Afghanistan and Pakistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industries (APJCCI) on Monday said trade relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have decreased and stressed if the two countries do not revise their trade relations agreement, trade challenges between the two countries will continue.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) meanwhile urged government to review the Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade and Transit Agreement (APTTA). They suggested the current agreement be scrapped and a new one be drawn up between the two countries to include Tajikistan and India.
According to APJCCI statistics, last year’s trade value between the two countries dropped by $1 billion USD to $1.5 billion USD. In 2015 it was $2.5 billion USD.
“If the APTTA is not extended, the rate of trade between the two countries will decrease more and more,” said Ahmadullah Afghan, head of APJCCI.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) also said more customer cooperation, the ease of transit through Karachi and Qasim Khan Ports, allowing Afghan trucks to Waga Port and including Tajikistan and India in the APTTA are issues that need to be looked at.
According to MoCI, if India and Tajikistan join APTTA, trade relations between the four countries will increase by 70 percent.
“If India and Tajikistan also join ATTPA, it will benefit all four countries,” said Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, deputy of MoCI.
However, the ACCI said in the past three years only Afghanistan has implemented the agreement. They said there was a need to discuss the matter with Pakistan and draw up a new agreement.