ISLAMABAD (INP) - ICCI VP Shahid Zaman has said that governments efforts to realise goal of prosperity cannot be accomplished without a sound and modern transport system. Pakistan should be fast moving towards enhanced and cost-effective nation-wide connectivity which is possible through opening up of transport and communication sector for foreign private investment, he said. Shinwari said that linking Pakistan with China, India, Afghanistan, Central Asian and South Asian countries with road and railway networks should remain prime agenda of the government. He said that transportation is imperative to integrate urban and rural economy, SMEs, and urban wholesale, retail and warehousing sectors with port cities. Govt should enhance allocation to improve highways, modernise Pakistan Railways and expanding its tracks up to Afghanistan and Iran, improving ports, airports and providing other facilities to improve trade otherwise prosperity will remain a dream. The business leader said that government should open infrastructure for private sector investment to reduce the cost of doing business and making Pakistani products more competitive internationally. The current dismal performance of the transport sector costs the economy around 4 to 6pc of the GDP annually. Pakistans total overland trade demand is likely to touch 160 billion ton-km by 2012 which calls for achieving a level of connectivity that can supplement economic growth in the long run, he said. Shinwari said MFN with India will help improve ranking of some Pakistani cities in terms of trading across borders which are presently ranked lower in the World Banks Doing Business report due to distance from ports which may improve after enhance trade through land routes. He said that importing or exporting a container from Lahore or Peshawar through port required 9 documents and 20-22 days; the same processes need 7 documents and14 days in Malaysia and while in Singapore all it take is 4 documents and 5 days. No wonder Pakistan ranked 73rd in the quality of port infrastructure while Sri Lanka ranked 43rd, he informed. Welcoming expansion on the positive list by Islamabad, he said that it would appropriate to reduce delivery time is reduced through investment in infrastructure, transportation, additional border stations, testing and warehousing facilities, simple procedures and reduced paperwork. Trade is the only way to reduce political tensions which will improve living standards of majority of worlds poor living in the region, said Shinwari.