SAARC Chamber identify impediments in bolstering Pak-Afghan bilateral trade

Extremely poor infrastructure with only two small scanners was one of the major causes in smooth flow of trade which resulted in heavy congestion

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ISLAMABAD: SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Monday pinpointed the major hurdles in enhancing the bilateral trade between two Muslim neighboring countries Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Life member SAARC Chamber Pakistan chapter Mian Kashif Ashfaq, who is also CEO Pakistan Furniture Council as talking to a delegation of exporters and importers led by Waqas Anjum.

He said a couple of days ago, the first 10-members Afghan traders’ delegation of Kunar Chamber of Commerce and Industry visited Torkham border crossing point to find out ways for quick removal of impediments in smooth flow of trade and work out a strategy for promoting regional economic connectivity besides improving the bilateral ties between two countries.

He said that extremely poor infrastructure with only two small scanners was one of the major causes in smooth flow of trade which resulted in heavy congestion, according to a press release issued here.

He said Pakistan in given circumstances should increase the capacity for quick handling and clearance of consignments and new scanners also be installed few kilometers away from the zero point to avoid crowding. He said in prevailing global and regional scenarios trade and economic connectivity is of prime significance and both countries must eliminate the key challenges faced by the traders of either countries at all border crossing points. Mian Kashif Ashfaq said Prime Minister Imran Khan always attached great importance to Afghanistan and the PTI government would continue to pursue its foreign investors’ friendly policies to facilitate importers and exporters.

Earlier, President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik Sunday disclosed that Pakistan has offered 100 scholarships to Afghan students besides despatching Rs 100 million relief goods to Afghanistan. Talking to a delegation of donors and philanthropists led by Mian Muhammad Saeed Deraywalay, President Anjuman-I-Arain Pakistan, he said valiant people of Afghanistan were currently confronting great ordeals in terms of absence of health cover and non-availability of food.

He said it’s moral obligations of the entire world especially West and United States to play their key role on war footing in rebuilding of Afghanistan,the poorest state of the world including rehabilitation of its people. He said durable peace in Afghanistan would benefit not only Pakistan and region but also whole of world. He said strengthening the economy and providing basic amenities to the people of Afghanistan will serve the purpose of restoration of tranquility. Iftikhar Ali Malik said “we are proud that Pakistan ranked in top of list of major donors worldwide”. He said that Governor Punjab Ch Muhammad Sarwar as usual is also taking personal keen interest for collection of donations for Afghanistan. He said Afghan people are being helped by Pak Afghan Brotherhood, Sarwar Foundation, university of Lahore, Qarshi Foundation, Ghani group, vital group, guard group of industries and Anjuman-I-Arain.

He said VC UHS Prof Dr Javed Akram popularly known for his unprecedented social services for humanity has also started training of Afghan doctors in tele-medicine and other medical fields. He said more donors will join hands with Governor Punjab for contributing relief goods. A high-level team of SAARC Chamber will also visit Afghanistan chapter of SAARC Chamber and Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry to express solidarity with them and extend wholehearted cooperation to increase volume of bilateral trade between two neighboring Muslim states.

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