Pak-Afghan officials for removal of impediments in bilateral transit trade

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Muhammad Arshad

Islamabad

Pakistani and Afghan officials, Tuesday, expressed strong resolve to make all out efforts to remove impediments hampering bilateral and transit trade. Both sides also agreed strengthen the institutional mechanism between both the countries.
A high ranking ministerial level meeting of officials of both Pakistan and Afghanistan observed that the much awaited 7th Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority Meeting was the need of the hour.
The high-ranking Afghan delegation was led by Deputy Minister for Commerce Kamila Sidiqi while Pakistani side was led by Secretary Commerce Mohammad Younus Dagha and expressed strong desire to enhance trade relations between the two countries by overcoming existing challenges.
The discussion largely hinged on the SPS/Quarantine certification and removal of regulatory duties on selected items like fresh fruits and vegetables, dry fruit, etc. to facilitate Afghanistan’s exports to Pakistan as announced by the Prime Minister of Pakistan during his recent visit to Afghanistan.
During the meeting, both sides expressed the desire to enhance trade relations between the two countries by overcoming existing challenges.
The discussion largely hinged on the SPS / Quarantine certification and removal of regulatory duties on selected items like fresh fruits and vegetables, dry fruit, etc. to facilitate Afghanistan’s exports to Pakistan as announced by the Prime Minister of Pakistan during his recent visit to Afghanistan.
Deployment of Department of Plant Protection personnel on various border crossings was also discussed and the Secretary, Ministry of National Food Security and Research informed the Afghan side that the personnel have been deployed at Chaman and Torkham initially and other border crossings will also be facilitated in due course.
The two sides will increase interaction at technical and policy levels for the prompt resolution of issue from time to time.
The Afghan delegation thanked the Pakistan Government for their hospitality and for accommodation of the concerns of Afghan traders and farmers.
Afghan delegation also included Hamdullah Hamdard, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, Mir Saeed Saeedy, Director General, International Trade, Ministry of Commerce, Khan Jan Alakozai, Head of Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Najibullah Wardak, Deputy Director, Income, Ministry of Finance, Ahmed Shakir Qarar, Deputy Director, First Political Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Edrees Raouf, Cotton Specialist, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock and Embassy officials.

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