LAHORE: SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry while hailing the Pak-Afghan Transit Trade Accord (APTTA) extension said it will help uninterrupted flow of trade activities between two Muslim neighbouring countries.
Talking to delegation of traders here, President SAARC chamber Iftikhar Ali Malik said that the decision to extend the agreement is mainly aimed at preventing any disruption in trade and transit affairs between the both countries whereas it will also help buy time to further discuss the proposed amendments in the agreement. He said Pakistan’s clear vision for trade and economic relations with Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics (CARs) is to make Pakistan a hub for trade, transit and shipment.
He further explained that Pakistan trade is based on the secure, open, consistent, reliable and legal movement of goods at the Afghan border along with enhanced connectivity with Afghanistan and CAR’s, he added. He said it’s good omen that both sides expressed satisfaction with the extension of the agreement and decided that technical teams of either country will conclude the revised accord soon.
Iftikhar Ali Malik said that over the last decade, a total of 832819 containers of Afghan transit trade carrying goods valued $33 billion have passed through Pakistan which totals 30 percent of Afghan transit trade cargo whereas remaining crossed through Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Concluding he said Pakistan always attached great importance to Afghanistan and played significant key role for durable peace in the region. He said SAARC chamber has established special cell to facilitate the Afghan traders, importers, exporters and private sector.