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Inclusion of Af-Pak transit trade in CPEC demanded

Inclusion of Af-Pak transit trade in CPEC demanded

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On
Dec 30, 2017 - 11:59

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Business leaders have called for the inclusion of Pak-Afghan transit trade in the mammoth China-Pakistaninfo-icon Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

The move would facilitate local traders’ access to Central Asian markets, the Pakistan-Afghanistaninfo-icon Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) said.

PAJCCI President Junaid Makda said in a statement on Friday that Afghans and Pakistanis involved in bilateral trade were not much familiar with the transit trade facilities under CPEC.

He said: “Nevertheless, under CPEC with enhancement of facilities for Pak-Afghan Transit Trade, Pakistani traders can gain easy market access to Central Asian Republics via Afghanistan.”

During the current fiscal year, the Pak-Afghan transit trade volume had declined to $1.6 billion, he said. Growing transit trade between India and Afghanistan through Chabahar Port would result in further decline in Pak-Afghan transit trade, he warned.

Traders from Afghanistan and Pakistan were unaware about the facilities of transit trade at Chaman and Torkham borders under the CPEC project, the PAJCCI president continued.

From 2009 to 2012, Pak-Afghan bilateral trade fell 46 percent. But after the Pak-Afghan transit trade agreement of June 2012 and implementation thereof in the middle of 2014/15, bilateral trade increased 65 percent to $2.5 billion.

Due to subsequent political tensions between the neighbours, India provided more facilities to Afghan traders and facilitated trade through Chabahar Port.

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