ICCI hails Pak-Afghan joint declaration to enhance trade

  • March 12, 2010
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has welcomed the signing of Pak-Afghan joint declaration by foreign ministers of Pakistan and Afghanistan to enhance the existing level of bilateral trade to $5-billion by 2015 and termed it a highly positive development to open new avenues of cooperation between the two countries.

Chairing a meeting of businessmen, Zahid Maqbool, President, ICCI said that this good move will create new opportunities for uplifting the living standards of peoples & improving economies.

He said that strengthening road, rail and air links and upgrading existing facilities between Pakistan and Afghanistan will help businessmen of both countries to fully exploit bilateral trade potential and complement each other by utilizing their natural comparative economic advantages.

He said smuggling from Afghanistan to Pakistan is taking a heavy toll on our genuine businesses and stressed that both countries should take measures to curb smuggling and facilitate trade through legal channels which will produce more beneficial results for them.

He said Pakistan and Afghanistan are endowed with vast natural resources including mineral and hydel potential. Thus they could become hubs of business activities in this region by exploiting this potential with joint efforts.

Businessmen said Central Asia is very rich in energy deposits and added that Afghanistan stands a historic opportunity of getting unprecedented economic prosperity by becoming a potential center of energy supply from Central Asia to Pakistan, South Asia and Euro-American markets.

They emphasized that Pakistan and Afghanistan should promote frequent exchange of trade delegations and encourage B2B contacts so that business community of these countries could explore new opportunities of promoting trade and joint ventures. For this purpose, steps should be taken for harmonizing customs procedures of both countries.

Zahid Maqbool hoped that undertaking joint studies for promotion and facilitation of multi-model communication links will pave way for unleashing the vast potential of bilateral economic activities by developing comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.