‘Pak-Afghan trade to steer nationwide development’

Experts demand proper mechanism for removal of hurdles in bilateral trade

APP December 15, 2021
Trucks loaded with supplies wait to cross into Afghanistan at the Friendship Gate crossing point, in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border town of Chaman. PHOTO: REUTERS


Experts have agreed that improvement in bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan and exports to the Central Asian Republics is imperative to enhance regional trade and steer economic prosperity and development in the country.

Speaking at the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) on Tuesday, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Board of Investment and Trade (KPBOIT) Vice Chairman Said Mahmood and SCCI President Hasnain Khurshid Ahmad called for introducing a proper mechanism for removal of hurdles in bilateral trade.

They held the view that the federal government should design the strategy.

“There is a dire need to take proactive measures to facilitate the business communities on both sides of the border,” they said.

The two officials called for tapping the Afghan market and other regional countries to enhance trade.

The speakers requested facilitation and resolution of of traders’ issues on a priority basis.

Khurshid was of the view that removal of trade hurdles was crucial to strengthening bilateral economic relations.

Mahmood urged the participants to play their due roles in improving mutual trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The vice chairman invited the business community to participate in Dubai Expo 2020, citing that it would be dedicated to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa from January 1 to January 31. He said that an investment conference will be held from January 15-17, 2022.

In this regard, he asked the business community to display its projects in the exhibition which would help boost economic prosperity and create employment opportunities in the province.

SCCI former president Zahidullah Shinwari said that Afghan traders faced many issues such as registration problems and anti-business laws and rules.             

Former Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry president Ghazanfar Bilour welcomed the establishment of new special economic zones in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

“The government should also provide facilities in the existing industrial estates on a priority basis,” he said.

He emphasised that the business community was fully committed to playing its due role in the economic development of the province.

He assured the KPBOIT that the businessmen would participate in Dubai Expo 2020.

Terming the hurdles harmful, Bilour said they should be addressed amicably.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 15th, 2021.

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