LAHORE (INP): SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an apex body in the region, Wednesday hailed Pakistan decision to allow export of Afghan goods to India through Wagah border to facilitate its transit trade smoothly.
President SAARC Chamber Iftikhar Ali Malik while commenting on the decision said that in the wake of deadly corona virus pandemic, it is result oriented fruit bearing good decision to further strengthen bilateral trade relations with Afghanistan. He said that Pakistan has fulfilled its commitment under the Pakistan Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA).
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan always attached great importance to durable bilateral relations with Afghanistan and Pakistan has restored bilateral trade and Afghan transit trade at all 18 border crossing terminals to pre covid-19 position.
Iftikhar Malik said it is another good omen that Pakistan to enhance bilateral trade with Afghanistan reopened two more border crossings, Kharlachi in Kurram and Angor Adda point in South Waziristan districts a couple of days ago to boost trade between the two countries.
He said Pakistan is the largest importer of Afghan products while Afghanistan is the 4th largest destination for Pakistan exports. He said Pakistan attaches great importance to South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and remained committed to its principles and objectives of its Charter. He said Pakistan had always strived to make the regional body a vibrant vehicle for mutual cooperation based on the principle of sovereign equality.
Iftikhar Malik said that SAARC had immense potential for strengthening the economies of the member countries and to promote collaboration in various areas of mutual significance. “The organization needs to work towards achieving economic, cultural and social growth of the region,” he said, calling for increased level of connectivity among the SAARC member states for a prosperous region. He said Pakistan had advanced its belief that a secure and peaceful environment in South Asia was crucial for the advancement of region’s development and prosperity.
He said that SAARC Chamber would continue play a positive role in further strengthening regional cooperation and promotion of trade among state member countries.
Malik said region had all resources to become economic giant and possessed huge mineral resources to get rid of the economic ills. Reiterating his earlier stance, he said Imran will utilize his best leadership flair and available resources for the promotion of trade and industry in South Asian region. He said that after the closure of all boarders to prevent the spread of Covid 19 India had started an air corridor with Kabul for imports and exports which proved very expensive and chambers of either countries and government of Afghanistan had also requested Pakistan for resumption of trade after implementing covid-19 protocols.
SAARC chamber would try to bridge the trade gap and strength trade relations in the region for sustainable economic development by fully utilizing the potential natural resources of each other he concluded.