Pakistan, Afghanistan mull trade expansion up to $5bn

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Afghanistan on Sunday underscored the need for taking practical measures to enhance the bilateral trade from $ 2.4 billion to $ 5 billion. This was agreed in a meeting between Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Syed Abrar Hussain and a delegation of Pak-Afghan Joint Chambers of Commerce and Industries and senior government officials led by Afghan Deputy Minister for Trade Mozammil Shinwari in Kabul, says a press release issued here. Both sides discussed the prospects of expanding the bilateral trade and resolution of problems facing the traders’ community of the two countries.  The ambassador informed the delegation that the government of Pakistan wanted to encourage and improve regional trade, particularly with its neighbouring countries. “In order to improve regional connectivity and trade with the neighbouring countries, Pakistan would like to construct a motorway and railway lines from Peshawar to Jalalabad and Chaman to Spin Boldak, which would play an instrumental role in the economic development of the region,” the ambassador told the delegation. Similarly, he said, Pakistan also wanted to extend the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement to Tajikistan, which was highly beneficial for the economic prosperity of the three countries.
He asked the traders’ community to invest in Pakistan because it provided investment-friendly environment to foreign investors. He also assured the delegation to facilitate the Afghan traders by addressing their problems relating to customs clearance. The meeting also discussed the forthcoming 5th meeting of Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority to be held in Islamabad and hoped that it would help address traders problems as well as enhance the bilateral trade. The delegation comprised Deputy Minister for Trade Mozammil Shinwari, President Pak-Afghan Joint Chambers of Commerce and Industries Khan Jan Alokozay, Vice-President PAJCCI Younas Momand, Legal Advisor PAJCCI Dawood Moosa, Director PAJCCI Nizamuddin Tajzada, Director General (Customs) Dr Najeebullah Wardak and CEO Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) Wafiullah Iftekhar

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