SCCI calls for taking pragmatic steps to boost up regional trade

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Businessmen in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have called for removal of impediments to enhance trade between Pakistan and regional countries.

Bolstering of regional trade is essential to stabilizing the local economy, prosperity and improvement of the country’s export, says Sherbaz Bilour president of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry while chairing a meeting of traders, importers and exporters here at chamber house on Wednesday.

Engr Manzoor Elahi, senior vice president and Junaid Altaf vice president of the chamber and others were present in the meeting.

The participants identified the bottlenecks in the way of Pak-Afghan mutual trade as well as central Asian Republic (CARs) countries and suggested a number of proposals for their amicable resolution.

It was agreed the proposed recommendations would be sent to diplomatic missions of CARs countries, besides relevant authorities and institutions in order to resolve the obstacle, which were impeding bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan and the regional countries.

Bilour urged Pakistan and Kabul to review policies to ensure smooth trade between the two neighbouring countries as well as regional trade.

He said the business community, especially exporters and importers have faced enormous difficulties while doing trade with Afghanistan and rest of the regional countries, emphasizing their resolution on priority basis.

SCCI chief said that the Pak-Afghan bilateral trade volume can be further improved along with doing transit trade via Afghanistan to regional states, if all hurdles should be removed amicably.

He highly appreciated the reduction in ratio of tariffs, duties and taxes by both Pakistan and Afghanistan on some import and export items, urged that Islamabad and Kabul to bring reduction in rates of tariffs, taxes and RDs on other items as well so that can help to achieve the set target of bilateral trade between the two neighbouring countries and also boost up the regional trade.

The chamber president on the occasion, also urged the Afghan Transit Trade Agreement – ATTA should be signed in light of proposals, which was given by the business community during the consultation process.