PAK-AFGHAN TRADE CAN USHER IN AN ERA OF PEACE & DEVELOPMENT. ABBAS KHAN AFRIDI
Islamabad, the 30th April, 2014
Pakistan and Afghanistan share a twenty two hundred kilometer long border and can contribute to each other’s development more than anyone else. This was stated by the federal minister for textile industry Mr Abbas Khan Afridi while addressing the PAJCCI’s third annual conference, “Way forward -Afghanistan in transition: Looking beyond 2014”. Afghanistan’s ambassador to Pakistan, President Afghan Investment Support Agency, DG transit trade, Pakistan’s commercial attache in Kabul and representatives from foreign and commerce ministries were also present on the occasion.
The minister mentioned that if the potential of the two countries is sincerely explored, the trade between the two countries can usher into an era of peace and development. The minister highlighted the lack of commitment towards nation building. The present situation is quite dismay as despite being brotherly neighbours, Afghan minerals remain unexplored, lack access to Central Asian Republics and unemployment is on the rise in both countries, if Pakistan and Afghanistan join hands economic growth will be exemplary and second to none.
The federal minister brought into the notice of Afghan ambassador the problems faced by the Pakistani business community in Afghanistan. Afghan businessmen enjoy multiple visa in Pakistan whereas the same facility is not reciprocated to the Pakistani businessmen. He proposed that trade facilitation centers should be established in embassies that should resolve all trade related issues faced by the business community.
The federal minister mentioned that negative perception prevalent about Pakistan and Afghanistan is quite different from the reality. Both countries are peace loving and are committed towards economic and social progress. Business community can play an effective role in bringing two countries together and hence neutralize negative sentiments.
Co- president PAJCCI Mohammad Zubair Motiwala thanked the minister for his cooperation regarding release of containers that were struck at port. The federal minister also mentioned that the doors of his ministry are open for the Afghan brethren and he is ready to render any possible help and cooperation.