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Govt assures to resolve Pakistan-Afghanistan transit and bilateral trade issue

Muhammad Sudhir Chaudhry Deputy Bureau Chief Lahore

17th Jul, 2020. 11:11 pm
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Govt assures to resolve Pakistan-Afghanistan transit and bilateral trade issue

Advisor to Prime Minister for Industry Commerce and Trade Abdul Razak Dawood Friday assured the business community that their issues and concerns on Pakistan-Afghanistan transit and bilateral trade will be resolved amicably on priority basis.

The Pakistan China Sust border will be opened soon for temporarily for the resumption of the bilateral trade which was closed since the covid-19 pandemic.

In a meeting with the a delegation of the business community led by President of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Mian Ajunm Nisar, he instructed the secretary commerce Saleha Farooqi and DG Commerce to get update on the Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral and transit trade on daily basis and keep him updated accordingly.

Razak Dawood said the government of Pakistan was in coordination with the Chinese embassy for the re-opening of the Sust Border for trade which was closed since the covid-19 pandemic. ‘The business community will soon get good news of temporary resumption of the trade from the Sust Borders”, he declared.

The advisor also assured the FPCCI president about the issues occurred on the industrial chemical imports after the budget as the duty structure was increased which resulted in increase in cost of raw materials.

Earlier, FPCCI President Mian Ajum Nisar briefed that Pakistan’s export to Afghanistan was USD2.7 billion in 2011 which reduced to 1.1 billion by 2019. Further, 1500 containers were cleared under bilateral trade before covid-19 which was reduced to 250 containers only. He mentioned that in the past shipments were cleared within two days and freight on a truck was Rs 100,000 while not one truck remained stuck for 20 to 25 days and freight was increased to Rs 400,000 per truck.

Mian Ajum Nisar mentioned that due to delay in clearance early perishable consignments were being destroyed at the border causing huge financial losses to the business community. He said the traders get advance payments from Afghanistan but the dealt in delivery creating mistrust between the business communities of the two countries and adversely affecting the bilateral trade of the two countries. He stressed the need of early clearance of perishable items on priority basis. He also suggested that data of daily good and truck clearance should also be updated with the ministry of commerce on daily basis so the ministry will be aware of the situation completely and makes decisions accordingly.

Mian Ajum Nisar mentioned that Pakistani chemicals have good demand in Afghanistan so the chemicals should be put in the positive list of the bilateral trade.  Advisor to Prime Minister endorsed the FPCCI proposal and said that the ministry will considered and made a positive decision on it.

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