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National investors allowed to use Afghan trucks for transporting goods to Wagah port: MoCI

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) said that Afghan investors were allowed to transfer their goods by their trucks through Pakistan to Wagah port.

According to the MoCI, the decision was taken in a session between Afghan and Pakistani officials which is applicable from January 20.

Radio Azadi on Tuesday quoted Musafir Qoqandi, the MoCI spokesman, as saying that Pakistani officials agreed in the session to allow Afghan traders use their trucks for transporting goods to Wagah port.

“We reached some agreements in meeting with Pakistani officials and investors on January 1 and 2 which was the fifth joint session to strengthen trade ties between the two countries. Afghan investors can use their trucks to transport goods to Wagah port after January 20,” he said.

According to the MoCI, Afghan goods that are exported through Wagah port include fresh and dry fruit, different kinds of vegetables and so on that would be transported by Afghan trucks after the decision.

The first transit agreement between Afghanistan and Pakistan was signed in 1965. A few contents of the agreements have been implemented by Pakistan as it did not allow Afghan investors to transport their goods beyond Peshawar city by their trucks. Pakistan has hampered Afghanistan and India trade ties at much extent by creating a number of hurdles which has resulted in millions of Afghanis financial loss for Afghan investors.

The recent transit agreement between Afghanistan and Pakistan—APTTA was signed in 2010 which allowed Afghan investors to export their goods through Pakistan.

Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) said that was not hopeful about Pakistan to implement its commitments in this regard as it has always tried to create hurdles for Afghan investors in its ports.

The deputy chief of ACCI, Khan Jan Alokozai, said that national investors are still faced with problems in transporting their goods through Pakistan. He added that he is not sure whether Pakistan implement the contents of the agreement. “There are a number of officials and irresponsible men that illegally charge Afghan trucks on their way to Wagah port,” he said.

The ACCI officials acknowledged that Afghanistan’s exports to India hit $150 million annually and its imports from India overtake $600 million on annual basis.

It comes as Afghan and Pakistani officials recently stressed on strengthening trade ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan as it is the only way that brings closer people of the two neighbors.

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