Afghan chamber delegation arrives to explore trade opportunities
ISLAMABAD – A 19-member delegation of Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) arrived here on Monday to explore trade opportunities between the two brotherly neghbouring countries.
The Afghan delegation, led by PAJCCI President, Khan Jan Alokozay, is scheduled to visit different industrial cities in the country and hold discussion with representatives of business community for promotion of trade. The delegation members include representatives of various chambers of Afghanistan and First Deputy of Afghanistan Chamber of Trade and Investment M Younas Mohamad, President Chamber of Industries and Mines, Sherbaz Kamizada and President Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock , Khan M Farootain.
Earlier, a high level delegation of Pakistan, led by Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security, Moeed Yousuf visited Afghanistan on January 29, 2022 and had meetings with representatives of various Afghan ministries, including the Ministry of Industries and Commerce, and discussed bilateral trade between the two countries besides outlining a future plan of action.
Accordingly, under the action plan, the two countries would carry forward negotiations to strengthen bilateral trade and economic relations ties and evolve a strategy for barter trade, opening of baking channels, and transit trade facilitation.
Meanwhile, welcoming the visit of Afghani chamber delegation, President Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hasnain Khursheed told media that his chamber was in regular contact with the Kabul Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Afghan business community.
At present, he said, banking channels for trade, barter trade and bilateral trade in Pakistani rupee would be the main areas of discussion, adding, the increasing trade and facilitation with Afghanistan would positively impact Pakistan’s trade with Central Asian countries.
The senior business leader said that the Afghan delegation would hold talks with the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce in Islamabad on February 17. Responding to a question, he said that trade with Central Asian countries was very important and the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Uzbekistan was taking place and would be finalised on March 23. Meanwhile, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Muhammad Shakeel Munir told media that the visit of Afghan trade delegation to Pakistan was a good omen, which would have a positive impact on bilateral trade.
He said the boom in regional trade was largely dependent on the ease of trade with Afghanistan, adding, huge opportunities were available in promoting trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia countries, however, stressed the need for tapping this potential with proper strategies.
Shakeel Munir particularly mentioned the potential in mining, minerals and precious stone sectors of economy. It is pertinent to mention here that the government had already taken many initiatives to facilitated trade and promote economic relations with the neghbouring country.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood informed that the Ministry of Commerce had allowed export settlement of 14 items in local currency of Pak rupee. These include poultry and products, meat, cement, pharmaceutical, textiles, fruits, vegetables, salt, rice and surgical instruments, the adviser said.
The adviser said that queries have been received regarding export to Afghanistan in Pakistan Rupee (Rs). “We would like to clarify that to ease exports to Afghanistan; Ministry of Commerce has allowed export settlement of 14 items in Pakistan’s local currency,” he said.