ISLAMABAD: The 5th session of Pakistan-Tajikistan Joint Commission on Trade, Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation concluded on Thursday with signing of various bilateral agreements in multiple sectors including energy, trade, agriculture, commerce and science and technology. The two-day session was co-chaired by Water and Power Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Tajikistan Energy and Water Resources Minister Usmonali Usmonzoda.During the session, detailed meetings were held between the experts of the two sides on a number of issues, especially focusing on trade and commerce, energy, agriculture, education, science & technology and other matters of mutual interests. The two sides decided to enhance business-to-business contacts through organising the second meeting of Joint Business Council on the sidelines of the inaugural session of Joint Working Group on Trade, Investment and Transport at Dushanbe in October 2016.Both sides agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) on supervisory cooperation. In this regard, SBP would share a draft MoU through diplomatic channels within three months. Both the sides noted with satisfaction the progress made so far in realisation of CASA-1000 project and also expressed resolve to initiative the physical work on the project as early as possible to achieve the desired delivery of energy. The parties also noted the mutual interest for export of additional 1,000MW by Tajikistan to Pakistan outside CASA-1000 project. The parties have notified the technical committee members and the first meeting of the committee was proposed to be held as early as possible. The committee would review the previous reports prepared by the Tajik side and would develop a roadmap for future activities. Both the sides also agreed to establish joint ventures with Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) on detection and processing of oil and gas in Tajikistan on government-to-government basis.The Tajikistan side showed interest in establishing joint ventures with Pakistani investors in the field of processing of ginned cotton, wool and leather finished products (cotton, fabric, sewn and knitted products, leather jackets, bags and shoes). In order to effectively collaborate in the field of agriculture, a Joint Working Group would be formed. Both sides agreed to share the composition of members of JWG through diplomatic channels. The two sides also agreed to the renewal of agreement between Pakistan and Tajikistan on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, signed in 1992, through exchange of diplomatic notes. Both countries decided to appoint focal points to combat the menace of drug and narcotics trafficking. Talking to media after signing of the bilateral agreements, Khawaja Muhammad Asif said Pakistan greatly values the warm and longstanding relations with brotherly country of Tajikistan. “We are committed to further enhancing these bilateral relations and I am confident that this Joint Ministerial Commission would serve as a useful platform towards meeting that end,” he added.He said the brotherly relationships between the two countries had improved further during last three years due to the commitment of the leadership of both the countries to take the relationship to new heights.He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during the last three years had visited Tajikistan thrice while the Tajik president also visited Pakistan twice. He said the volume of trade between the two countries was not reflective of the true potential and therefore, lot more is needed to enhance bilateral trade relations.Tajik Minister Usmonali said CASA-1000 would help in further improving bilateral relations particularly in the energy sector. He hoped that despite hard area and other difficulties, the project would be completed within stipulated time. He said that CASA-1000 was the first inter-regional joint project of the Central and South Asian countries, which would connect the power grid of the republic of Tajikistan, the Kyrgystan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali was also present on the occasion.