kistafin spoke about the opportunities for doing business in Kazakhstan and the advantages of his country as a regional hub. He welcomed the ICCI’s plan to take a delegation to Kazakhstan and assured the provision of all necessary organizational and logistical support from the Kazakh side to make the visit a successful one. ICCI President Bakhtawari said Pakistan and Kazakhstan could cooperate in many fields, including construction, agriculture, energy, textiles, pharmaceuticals, tourism, engineering equipment, machinery, banking and finance for mutual benefits. He said the ICCI had planned to take a big delegation to Kazakhstan in July to interact with Kazakh counterparts and develop strong business linkages with them in order to explore all untapped areas of mutual cooperation. He thanked the ambassador for his assurance to provide all possible support to the delegation. Bakhtawari welcomed the launch of direct flights by Kazakhstan with Pakistan and urged the government to expedite its work for their early start. He said the Pakistani ports provided the shortest route to the land-locked Kazakhstan to the Arabian Sea and emphasized that both countries should also establish land and railways links to enhance business relations. ICCI Senior Vice President Faad Waheed said Pakistan and Kazakhstan were gateways for each other to get easy access to their respective regional markets and called for developing close cooperation to take advantage of that potential. ICCI Vice President Engineer Azhar ul Islam Zafar, Khalid Iqbal Malik Group Leader, Zafar Bakhtawari, Dr Muhammad Usman and Ameer Hamza also spoke on the occasion and termed the launch of direct flights a historic development between the two countries.