President PAJCCI urges swift resolution to deadlock in Pak-Afghan transit and bilateral trade

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PAJCCI

DNA

KARACHI, JAN 8: President of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI), Mr. Junaid Makda, expressed deep concern over the prevailing deadlock in Pak-Afghan transit and bilateral trade. In a series of meetings with key officials and ministries about the situation following the issuance of SRO, which imposed a 10% processing fee on routine items, banned certain items for transit, and replaced revolving insurance guarantee with a bank guarantee.

The deadlock between the two countries, primarily attributed to the cost of doing business and the lack of ease of doing business, is resulting in significant losses for both countries and stakeholders involved.  Mr. Makda highlighted the urgent need for the government to address this issue promptly to ensure the seamless continuation of transit and bilateral trade.

President Makda specifically pointed out the severe consequences on Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan and CIS countries citing exorbitant tariff rate increases from Afghanistan (like Pakistan Citrus Fruits). The resulting deadlock has led to the distressing situation of perishable items being stranded at borders due to the prohibitive tariff hikes. Adding to the complexity, ongoing protests on the borders are exacerbating the challenges faced by businesses engaged in cross-border trade.

Mr. Makda urged the relevant authorities to reconsider the current impasse and take immediate steps to remove the obstacles hindering the flow of goods and services between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He emphasized that the current situation is detrimental to the economic interests for both countries and poses a threat to the livelihoods of stakeholders involved in cross-border trade.

President PAJCCI has previously submitted a request to the Commerce Ministry, and while efforts are underway, there is also a formal request for the S.I.F.C to intervene and convene an urgent meeting to discuss the prevailing matters. He highlighted the importance of collaborative efforts in finding mutually beneficial solutions that promote trade, economic growth, and regional stability.

PAJCCI remains committed to fostering positive and constructive dialogue between Pakistan and Afghanistan and is optimistic that with joint efforts, the current challenges in transit and bilateral trade can be overcome, paving the way for a more prosperous and mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries.