PAJCCI for rejuvenating trust, confidence among Pak-Afghan traders

KARACHI: In line with its legacy of providing platforms to the private sectors of Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI), under the leadership of its Chairman Zubair Motiwala, recently visited Kabul to attend its 4th Annual Conference and board meeting.

The core objective of the visit was to rejuvenate trust and establish confidence-building measures between the two countries during this critical time. During its two-day visit, the delegation visited Pakistan Embassy in Kabul, conducted its 9th board meeting and 4th annual conference followed by business-to-business (B2B) meetings. The delegation also met Afghanistan Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish to discuss matters of mutual interests besides exploring the means to enhance the existing trade and investment ties between the two countries.

PAJCCI Pak chapter Chairman Motiwala emphasised the importance of establishing export houses for the business and trading community across the border under the chamber’s umbrella, which should be run by professional management with due support from the governments on both the sides. “This concept would eliminate issues related to quality specifications, trust deficit, insurance and payment matters and will build confidence among each other,” he added.

He reiterated the need to revitalise regional cooperation and welcomed the extension of Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) to Tajikistan, Afghanistan’s membership to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and both countries’ accession to TIR, which would greatly reduce the problems in hand.

PAJCCI Co-President Khan Jan Alokozay appreciated the effective role being played by the chamber by representing the business community across the border in both transit and bilateral matters. He further specified that both chapters of PAJCCI should develop a comprehensive draft for improvement in the APTTA agreement, in line with issues faced, so a joint proposal may be presented to ministries of both the sides before the upcoming APTTA meeting.

Zubair Motiwala also informed about holding Dubai Conference in March and requested the Pakistani Embassy to play its vital role in promoting the same among the elitist business people of Afghanistan and Pakistan to come forward and participate. “This initiative of PAJCCI would be a major breakthrough and would not only bring Afghan and Pakistani businessmen residing in Dubai on one platform but would also indulge Dubai-based businesses in its fold as a mutual partner in regional integration,” he added.

He also reinforced the critical importance of the Pakistan Embassy in reducing the trust deficit and enhancing people-to-people relationship in both the countries, as they are ‘ambassadors of goodwill’.

He emphasised that role of commercial counsellor is extremely vital for facilitating traders and businessmen, but it is vacant in Pakistan Embassy since last six months, therefore placement should be done on priority basis. “Pakistan Embassy is a bridge between the two countries and we should play a more active role in identifying business opportunities across the border. A display centre for Pakistani business should also be established at the embassy for greater facilitation,” he added.

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