Business community demands tariff rationalization, revision in duties in Pak-Afghan trade, july 14, 2020

Business community demands tariff rationalization, revision in duties in Pak-Afghan trade, july 14, 2020

ISLAMABAD-Business community has urged the government of Pakistan and Afghanistan to rationalize tariffs, revision in duties, removal of complicated regulations and policies to improve the mutual trade volume and transit trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Afghan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) signed back in 2011, should be reviewed to remove reservations of traders, exporters and importers on this trade pact, Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) President Engineer Maqsood Anwar Pervaiz demanded this while chairing a meeting during visit of Afghan Consul General, Najeebullah Ahmadzai here on Tuesday.  

SCCI Senior Vice President (SVP), Shahid Hussain, Vice President Abdul Jalil Jan, former presidents Faiz Muhammad Faizi, Zahidullah Shinwari, former SVP Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, Ex-vice presidents Shuja Muhammad, Abidullah Yousafzai,  Afghan Commercial Attaché, Fawad Arash, member Afghan Commercial Attaché, Hameed Fazil Khel, first secretary Afghan Consulate Peshawar, Ghulam Habib, Protocol Officer Johari, members of the SCCI executive body, Muhamamd Naeem Butt, Aftab Iqbal, Mujebur Rehman, Ihsanullah, Ghulam Bilal Javed, Shams Rahim, Saddar Gul, Rashid Iqbal Siddique, office bearers of Kohat Industrial Estate Association, traders were present in the meeting.

Maqsood Pervaiz said Pakistan and Afghanistan were enjoying cordial relations owing to their common culture and language. However, he said that the bilateral trade volume between Afghanistan and Pakistan was very low, which needs to be further improved by taking joint measures by the both the governments.

“Islamabad and Kabul should focus on improvement of mutual trade volume and ensure provision of facilities to businessmen on both sides of the border to ease their difficulties,” SCCI chief emphasized.

SCCI president said that the mutual Pak-Afghan bilateral trade volume had declined from $ 2.5billion to less than $ 1billion because of enforcement complicated regulations, policies, high tariffs and duties, which should be altered to strengthen the bilateral trade as well as transit trade between the two neighbouring countries.

The Afghan diplomat said that his government was taking steps to resolve issues of Pakistani traders, importers and exporters and also facilitating them at every level.

“Afghanistan wants to promote cordial trade, economic, culture and religious ties with Pakistan, Najeebullah Ahmadzai said. He stressed that both Pakistan and Afghanistan should need to work out a joint mechanism to resolve issues of the business community on a fast-track basis.

The Afghan diplomat said the Afghan government was taking measures to facilitate Pakistani businessmen. He suggested that a meeting of Pakistanis exporters and importers should be held at Torkham border to devise a joint mechanism for amicable resolution of their problems. He voiced concern over declining mutual Pak-Afghan trade volume.

Zahidullah Shinwari, Faiz Muhammad, Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, Naeem Butt, Aftab Iqbal, Mujeeb ur Rehman and others also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the issues which were being faced by traders community on both side the border and gave several proposals for their amicable resolution.