PESHAWAR - Afghanistan’s ambassador to Pakistan Janan Musazai has said that the incumbent Afghan government is giving importance to boost bilateral trade and economic ties with Pakistan.

The Afghan diplomat disclosed that the condition of depositing 110 per cent security for exporting Pakistani goods to Central Asian Republic (CAR) countries has been waived off. He informed the Afghan government plans to establish three free economic zones in north of the country, through which Pakistani investors would avail the facilities. Janan Musazai, who was accompanied by Afghan Consul General in Peshawar, Syed Ibrahim Khel and Afghan Trade Commissioner Mirawas Yousafzai, on Friday visited Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KPCCI). He invited the business community to make investment in Afghanistan, and assured to provide them all facilities and concessions for this purpose.

On the occasion, the Chamber president, Fawad Ishaq, vice presidents Arooj Ahmad Ansari, Iqbal Khan, former president Safi Bashir Durrani, executive body members, businessmen and traders attached with Afghan transit trade business, were also present.

Fawad Ishaq, while speaking on the occasion, urged the Afghan government to recognize only those medicines and drugs, which was certified by Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA) Pakistan, to prevent export of spurious drugs to Afghanistan. He also demanded to waive off registration fee in Afghanistan.

KPCCI chief also urged the Afghan government to take steps for implementation of South Asian Free Trade Areas (SAFTA) agreement, to boost up bilateral trade relations between two neighboring countries. The ratio of duties should also contain at only five percent, he demanded. He called for restoration of Alam-e-Al Khabar, and to fix of tariff once a year in Afghanistan. Fawad Ishaq stressed the need for improving existing trade volume from $5 billion to $10 billion between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He urged the Islamabad and Kabul to take steps for that purpose.

Afghan diplomat said the reservations of Afghan traders have been conveyed to Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Chief Secretary and Home Secretary along with other high officials, expressing the hope the issues would be addressed sooner. He assured the KPCCI that the problems of Pakistani exporters would be resolved on priority basis as Afghan government is fully aware about their issues, he added.

On the recommendation of KPCCI, Musazai said visas to business community and Pakistan labourers would be make multiple. He expressed concern over export of counterfeit drugs and collection of illegal taxes on Ring Road Peshawar, and other routes from Afghan truckers, saying it would create hurdlse for strengthening mutual trade relations between two neighboring countries.

Regarding the concerns over the new Afghan Transit Trade Agreement (ATTA), the Afghan diplomat said the issue was discussed with the Minister for Commerce, Khurram Dastagir and informed that the Pakistan government is working to rehabilitate and improve the already existing railway, through which businessmen, attached with Afghan Transit Trade, would be facilitated. He said the proposal was under discussion about removal of bonded careers.