Islamabad, Dec 30. (Alliance News) The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) and the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PAJCCI) have discussed collaborating and working jointly for promoting the Pakistan-Afghanistan bilateral trade and economic relations that would bring prosperity for both countries. These views were exchanged during a meeting of Ms. Faiza, Secretary General, Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Pakistan Chapter with Muhammad Shakeel Munir, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry during her visit to ICCI. Jamshaid Akhtar Sheikh Senior Vice President, Baser Daud former President ICCI, Saboor Malik PAJCCI Pakistan Director and others were also present at the occasion.
Speaking at the occasion, Muhammad Shakeel Munir, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that according to some estimates, Pakistan and Afghanistan have the potential to increase bilateral trade up to US $8 billion to $10 billion annually and emphasized that both countries should facilitate the private sectors to capitalize on this vast potential. He stressed that all hurdles in the way of smooth flow of trade should be removed by either side with mutual consultations. He further said that the number of scanners at the Torkham border should be increased to expedite the goods handling.
ICCI President said that Pakistan could export a wide range of products to Afghanistan including marble & granites, steel, cement, bricks, food products, pharmaceuticals, electrical goods, clothes, fruits and many other items while it could import fresh and dry fruits from Afghanistan. He said that Pakistan provided shortest and cheapest connectivity to Afghanistan with the rest of the world while Afghanistan provided easy access to Pakistan for Central Asian markets, therefore, close mutual cooperation would be very beneficial for both countries. He assured that ICCI was ready to work closely with PAJCCI for increasing bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Ms. Faiza, Secretary General, Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry shared the vision of President PAJCCI with the President ICCI for improving Pak-Afghan bilateral trade. She said that promoting trade, investment and JVs between Pakistan and Afghanistan was the key focus of PAJCCI and cooperation of ICCI was important to achieve these goals. She said that Afghanistan needed to improve and upgrade its trade & industrial infrastructure and Pakistani investors should explore opportunities of investment and JVs in Afghanistan. She assured that PAJCCI would extend them all possible cooperation in such pursuits. Both sides also discussed many options to expand and deepen trade and economic relations between the two countries for achieving mutually beneficial results.