In a recent follow-up meeting of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) led by Special Assistant to Prime Minister, Mohammad Sadiq, all the relevant government bodies took part and briefed on the progress on various initiatives to ease and facilitate trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Afghan Inter-ministerial coordination cell (AICC) was also a part of the meeting and it was ensured that all steps were being taken in the right direction and trade in-flows and out-flows were being made smooth.
In addition to the Secretary General of PAJCCI, Faiza Zubair, representatives of FBR, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Bank of Pakistan, and Ministry of Commerce were also present. As for the import of fruit from Afghanistan, the Chair instructed to enhance the capacity from 682 to 900 containers per day to avoid the rotting of fruits especially at Torkham Border. PAJCCI told that it would further add more items to the list where PKR currency payments are feasible, in addition to the already on-going coal import.
Federal Board of revenue updated that a border liaison committee similar to the one that exists at Torkham will be operational in a few days at Chaman Border as well. As for the extension and renewal of TAD (Temporary Admission Document) agreement, the chair told that it is in the final stages of approval and will be announced by 10th June, 2022. To ensure smooth transition, the already existing SOPs will remain valid for 30 days’ time.
The extension of further waiver of E-Form and EIF is also expected to be issued prior to its expiry on 30th June 2022 keeping in view that barter agreement will take its time. It was jointly agreed that barter trade mechanism development must be fast-tracked to further avoid unnecessary extension of E-Form & EIF waiver as a tool to avoid documented economy. It was also agreed that during joint deliberations to be held on 9th June in Islamabad, PAJCCI shall have deadlines set for barter mechanism so that its operationalization can be finalized.
PAJCCI has remained actively involved in resolving all matters pertaining to bilateral trade and bringing in innovations to facilitate trade. As a result, the Pak-Afghan trade experienced no delays and stand-offs.