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Ghani's Pakistan visit to boost Afghan economy

Ghani's Pakistan visit to boost Afghan economy

Nov 17, 2014 - 18:12

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani’s visit to Pakistaninfo-icon would help improve bilateral relations in areas of economy, trade and investment, Afghan trader representatives said on Monday.

President Ghani travelled to Pakistan on Friday on a two-day state visit and held extensive meetings with civil, military and business authorities of the neighbouring country.

Afghanistaninfo-icon Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) Chief Executive Atiqullah Nasrat briefed reporters in Kabul on the trip’s achievements.

He said a business conference was held on the first day of the visit involving 150 investors from both the countries. The participants discussed bilateral trade, investment opportunities and transit trade facilities, he said.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also signed on relaxations in various sections such as transit trade and investment in both the countries.

Nasrat said Afghanistan commercial goods took weeks to be cleared at Karachi seaport’s customs, however, under the MoU, the clearance would take less than two days.

He also said vehicles carrying Afghan goods could freely be moved in Pakistan now.

Deputy Commerce and Industries Minister Mozammil Shinwari said based on the MoU, the annual trade volum would be increased from the current $2.5 billion to $5 billion over the next five years.

He said Afghanistan’s exports to Pakistan currently stood at $200 million annually and the figures would also be increased in the years to come.

It was agreed to create a joint customs office at Torkham border crossing to issue business visas to traders from the two countries.

Cut in transit fee and permission to use rail routes from Karachi to Peshawar by Afghan traders were among other agreements signed between the two countries, Shinwari added. He hoped trade relations between the two countries would further increase after President Ghani’s visit.



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