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Daily Custom Today

Published Date: Dec 25, 2014

21pc of imports, 30pc exports: Pakistan biggest trade partner of Afghanistan; Trade to be doubled in next 2 yrs

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is the biggest trade partner of Afghanistan, providing 21 percent of Afghanistan’s imports and buying 30.7 percent of its exports. Therefore Pakistan has been exploring all vistas to double the volume of bilateral trade in the next two years.

Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan expressed the views a preparatory meeting ahead of 5th Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority (APTTCA) meeting to be held on January 2-3 in which Tajik officials are also invited for talks on a Trilateral Transit Trade Agreement.

The meeting was attended by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, former State Bank Governor Dr Ishrat Hussain, senior officers of the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and researchers from Institute of Business Administration and Sustainable Policy Development Institute.

The Minister said that Pakistan was very much interested in developing the nascent manufacturing sector of Afghanistan through exported investment which would be expanded to Tajikistan and then to the rest of Central Asia. Pakistan is looking towards West for enhancing trade and Afghanistan was looking towards East for a consistent trading partner, therefore, the priorities of the two Governments have converged and both Governments have showed firm resolve to remove hurdles in the way of trade and investment, the Minister said. He apprised the meeting that the Commerce Ministry was keen to develop Torkham border post connecting Quetta to Qandhar and Chaman post connecting Peshawar to Jalalabad and Kabul.

For this purpose, Land Port Authority will be constituted which will upgrade Pakistan’s existing border posts on modern lines. The meeting discussed proposals to resolve the issues of Customs clearance, insurance of trucks and containers, tracking system of trucks, currency swap, role of SRO’s, lack of extensive credit facility from banks to traders and tax refunds.

Since 2009, Afghanistan’s GDP increased at 9 percent exhibiting rapid economic growth and it has the potential to grow at a consistent growth rate of 6-7pc till 2025. The Government is quantifying the magnitude of opportunities and removing the infrastructural and procedural hurdles in the way of trade and investment in Afghanistan.

Source : http://customstoday.com.pk/21pc-of-imports-30pc-exports-pakistan-biggest-trade-partner-of-afghanistan-trade-to-be-doubled-in-next-2-yrs/