Lahore—As the government of Pakistan is making concrete deliberations towards building modern rail tracks and refurbishing the existing ones for direct and transit-trade with Afghanistan and Iran, the ‘All Pakistan Business Forum’ (APBF) has appreciated this trans-national venture. The forum further expressed its intent to utilize the proposed rail-link infrastructure to optimize the trade potential with the friendly neighboring countries. A South African business delegation recently came to Pakistan with an interest in undertaking this large-scale project. The delegation was led by M/S Grindrod Rail a Multi-Continent Investment Company, represented by Mr. Willem Goosen. The high-level meeting was facilitated by Ashfaq Anwar a Pakistani businessman from South Africa.
The delegation offered its support to Pakistan in terms of funding, rail-infrastructure development, technology transfer, training of human resources and provision of logistics for different projects. Pakistan’s Commerce Minister chaired a meeting with this delegation and stated that; ‘The Pakistan government considers rail-tracks as trade corridors. We strongly desire to enrich the trade-relations with Iran and Afghanistan through rail, by building integrated locomotive services and a modern rail-link from Gwadar Port to up-country and further to Afghanistan. Refurbishing of existing rail infrastructure for trade with Iran is also under consideration. The President of APBF Ibrahim Qureshi, welcomed the plan to build the new rail-road infrastructure to Iran & Afghanistan and stated that; “Despite huge trade potential, the trade between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan has remained low, due to inadequate trade infrastructure like; poor rail, road and air links.