ISLAMABAD - Adviser to PM on Commerce, Textile, Industries and Production and Investment Razak Dawood on Wednesday said that Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed to start the process of preferential trade agreement (PTA) for trade liberalisation and increasing trade between both sides.

He said that that for this, first both sides will share their initial list of tariff lines in the next month which will be followed by meeting of technical committees, said a press release issued by Ministry of Commerce here.

The advisor said this in a meeting with Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Shukurallah Atif Mashaal who called on him to deliberate on the trade related issues in order to enhance bilateral trade to an unprecedented level.

They further discussed to reopen new border crossing points including that of Torkham and Ghulam Khan.

The Advisor to PM highlighted that Pakistan and Afghanistan share long historical, political and economic ties. However, the volume of current bilateral trade is much below than the available potential owing to trade barriers which are required to be removed forthwith with mutual consultation, he said.

The Ambassador said that both the countries need to take steps to exploit the untapped trade potential between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Adviser stressed on the need to explore opportunities to maximize mutual trade volume and move forward for trade cooperation via communication and custom cooperation. He also said that it is very important to address issues pertaining transit trade agreement. “Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement should be implemented in true letter and spirit”, he added.

Afghan Ambassador Atif Mashal apprised the adviser regarding the latest developments of trade related issues on Afghan side, which took after President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani’s visit to Pakistan. He stated that things are moving in right direction and both sides will achieve positive results from the outcomes.

In this regard, the Advisor will visit Kabul by end of August 2019 to finalize the understanding on different trade and economic issues which would enable both countries to enhance existing bilateral trade volume.