ISLAMABAD - Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has invited Pakistani businessmen to explore Afghan market that offers tremendous opportunities to foreign investors.

He said that Afghanistan has lowest taxes in the region and that Pakistan investors will get land free of cost.

He was talking to a visiting Pakistani business delegation, led by chairman of the United Business Group (UBG) and Vice President Saarc Chamber of Commerce Iftikhar Ali Malik. Deputy commerce minister of Afghanistan, CEO TDAP SM Muneer, President Saarc Chamber Suraj Vaidya, Zubair Tufail, SM Naseer, Zafar Bakhtwari, Zubair Ahmed Malik, Gulzar Feroze, Malik Sohail and others were also present on the occasion.

Karzai said that Afghanistan and Pakistan are large trading partners and that Pakistan has always helped their Afghan brethren. Millions of Afghans are still living in Pakistan and earning a respectable living for which we are thankful to Pakistan, he added.

The former Afghan president said that situation in Afghanistan has improved, there is no issue of energy scarcity and we will guarantee security.

At the occasion, Iftikhar Ali Malik, SM Muneer and Zubair Tufail said that we are looking into opportunities for investment and joint ventures in sectors like agriculture, mining, cement production, textiles, telecommunication, IT, chemicals etc.

They said that issues impeding trade include lack of banking facilities, proper payment mechanism, dispute resolution and taxation. A free trade zone in Fata near Afghan border will help bring people of two brotherly countries together and settle misgivings, they underlined.

The delegation is also scheduled to meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, CEO of Afghan National Unity Government Abdullah Abdullah, and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, and leading businessmen.