Voices in the business community in Afghanistan on Wednesday said that the one-sided implementation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade and Transit Agreement (APTTA) is the main cause of problems blocking Afghanistan’s exports into the Pakistani markets.
The business community called on Pakistan to abide by its commitment regarding APTTA.
Business people also accused the Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industries for failing to persuade Pakistan to act upon its commitments with APTTA.
They said that Afghanistan loses “millions of dollars” because of Pakistan’s “illegal excuses.”
The Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) has also said that APTTA is balanced with the country’s trade relations with Pakistan.
This comes a week after officials of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said that Pakistan had fully removed restrictions on imports of products from Afghanistan.
Pakistan closed the crossing points for Afghan exports two months ago. But the Pakistani exports to Afghanistan continued as routine during this period.
“Afghanistan and Pakistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industries (APJCCI) decided to bring the necessary amendments to the agreement, because, in many cases, the pact is not in the interest of both nation, but this has not happened so far,” said Sayed Zaman Hashemi, the head of ACCI.
According to the Kandahar Chamber of Commerce and Industries, currently 200 trucks loaded with vegetables and fruits are ready for export to Pakistan and then onward to the Indian markets, but these trucks are still awaiting permission from Pakistan.
“We are losing millions of dollars every year, the government has done nothing so far to settle the problems,” said Zalmay Azimi, an Afghan businessman.
“There are serious challenges on the implementation of the agreement, the governments of the two countries need to work on it, because of the challenges in the transit sector,” said Naqibullah Safai, the CEO of APJCCI.
A decade ago, Afghanistan and Pakistan signed a trade and transit agreement to help promote legal trades between the two nations and avoid further challenges.
The agreement was signed with the help of US mediation.