Afghanistan – Pakistan Business Cooperation Dialogue

The Asia Foundation (TAF) and Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) jointly organized Pakistan – Afghanistan cooperation on trade and business-to-business economic dialogue on 08 March 2016 at Continental Hotel of Kabul, Afghanistan. Pakistani delegation was led by Mr. Syed Yawar Ali, Chairman of the Nestle Pakistan Ltd while Mr. Alhaj Khanjan Alkozay, First Vice Chairman of ACCI was leading the Afghan business delegation.

Both sides focused on strengthening economic and business relation between the two countries through establishing joint ventures, encouraging the investors to invest in both countries and addressing the current transit – trade problems.

Pakistan delegation and Afghan businessmen met his Excellency Mr. Humayoon Rasaw Minister of Commerce and Industries of Afghanistan at his office. Mr. Rasaw welcomed all the participants and promised to provide facilities for businessmen to establish joint ventures, invest in Afghanistan and strengthen the business relation between these two nations.

he added that Pakistan is not only our neighbor country, but we have joint economic, social and cultural relations. Afghanistan has potential investment opportunities for all national and international investors. he stressed that relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan are historic bonds, therefore the current political issues should be separated from business relations. Mr. Minister emphasized that our business relations should be in accordance with APTTA , TIR and   WTO rules and regulation.

His Excellency Mr. Dr. Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, the ambassador of Afghanistan to Pakistan invited both the Pakistan business delegation and the Afghan businessmen for a breakfast at his house in Kabul. Mr. Zakhilwal Urged both sides to start joint ventures as soon as possible. Subsequently his excellency briefed the delegation on business opportunities in Afghanistan.

Both business delegations met with his Excellency Mr. Eklil Ahmad Hakimi, Finance minister of Afghanistan on the same date. During the meeting Mr. Hakimi spoke about the importance of engagement and investment in the region and added: “we already signed protocols with Pakistani government for major infrastructures such as  Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India (TAPI) Pipeline project, CASA-1000 Project, and road construction projects. He added, it is important that you facilitate us to reach India and we do facilitate you to have access to central Asia on the mean time he mentioned that if our economic situation grows up it will positively affect our political relations.”

At the evening the business delegations of both countries met with his Excellency Mr. Syed Abrar Hussain ambassador of Pakistan to Afghanistan in Kabul.

This meeting was attended by Pakistani business delegation, Mr. Alhaj Mohammad Younus Momand commercial deputy of ACCI’s BOD, Mr. Baz Mohammad Afsarzai industrial deputy of ACCI’s BOD, Mr. Azaraksh Hafizi director of international relation committee of ACCI, representatives from Pakistan embassy to Kabul and Prominent traders.

Businessmen from Both sides briefed Excellency ambassador about outstanding challenges that they face and asked for his full support specially regarding the visa issuance, which was fortunately welcomed by Mr. Hussain and he pledged his full support in this regard.

The Pakistan – Afghanistan cooperation on trade and business-to-business economic dialogue lasted for two days and finally ended with a joint dinner reception at continental hotel of Kabul, where Mr. Alhaj Mohammad Younus Momand commercial deputy of ACCI’s BOD offered gifts to all members of Pakistani business delegation.