ALMATY: Aimed at fostering trade and investment relations, the Pakistan Trade Caravan opened in Kazakhstan on Friday in which 45 companies related to textile, agro foods, herbal, pharmaceutical and handicrafts displayed their products to local and foreign visitors. The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) also developed a large composite stall containing the highest quality home textile, garments and sportswear, which had been provided bybrands such as Chen One, Gul Ahmed, Sapphire and Al Karam. Senior designers such as Warda Saleem, Amir Adnan, Ayesha Ibrahim and AlKaram have loaned their apparel and designs for the fashion show on Saturday. Despite strong trade complementarities, bilateral trade between the two nations is of low value addition and is at approximately $34 million. It was noted that the existing trade potential is not reflective of the bilateral relations between the two countries. Despite strong brotherly relations and similar religious inclinations, one of the major impediments is the low level of interaction between people of the two countries. In order to increase this interaction and trust between the businessmen of two countries, TDAP initiated the concept of Pakistan Trade Caravan which was largely appreciated by visiting participants. The trade caravan initiative is the first step in the beginning of long term commercial relations between Pakistan and Kazakhstan. This was demonstrated during the inauguration ceremony by the attendance of large number of official and businessmen of the country. The silk route of ancient times was the blood line for economic growth and national development. It is time to revive this ancient trade legacy and move towards greater bilateral trade between Kazakhstan and Pakistan. The TDAP’s road show branding reflected this legacy of trade caravans crossing from country to country in search of mutual economic benefit. During the event, some 300 Kazakh companies took part in strong B2B sessions with their Pakistani counterparts. Companies such as TurnikKz, Radiance and Dest Textile Firm Kaz centre expressed strong interest in textile, leather and sports. According to Hosiery Manufacturers Association President Dr Khurram Tariq, the event paved Pakistan’s entry into the unrecognised but strong regional market. From the public side, interest was also shown in herbal products with Marhaba Company selling half of its stock on the first day. The TDAP has also taken Urdu dramas dubbed in Russian language for sale in the media and entertainment industry. Following the success of the event, the USAID regional office is also seeking exhibitor and TDAP interest to participate in the Central Asian Trade Forum scheduled to be held in Almaty in September this year.