Afghan businessmen urge business policies to continue during Taliban 2.0 regime. They desire that the business intuitions developed through the investments by international community should not be lost. The Afghan business community claimed that peace and stability is vital to steer the war-ravaged country out of crisis and for this smooth business running is imperative. In this way, the country can step on the road to progress and stability.
Afghan businessmen urge business policies to continue for country’s betterment
The country is passing through a critical juncture and after Taliban’s take over, the business community wants that the system and institutions developed here during last 20 years including investment by the international community must not be lost, said President Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industries Khan Jan Alkozai in an interview with APP.
The business community underscored the need for continuity in policies as consistency establishes trust of the people in the system. “The world is very advance and moving ahead in every field at a fast pace”, he added.
“After Taliban clinched the power in Afghanistan, our worries are that the system developed here in the last 20 years should be continued, because we have experts of this system in all fields, “ he added.
Afghan businessmen want smooth regional trade
He said the business community of Afghanistan wanted Pakistan’s linkages with Central Asian Republics (CARs), the Russian Federation and all political and security related issues lying in it must be resolved.
Both the countries should change their economic and security policies for promotion of trade besides improving the customs and banking system between the two countries, he added.
He said that the CASA-1000 and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline projects could be materialized when peace and stability is restored in Afghanistan.
Alkozai said there were 1500 members of Pak-Afghan Joint Chambers of Commerce and Industries besides local traders and they have assured of smooth functioning of trade between the two countries.
He said bureaucratic bottlenecks must be removed and more facilities at Torkham and Chaman borders and Karachi seaport be provided to enhance bilateral trade.
He said 2000 of containers – most of which have food items, got stuck at Karachi port due to non-payment and the traders needed help of Pakistan’s government in this regard.
Welcoming the extension in the Afghan Transit Trade Agreement (ATTA) for next three months, he urged upon Islamabad and Kabul to reconstitute a new transit agreement in consultation with respective business communities and stakeholders on both sides of the border.
Alkozai, however, urged for simplification of rules & regulations for carrying out smooth bilateral trade and transit trade.
Read more: Challenges Taliban cannot escape in governing Afghanistan
Afghan businessmen envision flourishing Pak-Afghan bilateral trade
Meanwhile, President Afghanistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries Muhammad Younas Khan Momand said the Taliban leadership had assured business community restoration of peace and security and they were hopeful of fulfillment of their pledges.
Talking to APP here, he said, there was vast potential of increasing bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan after restoration of peace and stability.
He said in 2012 the bilateral trade between the two countries had reached to $3 billion but later due to security and political reasons it dropped to $1 billion, but now it was again on the rise.
He said Afghanistan was a land locked country and maximum of its imports come through Pakistan’s Karachi and Gwadar ports, adding that Pakistan was also major beneficiary of the bilateral trade as maximum of our imports come from Pakistan.
Afghanistan imports electrical goods, steel, cement, bricks, clothes, Kino, banana and other edible items from Pakistan while Afghanistan exports fresh and dry fruits to Pakistan.
He added that tax on perishable items between the two countries should be zero or bring it down to its minimum level.
Momand said that trade and politics should be separated from each other as both countries could take great benefit from its geographical location, adding that there should be smooth trade between the two countries.
Afghan businessmen urge for maximum investment opportunities
Lauding the efforts of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for focusing on regional connectivity with Afghanistan and five landlocked Central Asian countries – Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, he said, these efforts could cause a major economic upturn for these countries.
He, however, termed peace in Afghanistan as the “foremost factor” to materialize such a vision of prosperity.
President Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries Younus Momand said an International Joint Border Market was need of the hour as it would provide maximum investment opportunities to business community of the two countries and foreign investors.
He said there was great scope for joint investment in marble sector and mining, adding the Taliban leadership had guaranteed that fool-proof security to be provided to the businessmen and foreign investors.
Read more: Taliban takeover “blessing in disguise” for Pak-Afghan trade
APP with additional input by GVS Desk