Traders call for removing hurdles in regional trade to boost up exports

F.P. Report
PESHAWAR: Traders have stressed the need of taking pragmatic steps to remove hurdles in the way of regional trade.
Business community termed it imperative to boost up trade with central Asian republic countries to enhance the country’s export and gain huge foreign exchange to stabilize the national economy.
Pakistan is losing huge foreign exchanges owing to impediments in way of regional trade, the traders and exporters said while addressing during a joint meeting between members of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Peshawar with senior officials of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) here at the chamber’s house on Saturday.
The meeting was presided over by SCCI’s president Hasnain Khan Ahmad, who apprised the visiting Director General, TDAP Naseer Ahmad.
Besides, the chamber’s senior vice president Imran Khan Mohmand, vice president Javed Akhtar, former president Faiz Muhammad Faizi, former senior vice president Engr Manzoor Elahi, President of Industrialist Association Peshawar (IAP) Malik Imran Ishaq, executive member Ejaz Khan Afridi and Sohail Javed, Aurangzeb Khan, WCCI’s president Shahida Parveen, TDAP Peshawar Region Director Sabz Ali Khan, Assistant Director Zahid Khan, Director Islamabad Ishaq Shinwari, AD Ayaz Muhammad, Small Industrialist Association president Arif Wahid Awan, office bearers of the SCCI’s and WCCI’s were present in a large number.
Participants of the meeting attributed Pakistan’s trade deficit widening owing to lack of capturing regional markets in benefitting manner and losing of huge foreign exchange through bilateral trade and regional trade.
The speakers expressed fear that Pakistan would be economically bankrupt, if the regional market couldn’t fully be exploited. They added it would also only be made difficult to stabilize businesses, trade and economy but could be completely impossible.
Therefore, the participants demanded the government to take realistic measures to remove impediments and streamline trade with regional countries and ease difficulties of traders, especially exporters.
TDAP Director General Naseer Ahmad while speaking on the occasion said that the present government and his institute are fully committed to facilitate and promote regional trade.
In this regard, he added, the regional trade has been divided in three regions, including Africa Region, Central Asian Region and ASEAN region.
He informed the meeting that TDAP would organise a single country exhibition in the Central Asian Region in October this year. He added a second single country exhibition would be held in the month of December this year.
The TDAP Senior official invited the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa business community to participate in the both single country exhibitions.
Naseer Ahmad agreed with proposals of members of chambers, particularly women entrepreneurs’ suggestions for holding training sessions for brand promotion, joint exhibitions and their other issues on priority. The senior official assured to resolve traders’ community problems and issues essentially relating to regional trade in the light of their proposals. The TDAP DG stressed the need of establishing long-term collaboration and liaison with chambers/business community and launching of joint ventures, training programs and joint trade facilitation steps.
Hasnain Khurshid on the occasion called for the effective role of commercial attaché and counselors posted in foreign missions to capture central Asian markets in an efficient manner. He urged the State Bank of Pakistan to ensure issuance of loans to exporters to fully exploit investment potentials and opportunities in regional countries.
The SCCI chief proposed the signing of free trade agreements with Afghanistan and Central Asian Republic countries in order to gain huge foreign exchange for Pakistan and stabilize the local economy.