Govt urged for direct Pak-BD shipping links OUR STAFF REPORTER KARACHI - The business community of Karachi terming that substantial potential persists to enhance the current volume of trade between Bangladesh and Pakistan but the big problem of both the countries is lacking of direct shipping link. They suggested this in the second meeting of Diplomatic Affairs Sub-Committee of Karachi Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Saturday. Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh Saquib Ali was also attended the meeting as chief guest. The Chairman of the Sub-Committee Arshad Islam in his welcome address appreciated the role of Bangladesh Government and High Commission to promote bilateral trade between the two countries. The Bangladeshi High Commission in Karachi is extending commendable support to the businessmen of Karachi and hopefully the esteemed office would try to enhance the cooperation between the businessmen of the two countries. Pakistan and Bangladesh have enough potential and the business community of both the countries must utilize this potential. Deputy High Commissioner Bangladesh Saquib Ali said that people of both countries should come together to reach at a real consensus through journalists, students and universities. He said there exist a great momentum of building and promoting trade relation between the two countries. He said the present trade volume of Bangladesh and Pakistan is $350m, which includes $80m of Bangladesh export of jute and tea and $270m of export from Pakistan to Bangladesh in textile/fabrics. In this respect Mohammad A. Rajpar suggested that instead of simply lamenting the absence of regular direct liner shipping service between Pakistan and Bangladesh KCCI should prepare a proper concept paper highlighting the need, viability and methodology for establishing such a service.  It was decided to form a committee to formulate the requisite concept paper comprising of Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner Saquib Ali, Senior Vice President, KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh and Vice Chairman, Diplomatic Affairs Committee, KCCI Mohammad A. Rajpar. The Committee should have the power to co-opt anyone necessary. It would call on Director General (Ports & Shipping) Vice Admiral Asad Qurshi in order to invite his participation and support also. The KCCI members spoke about Custom House related problems being faced by the exhibitors of the forthcoming "watex exhibition" being organized at Dacca and requested the Deputy High Commissioner for redressal. The Deputy High Commissioner requested the members to communicate him the problems and assured for full assistance and cooperation. KPT plans rail connectivity for cargo PPI KARACHI - The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) has planed rail connectivity for efficient and prompt movement of overland transportation of cargo. The Chairperson KPT Nasreen Haque held a meeting with General Manager Operations Pakistan Railways Asad Saeed and his team of officers at the KPT Head Office in this regard. During a brief presentation given to the delegation, the Chairperson unveiled her plans regarding rail connectivity with the port and major cargo yards. As a first step, the railway track connecting TPX and Groyne Yard would be restored. The railway line would also be extended to the coal stacking area near Groyne Yard for direct loading from there. This will ensure prompt movement of import and export cargo from and to the port presently hampered, as it has to pass through the heavily congested metropolis facing acute traffic problems. The delegation was appraised of KPT's future plans and the huge volume of traffic that would be handled at the port. Chairperson emphasized the importance of advance planning by railways in line with the KPT plans for development of their infrastructure and rolling stock enabling proper logistics so as to cater to the present and future traffic. Railways being a bulk carrier and an economical mode of transport have to gear itself up to promptly clear the port and bridge the gap between the Port and the industry. The delegation appreciated the Chairperson for taking keen interest in railway connection with the premier port of Pakistan. They expressed confidence in the steps taken by KPT Chairperson and offered full support in the prompt clearance of cargo from the port.