SIALKOT - The 12 days long strike of the goods transporters caused a huge financial loss of $1billion to the national economy including $600 million financial loss to the local industries.

All Pakistan Dry Ports Association Chairman Muhammad Ishaq Butt revealed while talking to the newsmen here the other day.

The goods transporters were on strike in protest against hijacking of trucks, detention of vehicles and mistreatment of motorway and highway police.

Freight forwarders, cargo agents boosting economy: The freight forwarders and cargo agents have been playing a pivotal role in strengthening the trade and boosting the national economy.

The outgoing Chairman of Sialkot International Airport Limited (SIAL) Muhammad Hanif Khan said while addressing a meeting of the cargo agents, freight forwarders and leading people from travel trade held here the other day.

He said that the SIAL had made the shifting of cargo consignments much easir under the SIAL's multi- dimensional plan to facilitate the exporters and importers.

The chairman revealed that the government had allowed five international airlines namely Qatar Airways, Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, Ittehad Airway and the Emirates to start direct international passenger and cargo flights from the airport.

He said that a number of international flights to various foreign destinations will rise soon to 45 from existing 21 international flights in a month and these five international airlines would also bring a quantum of the cargo at SIAL.

An advanced Air Freight Unit (AFU) had also started functioning at the airport to facilitate the exporters, importers and the cargo agents, he added.