Afghanistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) President Muhammad Younas Khan Momand Thursday said the Taliban leadership had assured the business community for the restoration of peace and security and they were hopeful of the fulfilment of their pledges.
In an exclusive interview with APP, he said there was the vast potential of increasing bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan and after the restoration of peace and stability this bilateral trade would be increased manifold.
He said in 2012 the bilateral trade between the two countries had reached $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 landlocked country and the maximum of its imports come through Pakistan’s Karachi and Gwader ports, adding Pakistan was also a major beneficiary of the bilateral trade as the maximum of our imports come from Pakistan.
Afghanistan imports electrical goods, steel, cement, bricks, clothes, Kino, bananas 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 maximum level.
Momand said trade and politics should be separated from each other as both countries could take great benefit from their geographical location, adding that there should be smooth trade among the two countries.
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 were the efforts to witness a major economic upturn for these countries.
He, however, termed peace in Afghanistan as the “foremost factor” to materialize such a vision of prosperity.
To a question about the declining trend in Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA), he said, after remaining in trouble for some time it was now heading in a positive direction and expressed the hope that in the coming time it would be further increased.
ACCI President Younus Momand said an International Joint Border Market was the need of the hour as it would provide maximum investment opportunities to the business community of the two countries and foreign investors.
He said there was great scope for joint investment in the marble sector and mining, adding the Taliban leadership had guaranteed them that fool-proof security to be provided to the businessmen and foreign investors, adding in the new government there would be no security issue.
— Nino Brodin (@Orgetorix) August 26, 2021
To a question about price-hike of edible items in Afghanistan, he said, after taking over Kabul by the Taliban, around 2,000 containers, most of them were of edible items, had been stuck at Karachi port, adding now all banks in Afghanistan had been opened and now these containers would reach Kabul in two days.
Meanwhile, bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan from Torkham and Chaman borders have shown sign of improvement in the wake of pro-commerce measures taken by the Taliban soon after taking over Kabul.
“During the last ten days after taking over control of affairs by Taliban in Afghanistan, the Pak-Afghan trade started showing an increase from both sides of borders,” said Zia ul Haq Sarhadi, prominent businessman of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and former vice president of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Via APP with additional inputs from GVS