KARACHI: Infrastructure development and swift clearance of consignments is necessary to boost trade and investment in Afghanistan. This was stated by Haji Hameedullah, Vice President, Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PAJCCI) at an “Interactive session between Stefano Gatto, Acting Ambassador of European Union Delegation to Pakistan and Quentin Weiler, 1st Secretary Political at PAJCCI Secretariat in Karachi”.
In the said meeting, Stefano Gatto, Acting Ambassador of European Union Delegation to Pakistan, Quentin Weiler, 1st Secretary Political, Haji Hameedullah, Vice President, PAJCCI, Qazi Zahid, Director, PAJCCI & Hammad Ahmed, Additional Secretary, PAJCCI were present.
The main topics which came under discussion were Customs clearance and infrastructure development at Borders, the Customs Rules & Regulations for transit trade for Afghanistan and the regional economic importance and connectivity of Central Asian countries with Afghanistan & Pakistan.
Qazi Zahid, Director PAJCCI informed the EU delegation about post-election scenario in Afghanistan and importance of regional trade, strategic position of Pakistan & usage of CAREC Corridor for greater sustainability of the region. He also emphasized upon significance of Gwadar port which could transform regional trade.
During the meeting issues of the business community like forming export houses, border liaison committees, visa facilitation were also discussed.[the_ad id=”31605″]Stefano Gatto appreciated initiative of PAJCCI for holding such forum whereby presence of representatives from Afghan Consulate, Ministry of Commerce, relevant custom officials and stakeholders all are ensured to deliberate upon resolution of those hindrances that hamper both transit trade and bilateral trade amongst Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. He further discussed about the railway network and its significance in transit trade to reduce dependency on cargo through trucks.
While speaking on the forum, Haji Hameedullah elaborated upon the initiatives of PAJCCI in a span of three years for enhancement of stakeholders’ confidence across the border between Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
Haji Hameedullah also stressed the need to implement core decisions as agreed upon in APTTCA meeting in the presence of PAJCCI directors from each side, Customs officials and Commercial Counselor.
Qazi Zahid informed that currently only 5% to 7% of trade is being scanned due to threats of smuggling and theft of containers.
Delegates from EU stated that many EU based companies could do business in Afghanistan and could also undertake joint ventures with their Pakistani counterparts despite various challenges such as lack of infrastructure and law & order.
The session concluded with remarks from Quentin Weiler with a promise to take these regional issues towards the solution for better bilateral trade, peace & integrity in this region.
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