PESHAWAR: The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has appreciated the government’s decision regarding reduction in value of Afghan-origin goods imported via Torkham and Chaman borders to Pakistan and also urged the government of Afghanistan to reduce the value and regulatory duties on Pakistani export items.
SCCI president Sherbaz Bilour, senior vice-president Manzoor Elahi and vice-president Junaid Altaf in a joint statement issued here on Friday hoped that the government’s decision would boost economic and trade activities between the two neighbouring countries.
They said though the decision was for three months, it was an important step toward bolstering Pak-Afghan trade relations. The Afghan government, they said, should also bring reduction in value, regulatory duties and taxes on items entering the country from Pakistan side.
The chamber office-bearers said huge potential existed to strengthen the trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
However, they emphasised that both Islamabad and Kabul should make serious efforts to enhance trade volume between the two countries, which currently stood at less than one billion dollar due to different reasons.
The SCCI office-bearers lauded the recent notification of Model Customs Collectorate, Peshawar (appraisement and facilitation) in which directives had been issued regarding minimum customs values for Afghan-origin imported goods.
They hoped that the government policies would promote the trade and economic activities between the two countries. They said the trade volume between Pakistan and Afghanistan was low and needed to be improved by reviewing policies by both the governments. They called upon Islamabad and Kabul to take joint initiatives to remove trade barriers.
The SCCI representatives said that smooth trade and economic activities could strengthen the economy of both countries and create new job avenues. They urged both Islamabad and Kabul to take the chamber and business community on board before formulation and enforcement of policies like new Afghan Transit Trade Agreement.
Published in Dawn, January 2nd, 2021