PESHAWAR: The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and USAID-PREIA (Pakistan Regional Economic Integration Activity) on Monday agreed to make efforts for establishment of Peshawar-Jalalabad Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The agreement came at a meeting held at the chamber here, according to a statement.

The SCCI team was headed by the chamber president Faiz Mohammad Faizi and USAID-PREIA delegation included Salman Farooq and Saleena Baig.

SCCI former vice president Engr Maqsood Anwar and All Pakistan Commercial Exporters Association chairman Manzoor Elahi were also present.

It was decided that a strategy would be evolved by holding meetings with members of the Jalalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry to establish a Peshawar-Jalalabad Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

On the occasion, Mr Faizi hoped that establishment of Peshawar-Jalalabaad joint chamber would give boost to mutual trade volume between Pakistan and Afghanistan, especially between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Afghanistan.

The SCCI chief stressed the need for removal of impediments to the mutual trade. In this regard, he suggested the signing of free trade and preferential trade agreements between the two neighbouring countries to start work on the exchange of business delegations and organise joint trade exhibitions.

Mr Faizi pointed out that the business community of both the countries was faced with common challenges which had hampered the bilateral trade activities.

He urged both Islamabad and Kabul to take proactive steps to remove the hurdles to improve the bilateral trade and economic ties between the two countries.

The SCCI chief expressed the hope that the establishment of joint chamber would not only enhance trade and economic activities with Afghanistan but would also improve trade relations with Central Asian Republics.

USAID-PREIA delegation assured that efforts would be expedited for early setting up of the joint chamber between the two countries.

Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2019