PESHAWAR: Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has appreciated the two-day ‘Pakistan-Afghanistan Trade and Investment Forum 2020’ and described it a serious effort to open up new vistas of cooperation and boosting bilateral trade between Islamabad and Kabul.

Sharing details of the forum with industrialists and traders here on Thursday, SCCI chief Sherbaz Bilour said that it would help to bolster trade relations along with bringing business communities on both sides of border further near to each other.

Mr Bilour urged Islamabad and Kabul to devise a joint mechanism for the business community in consultation with SCCI to boost bilateral and transit trade relations between the two neighbouring countries.

The SCCI, he said, was represented by a 15-member delegation in the forum. The forum was attended by more than 100 members of the business community from Afghanistan and members of SCCI, Chaman Chamber and traders from Quetta.

Mr Bilour called upon Islamabad and Kabul to take pragmatic steps to resolve problems of the business community on both sides of the border and remove obstacles to bilateral and transit trade between the two neighbouring countries.

The mutual trade volume between Pakistan and Afghanistan can be enhanced to $5 billion if serious efforts are made by the governments of both countries.

He said that trade forum played a pivotal role in removal of barriers as well as bringing further near the business communities of the both countries.

The SCCI chief stressed the need for regular holding of such meetings between the business communities of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said that improvement in Pak-Afghan trade and economic relations would bring economic prosperity, development and sustainable peace in the whole region.

He asked the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan to take concrete steps to remove hurdles in the way of mutual trade and economic relations, which would prove fruitful to a stable national economy besides strengthening trade with central Asian countries that could be helpful to remarkable improvement in the country’s exports.

Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2020