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PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Caretaker Minister for Industries, Commerce and Technical Education Muhammad Adnan Jalil has said that apart from religious, cultural similarity and border connectivity, Pakistan and Afghanistan has cordial relationship, based on closed proximity and neighbourhood between the two countries.

He said that people of both countries feel brotherly sentiments for each other while Pakistan wishes for sustainable peace in Afghanistan, which is a catalyst for the stability of the whole region.

The provincial minister said that there are vast possibilities for further deepening the bilateral trade and economic ties, which is required to facilitate the business and investors community of both countries.

He expressed these views during a meeting with the Afghan diplomatic delegation led by Afghan Consul General Hafiz Mohibullah at the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Board of Investment and Trade (KPBOIT) office here.

During the meeting, Director Business Development KPBOIT Bilal Sarwar, Coordinator FPCCI Sartaj Ahmed Khan, Economic Advisor Industries Department Abdul Rehman and other officials also accompanied the provincial minister.

The minister discussed matters of mutual interest with the Afghan diplomats, focusing on further expansion of trade and business activities between the two countries, increasing the volume of Pak-Afghan trade and taking benefits from cross border investment opportunities.

The minister invited Afghan relevant authorities, traders and business community to come Pakistan and participate in the upcoming Pak Afghan Expo, to be held at Peshawar in upcoming month of September, while accepted the offer of Afghan officials for participating of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa investors and relevant officials, at Afghan Business Conference, to be held in Afghanistan in near future.

On this occasion, border trade also came under discussion while the minister termed it a major source of trade development between the two countries.

He said that Afghanistan in this purpose, as a trade corridor, should provide facilities for the peaceful access of the Pakistani businessmen to Central Asian countries so that to run the Cross-border trade and business activities in a conducive environment.

The minister assured the Afghan diplomatic delegation that efforts will be made to provide all sorts of facilities to Afghan investors and business classes in the province while steps will be taken to resolve their problems.

He said that now the entire region is going to be connected in trade links which is a good gesture for the development and economic prosperity of entire regional countries.

The Afghan Consul General on this occasion said that Pakistan has provided its full support and assistance to Afghanistan at all times and the millions of refugees’ hospitality for decades was a daylight example of this brotherhood and support.

He said that the enhancement of bilateral trade is very important for the economic stability of both countries. That is why it is inevitable to provide all kinds of facilities to the business community in this regard.

He assured of easing the Afghan visa procedure for Pakistani trade delegations and making efforts to solve the problems hindering the Pakistani businessmen in cross-border trade.

On this occasion, the Coordinator of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sartaj Ahmad Khan lauded the Afghan authorities and investors’ willingness for participation in the upcoming Pak-Afghan Expo at Peshawar next month.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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