Karachi (PR) July 24, 2012: PAKISTAN AFGHANISTAN JOINT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY (PAJCCI): “Pakistan and Afghanistan in actuality are one land, there is no border, our heart beats together, we have common language and religion therefore to have an effective and strong bi-lateral relationship is not a far cry”, it was stated by President PAJCCI, Mr. M. Zubair Motiwala at a meeting held between Afghan delegation and Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Pakistan. At this meeting, board members of PAJCCI, office bearers of KCCI, representatives from British High Commission and Afghan Consulate were also present.
Mr. Zubair Motiwala elaborated that the significance of this platform is such where business communities across the border is getting an opportunity to decide its fate. The strategies devised by them will then be presented to the political government in both the countries to be inculcated in the Strategic Business Framework. He raised issues related to Afghan Transit Trade and expressed initiative of PAJCCI’s governing body to review APTTA 2010 for the mutual benefit of business entities in both the countries. Mr. Motiwala articulated that inputs and reservations from both the sides of the border will then be presented to the respective Ministries in booth the countries for devising proper reforms. He reinforced that duty structure may be reviewed in order to provide an equal chance for Pakistani businessmen to compete effectively.
Mr. M. Yonass Momand, Head of Afghan delegation and VP, PAJCCI- Afghan Chapter commended efforts of PAJCCI-Pakistan Chapter in providing them with the promised platform to rejuvenate the business ties between the two nations. He emphasized that Afghanistan is a land of opportunities and we will be glad to see Pakistani businessmen capitalizing them in upcoming future. He believed that the two countries are very close and respective business communities are critically eager to do trading and joint ventures with each other especially in the field of construction and engineering.
Engr. Daroo Khan, VP, PAJCCI- Pakistan Chapter highlighted role of this chamber as significant in Border Trade Facilitation and sought support of Ministry in this regard. Mr. Zia Sarhadi, Director PAJCCI elaborated on the challenges existent due to ineffective execution of APTTA agreement that has resulted in unemployment and major business loss at the border. Mian Abrar Ahmad, President KCCI focussed upon the efficacy of strengthening of regional trade for the greater good of not only neighbouring countries but also for Europe and USA as it also opens an increasingly beneficial market for their products.
Mr. Daood Mossa, Director PAJCCI, deliberated upon stance of FPCCI against the formation of this Chamber and briefed that this entity is duly licenced by the respective ministries in both the countries. This reaffirms PAJCCI’s status as legal. It is prerogative of the offering countries to register entities in such instances and provide licence through competent authority. In this case of Pakistan, Ministry of Commerce is such a competent authority that has granted licence to both FPCCI and PAJCCI. This formation is though not only legal but is highly needed keeping in view the desires of business communities across the border.
Mr. Daood further requested that APTTA meetings must be regularized and should be conducted as per schedule as it provides a very important platform for sharing of feedback.
Mr. Atiqullah Momizada, VP PAJCCI- Afghan Chapter commented that we are called separate countries but this is not the case. The business relations will further strengthened the bi-lateral ties and an upcoming trade delegation from Pakistan to Afghanistan will be a good example in this regards.
Mr. Munir Qureshi, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, after receiving the comprehensive inputs from the floor consolidated that the focus should greatly be on strategizing and what should be done to improve the trade ties. He applauded the efforts of PAJCCI Executive body in taking this initiative and ensured support from Ministry as and when needed. He deliberated that reforms can be devised but efforts from both ends is a necessity. He further welcomed draft and proposal on APTTA agreement and expressed that after submission a meeting may be called at Ministry of Commerce for further discussion and most importantly to strategize effectively. He believed that keeping statistics in view the trade loss between the two countries is greater and the benefit has been derived by other stakeholders. It is high time to see through this issue and an urgent action plan may be installed with a positive perspective.