Staff Reporter Islamabad
President SAARC Chambers of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik Sunday stressed the need for unlocking potentials of regional economic co-operation and integration to boost trade among SAARC members countries especially with Af-ghanistan at this critical juncture.
Talking to a delegation of traders led by Mu-hammad Saddique Kamboh he said inter regional trade in South Asia is less than one third of its po-tential which indicates 67 percent of trade is not being fully exploited.
Other members of the delega-tion included Muhammad Adrees,Muhammad Nadeem,Muhammad Shafique and Muhammad Naeem.
He said role of Afghanistan as a connector and as land bridge between Central Asia, the Middle East and South Asia needs to be reviewed in prevailing scenario to primarily focus on promotion of trade and investment.
He said even today, Afghanistan is seen as a viable doorway to South Asian countries for direct access to oil and gas of republics of Tajiki-stan,Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
He said better trade ties will help promote eco-nomic growth and to do away with abject poverty in the region especially in Afghanistan thus enhancing its cross border and transit trade with neighbouring countries.
He said poor trade facilitation at borders and prevalence of a variety of non tariff barriers are major hurdles in further enhancing mutual trade manifolds with Afghanistan.