Pakistan, Afghanistan seek solutions to trade hurdles

FATA traders highlight security and visa problems in Afghanistan.


Our Correspondent March 27, 2013
The Afghan consul general said a new Afghanistan was taking shape rapidly that provided a golden opportunity for Pakistani investors. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

PESHAWAR: An Afghan delegation and high officials of the Fata Secretariat, accompanied by leaders of the Tribal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI), met here to discuss the problems confronting the business community on both sides of the border and come up with their solutions.

The Afghan side was led by Afghan Consul General in Peshawar Syed Mohammad Ibrahim Khel while prominent in the team of Fata Secretariat were Production Secretary Farrukh Sair and Fata Investment Facilitation Authority Secretary Arshad Majid. TCCI Vice President Zubair Ali represented the Tribal Chamber.

Both sides agreed that they would take effective measures to restore the confidence of business community and undertake practical steps to improve trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan, particularly with the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The Afghan consul general said a new Afghanistan was taking shape rapidly that provided a golden opportunity for Pakistani investors to pour money into a number of fields. “Afghan markets offer great potential and traders from Pakistan can capture these markets by marketing products of high standards,” he said.

The consul general pointed out that around 60,000 to 70,000 skilled and unskilled Pakistanis were working in Afghanistan with some of them earning thousands of dollars.

He disclosed that medicines worth $40 million were imported by Afghanistan every year and Pakistan had a 95% share in it. He, however, complained that some Pakistani traders had sent substandard medicines, which was bringing bad name to bona fide Pakistani exporters.

Stressing that Afghan coal was among the best in the world, TCCI Vice President Zubair Ali called for facilitating Pakistani investors in acquiring lease of coalmines, possibly in partnership with Afghan counterparts.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2013.

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