Kabul, Islamabad stress availing trade opportunities
KABUL (Pajhwok): Pakistan on Wednesday said it was planning to extend trade activities to central Asian countries and the Europe by land, but it was not possible without peace and stability in Afghanistan.
This was said by visiting Pakistani commerce minister Khurram Dastagir Khan at a meeting with Afghanistan Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul, a statement from the CEO office said.
Khan said the two neighbouring countries had great potential to increase bilateral trade and the vast opportunities in this regard should be fully utilised.
He said Pakistan was planning to extend its trade activities to central Asian countries and finally to the Europe through Afghanistan, but it was not possible without peace in the landlocked country.
He said relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan were not confined to trade only, but the two countries could increase contacts in a number of fields.
Dastagir said the process of practically launching the ambitious Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project had reached its final stages.
Besides effectively implementing the TAPI project, benefits would be drawn from other joint trade opportunities and new trade facilities would also be brought into being, he said.
The Pakistani minister also proposed a joint exhibition of Pakistani and Afghan industrial products and said his country was ready to extend all kind of cooperation in this regard.
While Abdullah said such visits by Pakistani officials would reconstruct ties between the two countries. He said it was essential that both the nations take advantage of mutual trade opportunities.
He said strong relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan and bilateral trade would not only invent new opportunities but would also have a direct impact on trade development in south and central Asian countries.
The recent thaw in relations offered a good chance for both the countries to improve their trade relations, a time needed to be fully benefited from, Abdullah said.
He said Afghanistan had a strong political will to enhance trade ties with Pakistan, urging Islamabad to properly enforce the Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade and Transit Agreement.
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