RAWALPINDI - The fourth “Made in Pakistan” exhibition has begun in Kabul, attracting a large number of traders, businessmen and women.

The exhibition, which would continue till May 7, has been organised by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI).

The exhibition was kicked off in a colourful ribbon cutting ceremony. Afghan Deputy Minister for Commerce Muzammil Shinwari, Pakistan Ambassador to Afghanistan, Syed Abrar Hussain, Co-Chairman Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber (PAJCCI) Khan Jan Alokozay, President RCCI Mian Humayun Parvez, Vice Chairman Exhibition Committee Khurshid Barlas and members of the executive committee were also present at the inauguration ceremony.

More than sixty stalls of different products including paints and hardware, heating ventilation air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR), electronic goods, building material, leather goods, gems and jewelry, furniture, services sector, textile and handicrafts have been placed for public display.

Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industries Muzamil Shinwari said that organizing such exhibitions is in the interest of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The two countries were enjoying good trade relations and we must strive hard to increase the bilateral trade volume to $5 billion as agreed by the Afghan and Pakistani high ranking officials.

Co-Chairman PAJCCI Khanjan Alkozai asked the two governments to keep politics away from trade. He said that economic growth would help in elimination of extremism and terrorism in the two countries.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Abrar Hussein said that running of such exhibitions would lead to a new chapter of economic cooperation between the both countries. He said that there are two primary reasons for us to have better economic relation with Afghanistan. One is Afghanistan’s strategic importance; and second Pakistan’s cultures and geographical proximity to it. “We have mutuality of interests and shared objectives,” he added. He highlighted that due to geographical proximity Pakistan is Afghanistan’s route to foreign market and it is a largest and most important trading partnership. “We are committed to fully facilitate Afghan transit trade to Pakistan,” he underlined.

Earlier, RCCI President Mian Humayun Parvez said that Pakistan and Afghanistan enjoy good cordial relations and expressed the confidence that with further cooperation in trade and business these ties would further cemented. He said that current volume of trade in the region is 4.5% which could be enhanced to 20% with concerted efforts.

Mian Humayun Parvez also appreciated the role of Afghan Chamber and Pak-Afghan joint chamber, embassies in Islamabad and Kabul for extending their support and cooperation in holding such exhibitions. He said that the Rawalpindi Chamber is putting its outmost efforts for enhancing trade and business ties with Afghanistan and other countries of the region. Better road and railway links, frequent exchange of trade delegations, hassle free custom clearance, easing taxation and custom duties can further increased the trade ties between the two countries, he added.