The Ambassador of Uzbekistan Furqat Sidikov on Saturday said his country desired Trilateral Trade Commission comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan to promote trade, logistic and investment. Uzbekistan has extended its railway line up to Mazar Sharif in Afghanistan and wanted to extend it up to Turkham border in order to facilitate trade with Pakistan. Addressing business community during his visit to The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), he said Uzbekistan was running direct flights between Lahore and Tashkent twice a week and flights between Islamabad-Tashkent and Karachi-Tashkent would also be arranged soon. Tourism is increasing between the two countries and we are working closely with Pakistan’s religious ministry to promote and assist pilgrims to the Sufi holy places of Tashkent, Samarkand, and Bukhara, he added. He said Uzbekistan would also welcome Pakistani airlines for direct flights between the two countries. He said, Uzbekistan and Pakistan enjoyed deep historic religious and friendly relations. He said that Uzbekistan was the biggest trading partner of Pakistan in Central Asia as the bilateral trade between the two countries reached USD 95 million in the last nine months and with the current trend; it was expected to cross USD 300 million in next few years. Bekzod Mamatkulov, Chairman of Supervisory Board, BMB Trade Group, who was accompanying the envoy, said BMB Trade Group was one of the largest business groups in Uzbekistan and it was now looking for partners in Pakistan as it considered Pakistan an attractive market for business and investment activities. Published in Daily Times, November 18th 2018.