Karachi: Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry KCCI President Muhammad Haroon Agar has urged the World Bank Group on Trade and Transport Facilitation to execute IndoPak crossborder trade assessment study from KhokraparMonabao Border to start trade on the pattern of WaggahAttari.
Exchanging views with the Delegation of World Bank Group on Trade and Transport Facilitation headed by its Task Leader Ms Diep Nguyenvan Houtte he appreciated the initiative of WB’s study on improvement of Wagah Border and emphasized that for crossborder trade, Pakistani borders lack sufficient infrastructure and modern integrated checkposts and indispensable services. Customs and border procedures are not ideally oriented for trade facilitation. Single window facility as per international trade practices is essential.
He further suggested that Pakistan Railways Network is almost collapsed and CrossBorder Trade is totally dependent on Road Transport which is very costly due to high consumption of costly fuel so a study to revive Pakistan Railway for trade with Afghanistan and India is also need of time.
Haroon Agar said that to enhance trade with India, KCCI has formed BombayKarachi Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry which is recognized by both IndoPak Governments. KCCI had provided its proposals for Trade Liberalization, Negative List, 3 agreements and opening of KhokraparMonabao Border to facilitate the businessmen of Sindh & Baluchistan.
He asserted upon the need to establish PurposeBuilt Warehouses and CoolChains at the IndoPak Borders at Wagah and Khokrapar. He said that currently only 137 importable items are allowed from India through landroute of Wagah. More or all items should be allowed to be imported and exported from India from landroute. Presently the trade via road at Wagah Attari Border is allowed in open trucks and Container services should be introduced to save time of loading and unloading. There is a dire need to establish integrated checkposts equipped with modern facilities, lab testing, electronic data exchange facilities, scanners at the borders, he said.
President KCCI voiced that for IndoPak Cross Border trade further increase trading hours, new infrastructure, arrangements to resolve all issues like mutual cooperation, harmonization of Customs Procedures, Provision of Laboratories facilities, scanners, weighbridges, cold houses, automation of business processes, containerized services are imperative. Sharing views on trade via Khokrapar border he said that road network needs to be constructed before making the said dry port operational. Hyderabad Dry Port for Customs Clearance of Goods is not feasible and it is 400 KM from ZeroPoint of Khokrapar Monabao Border. Railways facilities at Khokrapar Station also need upgrading for trade utilization. All facilities as introduced and installed at WagahAttari Border need to be established at the Khokrapar Monabao Border to facilitate trade.
World Bank Group on Trade and Transport Facilitation Task Leader Ms Diep Nguyenvan Houtte apprised that responding to the request of the Government of Pakistan for World Bank support in trade and transport facilitation particularly in improvement of Wagah Border, World Bank’s initial scoping mission was on visit to Pakistan to conduct site visits and hold discussions with Public and Private sector in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. In this connection, the mission sought proposal from KCCI.
The delegation recognized the active role of Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry for promotion of trading and industrial activities in Karachi and elsewhere. This mission informed that they will also visit the Khokrapar Monabai Border for physical analysis.
The WB team member included Hasan Zaidi Transport Specialist, Manzoor ur Rehman Senior Transport Specialist, Charles Kunaka Senior Trade Specialist, Clayton Kersweel Senior Customs and Trade Facilitation Specialist, Erik Nora Operations Officer, Michel Zarnowiecki Senior Customs and Border Management Specialist/Consultant, Amjad Bashir, Operation OfficerIFC, Pierre Kattar Communications and Media ConsultantIFC, Arsala Deane Trade Facilitation ConsultantIFC, and Robert Struthers Customs and Border Management ConsultantIFC.