Peshawar   -   President Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Sherbaz Bilour on Wednesday said that bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and Afghanistan could be brought up to $5 billion annually, if efforts were made to remove hurdles which were impeding mutual trade and economic ties. 

The SCCI chief expressed these views while talking to Fawad Arash, Afghan Trade Attaché in Peshawar Consulate. SCCI Vice Presidents Manzoor Elahi and Junaid Altaf were also present in the meeting.  

Sherbaz Bilour said it was dire need of the hour to make joint efforts to boost mutual trade volume between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said that SCCI had presented proposals in the recently held ‘Pakistan-Afghanistan Bilateral and Transit Forum 2020’ to remove obstacles in way of mutual trade between the two countries. 

He said the proposals could not only help improve existing bilateral trade volume between the two neighbouring countries which stood at less than one billion dollar, but also enhance export to Central Asian republics as well. 

The SCCI chief urged Islamabad and Kabul to devise a joint mechanism for the business community and make consultation with the SCCI that would boost bilateral and transit trade relations between the two neighbouring countries, besides it would produce positive results. He also asked the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan to take pragmatic steps to resolve problems of the business community on both sides of the border and remove obstacles in way of bilateral and transit trade between the two countries. 

Sherbaz Bilour said that enhancement in Pak-Afghan trade and economic relations would bring economic prosperity, development and sustainable peace in the whole region. He asked the both countries to take concrete steps to remove hurdles in the way of mutual trade and economic relations, which would help stabilise national economy and strengthen trade with Central Asian countries.