Islamabad: A Technical Working Group (TWG) of Afghan officials is visiting Pakistan to negotiate issues that are hampering bilateral and transit trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Technical Working Group had a detailed meeting with Mr. Razak Dawood, Advisor to PM on Commerce, Textile, Industries & Production and Investment where both sides exchanged their concerns and proposals to enhance bilateral trade.
The Advisor PM highlighted that Pakistan and Afghanistan share long historical, political and economic ties. However, the volume of current bilateral trade is much below than the available potential owing to trade barriers which are required to be removed forthwith with mutual consultation. Therefore, both countries need to take steps to exploit the untapped trade potential between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Further, Advisor informed the TWG that Pakistan’s industry is badly impacted by the pilferage of goods in our market through transit trade and asked the Afghan side to take necessary policy measures to address the issues of transit trade. Moreover, he also stressed over the need Afghan side to finalize and share the amended draft of Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) as was agreed earlier.
The Afghan side agreed to increase bilateral trade through mutual cooperation by addressing all the issues which are negatively affecting trade between both the countries. The head of delegation proposed the constitution of a joint commission in order to resolve all the issues including transit trade through mutual consultation and cooperation thereof. He further mentioned that leadership of both the countries has required political will which needs to be translated into cooperation on technical level by developing understanding of customs authorities on both sides.
The Advisor to PM stressed on the need to explore opportunities to maximize mutual trade volume and move forward for trade cooperation via communication and custom cooperation. He also indicated that Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement should be implemented in true letter and spirit. He mentioned that Pakistan can be instrumental in ensuring food security of Afghanistan.
In this regard, Advisor will visit Kabul in mid of August 2019 to finalize the understanding on different trade and economic issues.