Karachi, March 06, 2015 (PPI-OT): The business communities across the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan are keen to strengthen bilateral trade and promote documented economy; therefore it is imperative to encourage genuine businessmen and formal economy which would help increase in GDP and tax collection. This was stated by Junaid Esmail Makda, Director PAJCCI at an “Interactive session between British High Commission Delegation at PAJCCI Secretariat in Karachi”.
British delegates appreciated initiative of PAJCCI for holding such forum whereby presence of representatives from Afghan Consulate, Ministry of Commerce, relevant custom officials and stakeholders all are ensured to deliberate upon resolution of those hindrances that hamper both transit trade and bilateral trade amongst Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.
In the said meeting, Alan Whitworth, Senior Economist- DFID Pakistan, William Calladine, Head of Afghanistan Team, BHC Islamabad, Khayyam Abbasi, Political Adviser, Junaid Esmail Makda, Director PAJCCI, A Q Khalil, Director PAJCCI and Former President, KCCI, Majyd Aziz, Former President KCCI, Abdul Basit, Director PAJCCI, Qazi Zahid Hussain, Director PAJCCI, Engr. Daroo Khan, Vice President, PAJCCI were present.
While speaking on the forum, Majyd Aziz elaborated upon the initiatives of PAJCCI in a span of three years for enhancement of stakeholders’ confidence across the border between Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
A Q Khalil deliberated upon the dire need to implement core decisions as agreed upon in APTTCA meeting in the presence of PAJCCI directors from each side, Customs officials, commercial counsellors which would be critical to help resolving day-to-day trade issues. He stressed that automation of Customs is key to strengthen the trade and promote documented economy.
A Q Khalil reiterated that tariff rationalization across the border is the only solution for countering parallel trade between the two countries and the work in this context should be initiated promptly and also stressed that the relationship of neighbouring countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and India are the key to promote increase in trade between the regions.
Qazi Zahid informed that currently only 5% to 7% of trade is being scanned due to threats of smuggling and theft of containers. Daroo Khan informed that majority of businessmen are willing to do business in a legitimate manner and it could be done once proper infrastructure is developed for trade.
Junaid Makda emphasized strongly on the significance of establishing infrastructure for medical, law and educational institution for the general public of Afghanistan under PAJCCI’s umbrella with due support from Governments of both the Countries. This concept would eliminate issues of smuggling and undocumented economy.
Majyd Aziz also raised issues pertinent to execution of APTTA that banking channels must be improvised to support the trade and improvement in infrastructure and secured transportation mode must be done to reap the actual benefits of trade not only with Afghanistan but also with CAREC.
Delegates from British High Commission said that many British companies could do business in Afghanistan and could also undertake joint ventures with their Pakistani counterparts despite various challenges. Speaking at a meeting during his visit to PAJCCI Karachi on Wednesday, while underscoring the need to effectively deal with these security threats, assured full cooperation and support to restore formal trade process between Pakistan and Afghanistan which is the only way of progress and prosperity in Afghanistan.
Majyd Aziz iterated that we can assist Afghanistan in building a secure and stable future. He said that Afghanistan needs to build its economy and increase GDP to self-sustain before NATO and allied forces leave. He also said that through the platform of PAJCCI we could strive hard and look forward to double the trade targets by FY 2016.
For more information, contact:
Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI)