Pak-Afghan trade now picking up: Saarc CCI president
LAHORE: The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Saarc CCI) president Iftikhar Ali Malik said on Tuesday that Pakistan-Afghanistan trade was now picking up at a good pace, as it swelled 60 per cent last week.
Talking to a delegation of exporters, led by Syed Yawer Abbas Bahawalpuri, he said, the bilateral trade could be increased manifold if old infrastructure was replaced with modern facilities of shipment handling at all land border routes, including Torkham and Chaman for early scanning and clearing of goods on both sides.
He stressed the need for fast-track resolution of all the issues, including removal of non-tariff barriers impeding the smooth flow of bilateral trade, besides further strengthening the economic ties with Afghanistan.
Malik said that Pakistan’s annual export to Afghanistan tumbled to $700 million from $2 billion a couple of years ago, adding that Pakistan used to export up to 50,000 tonnes of cement and 100,000 tonnes of iron bars during the last two years but not any more now because of odd and unrealistic policies of the previous Afghan government.
Malik also said that prior to the Taliban regime, Pakistan had suffered a setback, as its export to the neighbouring country went down 5.5 per cent from $790 million to $746 million during the first nine months of the last fiscal year.
He said now the situation was altogether changed after the Taliban and Pakistan traders, exporters and importers would extend wholehearted cooperation with their Afghan brothers and meet their demands on top priority.
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