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More border crossing points to boost trade with Kabul: Dastgir

ISLAMABAD: More crossing points at the Pak-Afghan border would be opened soon to facilitate trade between the two countries, Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan said on Thursday.
Addressing the concluding session of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics Trade Summit (PACTS), the minister said Pakistan is practically re-discovering Central Asia to further enhance trade activities with the countries there.
The day-long PACTS event was organised by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) in collaboration with USAID.
Mr Khan said the purpose of regional connectivity is to improve quality of lives of people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asian states including Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgizstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
“Pakistan attached highest importance to economic relations with Afghanistan and Central Asian states and in future we would see up-tick in the country’s exports and transit trade with these nations,” he said.
“We are also interested in initiating a Preferential Trade Agreement with Afghanistan and a proposal has already been sent to the neighbouring country,” he added.
He said Pakistan Railways would also play a role in transporting goods to reduce the cost of doing business.
He added that visa issues would be resolved in the upcoming TIR convention.
Mr Dastgir said due to the government’s efforts in last three years, stability had been brought in Pakistan as energy crisis was gradually subsiding, infrastructure was being up-grading and terrorism was also being controlled.
He said the government was committed to complete CASA-1000 and Turkeminstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India (TAPI) energy projects.
Mr Dastgir said the $46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is going to transform the destiny of the people of the region. “Significant benefit of CPEC is connectivity between China, Pakistan, South Asia and Central Asia,” he added.
RCCI President Humayun Pervaiz said PACTS would help explore new trade avenues, business opportunities and allow for discussing trade aspects for doing business between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asian countries.



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