Pakistani Delegation, Kabul Pledge to Enhance Trade

The acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amir Khan Muttaqi, in a meeting with the Pakistani delegation led by Pakistan’s Commerce Secretary Muhammad Sualeh Ahmed Faruqui, pledged that the Islamic Emirate is ready to facilitate investment by neighbors, regional countries and the world as well as to facilitate international trade.

The deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Hafiz Zia Ahmad said that the meeting focused on transit, trade, the provision of facilities for export and import, resolving problems at crossing points, the provision of facilities in visa-issuing as well as facilitating the travel of Afghans.

“Both sides agreed to work in coordination with each other for economic development and to further facilitate trade between the two countries,” Zia Ahmad Takal, told TOLOnews.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry did not provide details of the meeting with the Pakistani delegation.

However, the Pakistani embassy issued a statement saying the Pakistani delegation in Kabul led by Commerce Secretary Muhammad Sualeh Ahmed Faruqui agreed on the following points with the Islamic Emirate:

“A. During the current financial year bilateral trade and transit has registered growth. This momentum needs to be sustained and further strengthened on mutually beneficial basis.”

“B. It was agreed to make border crossing points more efficient to ensure early clearance of trade and transit traffic and address the bottlenecks and impediments on priority basis.”

“C. The two sides agreed to implement Temporary Admission Document (TAD) allowing free movement of bilateral trade vehicles and prevent loading and unloading of goods at the border crossing points with view to further increase trade between the two countries.”

“D. The relevant authorities of the two sides also agreed to increase operational timings at all crossing points, particularly Torkham, Kharlachi, Ghulam Khan and Chaman/Spin Boldak.”

“E. The heads of the Custom departments of the two countries agreed to work together and evolve mutually connected custom procedures and systems to improve efficiency in clearance of goods.”

“F. Steps to be taken for starting luxury bus service between Peshawar & Jalalabad and Quetta & Kandahar making all possible efforts to commence the service from end of August this year.”

“G. Difficulties in visa processing would be addressed through mutual coordination.”

Meanwhile the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) said that no representative of the ACCI was invited to the meeting between the Pakistani delegation and Islamic Emirate.

“In general, the talks were good. We confirm this, particularly the barter trade was discussed. We hope a good decision will be made and the use of both currencies (for trade) will be the decision—not only Koldar but also Afghan currency,” said Khanjan Alokozai, a member of the ACCI.

“The 12-member delegation of Pakistan arrived in Afghanistan and met with the Minister of Commerce and Industry (Nooruddin Azizi). This was a good opportunity for Afghanistan, thus the Afghan trucks can carry the products to any location in Pakistan,” said Mirwais Hajizada, deputy head of the Afghanistan Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock.