KABUL: The Pakistan-Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) is a highly commendable venture and it is implicit that now politics should not overshadow business rather business should set pathways for politics to play its role constructively, said Afghanistan's second vice president Muhammad Kareem Khalili while meeting PAJCCI's delegation in Kabul.
PAJCCI's 4th delegation to Kabul had a historical meeting with Khalili under the leadership of Khan Jan Alkozai and Muhammad Zubair Motiwala.
Alkozai briefed Khalili on formation of this unique international chamber and the challenges faced during inception. He also emphasised upon efforts of PAJCCI to bridge gap between business and trading communities across the border in both transit and bilateral trade issues. Motiwala thanked Khalili for giving this opportunity to the delegation for discussing vital issues in his office at such a short notice. He elaborated upon achievements of PAJCCI during short span of time and meeting of PAJCCI delegation with the prime minister of Pakistan in January 2013 whereby a lot of issues were resolved.
Motiwala presented the issues faced by Pakistani business community in context of difficulties faced by Pakistani businessmen and workers to obtain visa, a drastic increase in duties by Afghan customs recently that may hurt economy of both the countries significantly, issue of transit by Pakistani businessmen to CIS countries whereby $100 per container and levy of 110 percent duty on road utilisation is hampering the trade greatly.
In order to resolve issues immediately and congenially he proposed a formation of committee for rationalisation of duties between the two countries having members of respective customs also. He emphasised on the dire need to establish Export House or Trading Warehouse for the business and trading community across the border under PAJCCI's umbrella with due support from governments on both the sides. This concept would eliminate issues related to quality specifications, trust deficit, insurance and payment matters and will build the confidence among each other. This would also establish rupee to Afghani transaction over any other international monetary unit.
Khalili appreciated inception of PAJCCI and its role in building the trust and bilateral ties. He welcomed suggestions of Motiwala and reiterated that politics should follow business and not otherwise. He immediately taken up matter of difficulties associated with issuance of multiple visas and issued orders to facilitate issuance of six months multiple visas to businesses recommended by PAJCCI on an immediate basis till a consolidated policy in this context may arrive. Acting ambassador of Afghanistan in Pakistan was also present at the moment and he owned the responsibility in this context and ensured that same would be communicated to all Afghan consulates in Pakistan.
Deputy Minister for Trade and Commerce Mozammil Shinwari informed that all issues like 110 percent duty on transit to CIS countries and drastic increase in tariffs or duties will be taken care off in immediate future. He also appreciated concept of tariff rationalization as suggested by Motiwala and assured his full support in establishment of Export House or Trading Warehouse.
Khalili recommended PAJCCI to discuss these issues in depth and prepare a proposal and a concept note to be presented at Economic Committee of Afghanistan, which is chaired by him, and he would surely ensure acceptance from parliament and would facilitate PAJCCI in living its dream to bring both countries closer despite political incompatibilities.
The meeting was attended by PAJCCI's executive body, delegates, secretariat staff, FBR official and Deputy Minister for Trade and Commerce- Afghanistan, Acting Ambassador of Afghanistan to Pakistan and other officials.
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