KARACHI

Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Janan Mosazai here on Saturday said that Afghanistan government is ready to offer additional incentives and facilitation to Pakistani businessmen especially investors, which is reflected by the proposed exclusive special economic zone in North Afghanistan.

This zone will serve as a strong base for Pakistan to trade with Central Asian States besides capturing Afghanistan market. “We are ready to offer land, electricity, water and other utilities, low taxes and full security to Pakistani business community at this special zone. Besides, Pakistani businessmen will be fully encouraged to do business and make investment any where in Afghanistan,” the Ambassador assured while speaking at a meeting with members of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) at the Chamber.

The Ambassador was accompanied by his Consul General in Karachi, Shah Ahmed Saeed and Commercial Consul, Nasir Maya. Prominent on KCCI side were its President Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, Senior Vice President Muhammad Ibrahim Kassumbi, Vice President Agha Shahab Ahmed, former presidents Majyed Aziz and A.Q.Khalil.

Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan said that his government especially Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is keen to strengthen economic cooperation with neighbouring Muslim country Pakistan including bilateral and transit trade along with increasing regional trade.

He said that significant progress was made on many issues of mutual interest during Afghan President’s recent visit to Pakistan. An important document on bilateral trade and investment was also singed during this visit. There are various attractive plans already on papers that is, highways and railways network and air linkage between the two countries. Peshawar-Kabul Motorway, and Chamman-Qandahar railway track are the prominent ones. Serious efforts are required to give these a practical shape and this would be very beneficial for people of both the countries, he said.

He also assured facilitation to Pakistani exporters in setting up warehouses in Afghanistan for selling their goods not only in Afghanistan but to Central Asia. Pakistani investors can invest in Afghanistan in many sectors especially in agriculture, mining, education and construction sectors, he said. He said Afghan government will extend all cooperation to Pakistan in executing the plan of bringing natural gas from Central Asia to Faisalabad. “If gas from Central Asia comes in, your textile (industry) in Faisalabad will jump to its heights,” he added.  He also agreed to KCCI proposal that more delegations from different walks of life including businessmen should visit each other’s country. Afghanistan and Pakistan are strategic partners and can jointly resolve their problems besides playing a very important role in the entire region. We have resources which need to be duly exploited. “We are bound by ties of blood with many Pakistanis,” he remarked. To KCCI President Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra’s invitation, the Ambassador assured that Afghan missions in Karachi and Islamabad would make their best efforts to convince Afghan companies to exhibit their products at KCCI’s ‘My Karachi : Oasis of Harmony’ exhibition, which is held here in May for last nine years.

He underlined the need for detailed analysis of the situation and regional environment for peace, security and stability destined to bring economic integrity in both the countries. Both the countries are facing structural changes along with water and power shortage and calamity challenges. Prosperity and development of both the countries is inter-dependent, he asserted.

The Afghan Consul General and the Commercial Consul in Karachi also assured all support in strengthening relationship in both countries.

President KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra and other officials of Karachi Chambers raised various queries which were replied by Afghan diplomats.