PESHAWAR  - Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) has demanded the government to address concerns of business community on new Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) and take effective measures for eradicating  trade barriers so that trade between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asian Countries (CARs) could be enhanced to a satisfactory level.

This demand was made by Vice President PAJCCI, Usman Bilour while addressing a press conference after chairing a review meeting of stakeholders on APTTA here on Thursday.

Honorary Council General of Tajikistan in KP, Engr Said Mahmood, President KPCCI, Afan Aziz, A Q Khalil, Director PAJCCI, Executive Member PAJCCI, Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi, leading businessmen including Rafiq Jaffani, MD Sunlight Wood Product, Raza Aziz, Director Osaka Automobile Industries, and officials of concerned departments were present on the occasion.

Briefing newsmen, Usman Bilour said PAJCCI has demanded issuance of one year multiple visas to businessmen of Pakistan and Afghanistan so that their movement could be made easy between both the countries. Similarly, he stressed on improving banking system in Afghanistan or for making easy way for money transfer for avoiding illegal ways like Hundi.

He said the review meeting is aimed at obtaining feedback of all the stake holders in Pakistan-Afghanistan business on new Transit Trade Agreement. The feedback would be later submitted with the quarters concerned for perusal and proper action.

He said such a meeting would now be held in Chaman (Baluchistan) and Karachi as passage of transit trade is from these three cities.

During the meeting, Usman said the businessmen expressed much concern over demand of original documents by Custom officials from businessmen over payment of rebate. He said a number of rebate cases are rejected and pending on the ground that custom officials demand original documents which are usually kept by Afghan authorities for their record.

They demanded facility of computerized GD (Goods Detial) system at Torkhem and Chaman border posts as the facility is provided only in Karachi creating problems in custom clearance of goods. The security of transit goods is also discussed in detail and businessmen expressed concern over security of their goods both in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Giving a brief of PAJCCI, Usman Bilour said the chamber has been formed with the objective of reviving historic economic ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan, curtail smuggling and prevent flow of prohibited goods.

The core objective of this trans-border arrangement is not only to transform the economic landscape of the South and Central Asian region but also to facilitate peace prospects and to curb extremism and terrorism.

The chamber will facilitate Pakistan to gain access to the Central Asian States via Afghanistan and would further enhance the trade opportunities. PAJCCI is easing its membership process and asked businessmen to register themselves with the chamber for early redressal of their problems.

He said the chamber will serve to ensure win-win situation for all stakeholders and will serve as a body to enhance trade between the two nations without succumbing to any unrelated political or cultural influence.