PESHAWAR: The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has planned to organise trade fairs in three Central Asian States to promote mutual trade, said SCCI president Mohammad Ishaq on Monday.

Addressing a function held here at the Chamber House for Pakistan’s ambassador-designate to Tajikistan Mohammad Saeed Sarwar, the SCCI president said there was a need for the establishment of a proper banking channel and business-to-business contacts with investors in CARs to promote their trade with Pakistan.

He said both Pakistani and Tajik governments should simplify visa regimes and begin direct cargo flights between the two countries.

Mr Ishaq said Pakistan’s economic future was linked to trade with CARs and African countries.

He said the volume of Pakistan-Tajikistan trade was very low, so serious efforts were required to increase it tangibly.

The SCCI president proposed the establishment of Pakistan’s permanent trade bazaar in Tajikistan and proper banking channels, consultation with stakeholders to resolve issues, relaxation of policies on visa issuance and cross-border trade.

Besides others, SCCI vice-president Ejaz Khan Afridi, secretary-general Sajjad Aziz and member Ammar Ansari were also present in the meeting.

The ambassador-designate told the meeting that the government was keen to promote trade with Central Asian States. He said the private sector, including business community, had played a vital role in the promotion of trade with CARs.

Mr Sarwar said the government had always taken practical steps to facilitate cross- border trade.

He said Tajikistan is a brotherly Islamic country and they would make vigorous efforts to bring Pak-Tajik businessmen closer.

The ambassador-designate said pragmatic steps would be taken in consultation with Pakistan’s business community to resolve all issues for the promotion of trade with regional countries.

He assured the SCCI president that proactive measures would be taken in light of the chamber’s recommendations to boost trade between Pakistan and Tajikistan.

Earlier, SCCI vice-president Ejaz Khan Afridi, secretary-general Sajjad Aziz and Ammar Ansari called for the removal of hurdles to Pak-Tajik trade.

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2023

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