Islamabad, April 03, 2014 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Commerce Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan has said that the present government is specifically focused on regional economic connectivity by enhancing relations with the neighboring countries and extending it further beyond to the economic and trading blocs adjoining South Asia. He expressed these views while talking to the Ambassador of Afghanistan in Pakistan Mr. Janan Musazai.
The Minister while discussing the level of dependence between Pakistan and Afghanistan said that the two countries are engines of prosperity for each other and both are considered an economic gateway for the each other. Afghanistan opens up Pakistan to huge and virtually untapped markets of Central Asia and Pakistan’s road network provides Afghanistan a connection to the Eastern and North Eastern countries of South Asia like India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
The Minister said that the atmosphere of confidence and mutual trust that emerged between the two countries after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took oath is extraordinary and in many respects unprecedented.
He was of the view that the lingering hiatus on several issues is now over and fruitful developments have been made on several issues especially trade and security related issues. The Minister proposed that it is time that the two countries should move ahead from being trading partners to investment partners because such joint economic projects augur well for the over-all relations between countries. He apprised the Ambassador that the recent exchange of visits by the businessmen of two countries was a great success and new avenues of investment are emerging on the economic map of two countries.
Talking about his recent visit to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chambers of Commerce and Industry the Minister said that the businessmen of KPK are very enthusiastic about the new prospects of trade with Afghanistan and sees huge potential in it.
He told the Ambassador that he has promised the business community to remove all hurdles which create problems and delay the transportation of goods. For this the Minister showed his resolve to meet officials of relevant provincial and federal ministries.
Afghan ambassador while stressing the need to have more vigorous bilateral economic relations said that Afghanistan would like to use Pakistan’s doors like Karachi, Gawadar, Wagah which open it up to the rest of the world.
He proposed that the idea to have more frequent consultative sessions between officials of Afghan Embassy, Ministry of Commerce and other relevant government organizations to review progress and remove bottlenecks that may arise from time to time. He apprised the minister that there are great opportunities of investments available in Afghanistan in the fields of agriculture, health, education, transport and construction.
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