ACCI organized a Dinner Reception in honor of H. E. Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, Pakistani Minister of Commerce of Industry and his deputies, President of Rawalpindi Chamber and also Pakistani Commercial Attaché to Afghanistan on 14 April 2015 in Kabul Star Hotel.
ACCI aimed to address what Afghan traders are facing the existing barriers at APTTA and urge Pakistani Government to simplify the transit agreement. Afghan traders pointed out their comments and complains in a free dialogue to the delegation.
In additional ACCI’s leadership, Mr. Muzamel Shiwanri, Acting-Minister of Commerce and Industries also attended the dinner reception.
Mr. Khanjan Alkozay, Senior Vice-Chairman of ACCI underlined the event as a significant, free and friendly session between two countries in its profile since last decade.
He divided economic relations segments of two countries into Trade, Transit and Investment and termed Pakistan as first economic partner of Afghanistan. “Unfortunately Afghan traders are still facing many difficulties in trade and transit, however many more challenges have been solving since travel of Afghan President to Pakistan at five months ago. New survey done by USAID indicates that trade turnover between two countries has been declining decreasingly since three last year, because of the existence trade and transit barriers.” He said
He counted the existing challenges such as Pakistani customs’ bureaucratic procedures, extortion from Afghan traders by Pakistani police and explained each to Mr. Dastgir Khan and urged him to do find out solutions for.
Mr. Dastgir Khan while appreciating ACCI for organizing such session to learn more each other about what challenges Afghan traders facing and how two countries can pave ways to simplify the trade and transit. He termed that commercial development between two countries is only way to influence political differences and conflicts as well as reducing poverty and help our region to approach a secure and economic stability. Some regional projects like CASA-1000 and TAPI which transfer power from Central Asia to Pakistan can concrete economic relations of two countries in future. “Fortunately, there is a strange will in governments of two countries in removing existing barriers of trade and transit and you will see tangible progresses soon.” He said
He also mentioned that membership of Pakistan to TIR is ongoing and Pakistani government is determined to proceed and compete the essential criteria of TIR soon. Surely, transit between two countries will be simplified after joining of Pakistan to TIR.
Mr. Shinwari, highlighted importance of such session in eliminating misunderstanding between government and business community of two countries. “Government of two countries have to pave ways to approach a friendly and free trade and transit environment.” He said
He also termed Pak – Afghan Joint Chamber as great step forward to mutual listening and creating confidence between two government as well as business communities.
He said that share of Pakistan in Afghanistan’s trade is 30 percent and 50 percent in transit. Therefore, we are determined to remove the existence barriers based on the agreed timetable in travel of Afghan President to Pakistan.
At the end, Pakistani delegation answered questions arisen from Afghan traders and correspondents.
To find out photos of the session, please click here.