Published Date: Dec 25, 2014
Pakistan keen to invest in Afghan manufacturing sector
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is very much interested to invest in the nascent manufacturing sector of Afghanistan to explore the markets of Tajikistan and the rest of the Central Asia, Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan said on Wednesday.
He was speaking at a preparatory moot in relation to 5th Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority meeting to be held on 2-3 January. Tajik officials were also invited for talks on a trilateral transit trade agreement.
The minister Khan said the commerce ministry is 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 to upgrade Pakistan’s existing border posts on modern lines, he said.
The moot discussed proposals to resolve the issues of customs clearance, insurance of trucks and containers, tracking system of trucks, currency swap, role of statutory regulatory orders, lack of extensive credit facility from banks to traders and tax refunds.
Khan said the Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral trade will be doubled in the next two years. Pakistan is looking towards west to enhance trade opportunities, while Afghanistan is looking towards East. Therefore, the priorities of the two governments have converged and both the governments have showed firm resolve to remove hurdles in the way of trade and investment, the minister said. Pakistan is the largest trading partner of Afghanistan, providing 21 percent of latter’s imports and buying 30.7 percent of its exports. Major exports from Pakistan include cement, salt, construction materials, cereals, sugar, confectionary and animals, while imports include cotton, coal, vegetables, raw skins, carpets and textile floor coverings.
Since 2009, Afghanistan’s gross domestic product has increased to nine percent, exhibiting a rapid economic growth and it has the potential to grow at a consistent rate of six to seven percent 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.
Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Dr Ishrat Hussain, ex-Governor State bank of Pakistan, senior officers from the commerce and foreign ministries and researchers from the Institute of Business Administration and Sustainable Policy Development Institute attended the moot.
Source : http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-3-292162-Pakistan-keen-to-invest-in-Afghan-manufacturing-sector