Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber Of Commerce and Industry’s initiative to support and promote trading and business community across the border lauded

Kabul, December 26, 2013 (PPI-OT): During 2nd Joint Annual Conference of PAJCCI, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber Of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) and Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) for strengthening and supporting trading and investment ventures jointly.

A high-level 20-member trade delegation of PAJCCI, under the leadership of Co-President PAJCCI Mohammad Zubair Motiwala, departed from Afghanistan on Thursday after constructive meetings of networking with business and trading community across the border. The delegation has met several dignitaries and governmental officials during the visit to deliberate upon and resolve the mutual issues for better future relations.

The delegation had a historical meeting with H.E. Second Vice President, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan under the inspirational leadership of Mr. Khan Jan Alkozai and Mr. Zubair Motiwala.

Mr. Motiwala presented the issues faced by Pakistani business community in context of obtaining visas, a drastic increase in duties by Afghan customs recently, issue of transit to CIS countries whereby 100$ per container and levy of 110% duty on road utilization is hampering the trade greatly. For better coordination and resolution of mutual issues, Zubair Motiwala proposed to formulate a joint committee for rationalization of duties between the two countries having members of customs also.

He also greatly emphasized on the dire need to establish Export House or Trading Warehouse for the business and trading community across the border under PAJCCI’s umbrella with due support from Governments on both the sides.

This concept would eliminate issues related to quality specifications, trust deficit, insurance and payment matters and will build the confidence amongst each other. This would also establish Rupee to Afghani transaction over any other international monetary unit.

Honourable Mr. Kareem Khalili appreciated inception of PAJCCI and its role in building the trust and bilateral ties. He welcomed suggestions of Motiwala and reiterated that Politics should follow business and not otherwise.

He immediately taken up matter of difficulties associated with issuance of multiple visas and issued orders to facilitate issuance of 6 months multiple visas to businesses recommended by PAJCCI on an immediate basis till a consolidated policy in this context may arrive. Acting Ambassador of Afghanistan in Pakistan was also present at the moment and he owned the responsibility in this context and ensured that same would be communicated to all Afghan consulates in Pakistan.

He also recommended PAJCCI to discuss these issues in depth and prepare a proposal and a concept note to be presented at Economic Committee of Afghanistan, which is chaired by him, and he would surely ensure acceptance of the same from the Parliament.

The delegation also met H.E. Mr. Wafiullah Iftekhar, President Afghanistan Investment Support Agency and H.E. Mr. Mohammad Shakir Kargar, Minister of Commerce and Industry – Afghanistan. During these meetings, both President and Co-President of PAJCCI have emphasized greatly on the importance of improving the ties in the context of both transit and bilateral trade for the mutual benefit of both the countries.

The Chamber reiterated on its proposal to establish Export House / Trading warehouse, rationalization of tariffs and duty structure across the border and training sessions for WeBOC and EDI across the border. The recommendations were greatly appreciated and bought in by both the officials and ensured support from their side.

As discussed, during the board meeting of PAJCCI a proposed committee with its accountabilities was devised with consent from both President and Co-President. The same would be submitted to Economic Committee of Afghanistan for finalization and due establishment. The proposal would also be submitted to governmental bodies in Pakistan by PAJCCI.

During 2nd Annual Conference of PAJCCI the 2nd Joint Trade Survey was launched and deliberations were made by Mr. Khan Jan Alkozai, Mr. Muhammad Zubair Motiwala, Mr. Mozammil Shinwari – Minister for Trade and Commerce – Afghanistan, Mr. Gul Pacha – Director Customs Afghanistan and Ms. Saleha Zakir Shah – Secretary FBR Pakistan.

The conference was attended by various stakeholders, trading and business community, governmental officials and media. During the conference, historical event of signing MoU between AISA and PAJCCI was done according to which members of PAJCCI would get mutual opportunities and would ease out the process of business licensing in Afghanistan for Pakistani businesses. In this context, the letter of recommendation by PAJCCI would be given priority and would eliminate the need of extensive documentation.

During the conference, FBR also committed to have MoU between customs of both the countries for ensuring facilitation across the border and a meeting in this context would be organized in Kabul in first quarter of 2014. This would be instrumental in sorting out issues immediately and extend priority services to the business community in both the countries.

Mr. Mozammil Shinwari, Deputy Minister for Trade and Commerce, informed that all issues like 110% duty on transit to CIS countries and drastic increase in tariffs or duties will be taken care off in immediate future. He also appreciated concept of tariff rationalization as suggested by Zubair Motiwala and assured his full support in establishment of Export House / Trading Warehouse.

PAJCCI President recognized that the chamber in a short span of time has been successful in solving 80% of the issues raised by the stakeholders and would continue to do so.

The meeting was concluded with a B2B matchmaking and networking activity amongst the trading and business community across the border in order to transform the negotiations into business deals. The delegation has departed Kabul today after fruitful sessions with a hope to see major initiatives being put in place from the platform of PAJCCI.

For more information, Contact:
Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber Of Commerce and Industry
Tel No: 021-99218024-7,
Fax: 021-99218028,
Email: info@pajcci.com

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