Bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan has gone as low $1.5 million in 2015 and going down further in 2016. Afghanistan Ministry of defence Adviser Washma Frogh in a meeting with FPCCI leaders has stressed that declining bilateral trade requires serious attention to stop further decline. Afghanistan Ministry of Defense Advisor leading an Afghan delegation also expressed deep concern over the delays in clearance of Afghanistan bound goods and desired to move on fast track basis.
She suggested that FPCCI should explore the possibility of holding Single Country exhibition in Kabul and Kandhar and also send trade delegations for extension of trade and economic relations. Speaking on the occasion Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig vice president FPCC and former advisor to Prime Minister assured that FPCCI will take up this matter at the highest level and do our best to remove the bottlenecks and improve the existing bilateral trade relation and plead for expeditious clearance of Afghanistan bound goods.
He further proposed to ensure that sub-standard goods don’t find their way in Afghanistan and to maintain quality of products from Pakistan pre-shipment inspection of goods may be made mandatory. Mirza Ishtiaq Baig, said that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan is showing positive trend and efforts will be made to further improve it and shall focus more on Afghan Transit Trade, concentrate on Road, Railways, Energy Products, Regional Economic Integration and Economic Co-operation.
He further added that FPCCI and its counterpart ACCI are the active members of SAARC CCI, ECO CCI and Islamic CCI and next year President-ship of ECO CCI will be shifted to Afghanistan therefore suggested that next ECO CCI may be hosted in Afghanistan. It will afford us an opportunity to exploit potential of member countries. While discussing misuse of Afghanistan – Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement by certain unscrupulous elements as the Afghanistan Bound Goods arriving at the ports end up in the Pakistani markets shall be subjected to thorough checking.
Nevertheless Government of Pakistan is aware of this situation and has increased the vigilance and planning to modernize scanning machines and tracking system at Pak – Afghan Border. Mirza Ishtiaq Baig assured the delegation for fullest co-operation that could be helpful in enhancing the bilateral trade between the two brotherly countries.