Rawalpindi - Federal Minister Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has said that increasing regional ties and trade relations can only boost country’s exports. Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asian States can become a new economic zone and if linked with the CPEC, Pakistan economy can take a big leap here, he was addressing the launching ceremony of RCCI’s Pakistan Afghanistan Central Asian Regions Trade Summit (PACTS) at a local hotel on yesterday.

President Rawalpindi Chamber, Mian Humayun Parvez, Senior vice President Saqib Rafiq, Vice President Muhammad Aqil Obaid, group leaders Sheikh Shabbir, Sohail Altaf, S. M. Naseem, former presidents, members of the executive committee and a large number of traders were present at the ceremony.

The minister said that no country can progress if there is uncertainty, a stable economy needs a political stability and continuation of the policies. Public-private partnership can play a vital role here.

We need to focus our economic policies and export oriented policies can help Pakistan to achieve its vision of 2025.

 He urged traders, chambers and private sector to come forward and help government in achieving goals. He referred to South Korea and other countries which doubled their exports with in short span of time. He assured traders for government assistance and cooperation in this regard. He appreciated the RCCI role in boosting trade activities and taking initiatives. 

Earlier, Pre sident RCCI in his address said that the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) will be organizing Pakistan Afghanistan Central Asian Regions Trade Summit (PACTS) on August. 10. The major aim of the Summit is to explore the new trade avenues, business opportunities and to discuss trade aspects, finding the means of ease of doing business between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia. 

He said that the conference will help us to identify existing trade issues, bottle necks and barriers through the discussion over the topics of mutual interest and to facilitate bilateral trade among the region. Pakistan Afghanistan and central Asian states can work together to improve the bilateral trade relations in the areas of energy cooperation, infrastructure and development of the region.

They can collaborate in numerous areas, such as scientific and technical fields, banking, information technology, pharmaceutical, gem and jewelry, and tourism.

A day long summit will have the key note speakers, representatives from the embassies of CARs, Afghanistan where the focus will be to discuss trade linkages between the region including air, land and railway networks. We will look forward for prospective opportunities of trade fairs and conferences in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asian Regions. The latest status of agreements including Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) , Free Trade Agreements FTAs and Preferential Trade Agreements PTAs, TIR Convention and non-tariff barriers. The other key areas of discussion would be the exchange of cultural business and trade information, visa facilitation, exchange of trade delegations and business to business meetings. 

PACTS was the brain child of the RCCI accented to enhance trade opportunities between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the central Asian states, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. PACTS hinges on four segments. First, a hosting of preliminary conference observed by the representatives of all affiliated states and Afghanistan.

Second, a research work conducted by autonomous consultant to develop a comprehensive report which will be presented to Prime Minister in third phase along with an advocacy campaign.

In the last stage the advocacy will be replicated in conference and exhibition to be held in any member state of Central Asia or Afghanistan.