ISLAMABAD: The government has started inter-ministerial consultations on proposed agenda for eleventh session of Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Economic Commission (JEC) to be held in Kabul (Afghanistan), sources in Commerce Ministry told Business Recorder.
In this regard, a meeting is scheduled to be held on May 31, 2022, to be presided over by Chairman Afghan Inter-Ministerial Coordination Cell (AICC) for finalization of agenda/ working paper for the JEC.
The sources said inter-ministerial meeting will hold discussion on bilateral trade with specific focus on the following: (i) enhancement of bilateral trade; (ii) Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA); (iii) holding of first Joint Business Council (JBC) meeting; (iv) establishment of Free Economic Zones (FEZs in Kunduz and Faryab; (v) discussion of Trilateral Transit Trade Agreement between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan (holding 3rd Round of Expert Level Group meeting); (vi) avoidance of double taxation agreement; (vii) pendency of T-I certificates from Afghan side; (viii) technical assistance /training on WeBOC module for Afghan Customs; (ix) establishment/ up-gradation of Border Crossing Points/ Terminal on Afghanistan side; (x) MoU in banking sector between Pakistan and Afghanistan; (xi) transportation beyond Peshawar and issue of Afghan trucks carrying goods of Pakistani origin for export; (xii) Customs to Customs Cooperation; (xiii) fostering interaction with Afghan Business Community in UAE; (xiv) invitation of Afghan business community to visit Pakistan’s SEZ; and (xv) appointment of HICs across Afghanistan.
Agenda item 2: discussion on following projects under Committee on Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Afghanistan (CRRA): (i) 200 beds Jinnah Hospital at Kabul; (ii) Nishtar Kidney Centre; (iii) 100 bed Naib Aminullah Khan Logari Hospital at Logar; ( iv) hostel building for 1000 students at Rehman Baba School; (v) scholarship scheme (3000) for Afghan students; (vi) program titled “award of Allama Muhammad Iqbal 3000 scholarships for Afghan students; and (vii) package for Afghan students at LUMS.
Agenda item-3: discussion on cooperation in communications (roads): (i) establishment of Joint Working Group on transport; (ii) awaited clearance from Afghan side regarding road link between Pakistan and Tajikistan through Wakhan Corridor via Broghal Pass and Dorah Pass; (iii) awaited proposal from Afghan side for establishment of Joint Transport Company; (iv) Peshawar Kabul Motorway; (v) Torkham - Jalalabad additional carriageway; (vi) Kabul-Termez-Tashkent Motorway; (vii) establishment of international bus terminal at Kabul and Peshawar for Pak-Afghan Dosti Bus Service; (viii) proposal for bus service from Islamabad to Tashkent and Dushanbe; and (ix) and upgradation of road from Jalalabad-Arandu to Chitral to provide an alternate to Chitralis and Link Afghanistan with CPEC.
Agenda item 4: discussion in the following Railway projects: (i) establishment of Joint Working Group on Railways; (ii) non-issuance of NOC by Afghan Government for Chaman to Spin Boldak Rail Link (synchronization of Chaman-Spinboldak with Kandhar-Spinboldak section); (iii) Peshawar-Jalalabad Rail Link (145 KM); (iv) and proposal for new Rail link from Helmand City Bahramcha (Afghanistan) to Gawadar via Yakmuch and Panjgur (Pakistan).
Agenda item 5: discussion will be held on following projects/ schemes in energy sector: (i) establishment of Joint Working on power sector; (ii) point power project on Kunar River; (iii) CASA 1000; (iv) 500 KV Transmission line from Merry via Herat and Kandahar to Pakistan; (v) settlement to terminate contract on Bakshabad Dam project in Faryab; (vi) TAPI Gas Pipeline Project; and (vii) Joint Working Group on Mining and Geology.
Agenda item- 6: discussion on cooperation in the following water sector proposals: (i) establishment of Joint Working Group on Water; (ii) Kabul River Basin; and (iii) joint development of water sector projects.
Agenda item -7: discussion on cooperation in following mineral sector proposals: (i) explore market for granite & marble sector; (ii) soapstone; and (iii) coal.
Agenda item-8: discussion on the following proposals regarding health, education sectors: (i) establishment of Joint Working Group on Health and Education scholarship; (ii) proposal for 100 short Nursing Courses; (iii) enhancement of scholarships for Afghan students under PTAP; (iv) enhancement of the Quaid-e-Azam scholarship up to 4500; and (v) proposal for Allama Iqbal Regional Campus in Afghanistan.
Agenda item -9: discussion and cooperation in agriculture, livestock, dairy development, forestry: (i) sharing the germplasm of economically important crops, livestock and fisheries; (ii) production technologies of high value horticulture crop; (iii) farm animals breed improvement, disease management and quality feed production; and (iv) training of farmers in value chain skill development and post-harvest management technologies.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022