Karachi, July 29, 2013 (PPI-OT): Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s President Muhammad Haroon Agar has urged the World Bank Group on Trade and Transport Facilitation to execute Indo-Pak cross-border trade assessment study from Khokrapar-Monabao Border to start trade on the pattern of Waggah-Attari. Exchanging views with the Delegation of World Bank Group on Trade and Transport Facilitation headed by its Task Leader Ms Diep Nguyen-van Houtte he appreciated the initiative of WB’s study on improvement of Wagah Border and emphasized that for cross-border trade, Pakistani borders lack sufficient infrastructure and modern integrated check-posts and indispensable services. Customs and border procedures are not ideally oriented for trade facilitation. Single window facility as per international trade practices is essential.
He further suggested that Pakistan Railways Network is almost collapsed and Cross-Border Trade is totally dependent on Road Transport which is very costly due to high consumption of costly fuel so a study to revive Pakistan Railway for trade with Afghanistan and India is also need of time.
Haroon Agar said that to enhance trade with India, KCCI has formed Bombay-Karachi Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry which is recognized by both Indo-Pak Governments. KCCI had provided its proposals for Trade Liberalization, Negative List, 3 agreements and opening of Khokrapar-Monabao Border to facilitate the businessmen of Sindh and Baluchistan.
He asserted upon the need to establish Purpose-Built Warehouses and Cool-Chains at the Indo-Pak Borders at Wagah and Khokrapar. He said that currently only 137 importable items are allowed from India through land-route of Wagah. More or all items should be allowed to be imported and exported from India from land-route.
Presently the trade via road at Wagah Attari Border is allowed in open trucks and Container services should be introduced to save time of loading and unloading. There is a dire need to establish integrated check-posts equipped with modern facilities, lab testing, electronic data exchange facilities, scanners at the borders, he told.
President KCCI voiced that for Indo-Pak Cross Border trade further increase trading hours, new infrastructure, arrangements to resolve all issues like mutual cooperation, harmonization of Customs Procedures, Provision of Laboratories facilities, scanners, weighbridges, cold houses, automation of business processes, containerized services are imperative.
Sharing views on trade via Khokrapar border he said that road network needs to be constructed before making the said dry port operational. Hyderabad Dry Port for Customs Clearance of Goods is not feasible and it is 400 KM from Zero-Point of Khokrapar Monabao Border. Railways facilities at Khokrapar Station also need upgrading for trade utilization. All facilities as introduced and installed at Wagah-Attari Border need to be established at the Khokrapar Monabao Border to facilitate trade.
World Bank Group on Trade and Transport Facilitation Task Leader Ms Diep Nguyen-van Houtte apprised that responding to the request of the Government of Pakistan for World Bank support in trade and transport facilitation particularly in improvement of Wagah Border, World Bank’s initial scoping mission was on visit to Pakistan to conduct site visits and hold discussions with Public and Private sector in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. In this connection, the mission sought proposal from KCCI.
The delegation recognized the active role of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry for promotion of trading and industrial activities in Karachi and elsewhere. This mission informed that they will also visit the Khokrapar Monabai Border for physical analysis.
The WB team member included Hasan Zaidi (Transport Specialist), Manzoor ur Rehman (Senior Transport Specialist), Charles Kunaka (Senior Trade Specialist), Clayton Kersweel ( Senior Customs and Trade Facilitation Specialist), Erik Nora (Operations Officer), Michel Zarnowiecki (Senior Customs and Border Management Specialist/Consultant), Amjad Bashir, (Operation Officer-IFC), Pierre Kattar (Communications and Media Consultant-IFC), Arsala Deane (Trade Facilitation Consultant-IFC), and Robert Struthers (Customs and Border Management Consultant-IFC).
For more information, contact:
M. Shafiq Baig
Public Relations Officer
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Tel: +9221 9921 8001 -09
Fax: +9221 9921 8010
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com