Pakistan, Afghanistan asked to form Custom Union

KARACHI: Pakistan is most important trade partner of Afghanistan but the bilateral trade between the two countries is not reflecting its true potentials. The business community is facing various problems in trade through APTTA. Theses NTBs and other obstacles should be removed to get the clear path for development of trade and economic relations.

This was stated by Zakaria Usman, President FPCCI and ECO CCI in a meeting with Afghan Commercial Attache Zeeshan Ibrahim who visited FPCCI to meet the President. He suggested the formation of Custom Union between Pakistan and Afghanistan so that all complications in APTTA could be avoided and the trade becomes smooth. The meeting was also attended by Shaukat Ahmed, Sr Vice President, Mazhar Ali Nasir, Ismail Suttar, Khurram Sayeed, Vice Presidents of FPCCI and Haji Jamal and other prominent businessmen.

Zakaria Usman further said: :If Custom Union is formed between both the countries, this will facilitate the smooth and frictionless transportation of commodities across the borders and the subsidiary issues related with the collection mechanism, tax and tariff will be automatically removed.”

The President FPCCI stressed on exploration of new joint business avenues in various sectors and frequent exchange of trade delegations both sides so that people to people contact can be established and business to business meetings can be arranged. He further said that transit trade from Pakistan to Central Asia is allowed through Chaman Border but practically it is not allowed which is a great obstacle in promotion of bilateral trade. He emphasized on establishment of Pak – Afghan Trade Vigilance Committee under the aegis of national chambers of both the countries to look into the matters of bilateral trade.

The Afghan Commercial Attache said that Pakistan and Afghanistan are brotherly countries and various trade barriers on both side were causing damages to the volume of trade. He invited the President FPCCI to visit Afghanistan along with a trade delegation. He also suggested a meeting with President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani with FPCCI’s trade delegation to discuss various bilateral economic and trade related issues. He gave assurance that all issues would be properly addressed and resolved.

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