Representatives from Pakistani and Afghan Chambers of Commerce and Industry met in Karachi on 26 November to discuss their initiative to form a Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint-Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The participants included representatives from Karachi, Chaman, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kabul, Khost and Nangahar. In February this year the Chambers signed a Memorandum of Understanding as a move towards establishing a Joint Chamber of Commerce. At Friday’s meeting they agreed an action plan for the work of the Joint Chamber. The meeting was facilitated by the Centre for International Private Enterprise and supported by the British High Commission. Representatives of the Pakistani Ministry of Commerce also took part.
Speaking at the meeting, British Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi, Robert Gibson, said:
“Trade is vital to the future development and security of both Pakistan and Afghanistan. That’s why I’m delighted to be here today to support this initiative by the chambers of commerce. A Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber will allow the private sector in both countries to establish relationships which will, in turn, bring stability and prosperity for the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
Azarakhsh Hafezi, speaking on behalf of the Afghan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said:
“The ACCI is already part of Joint Chambers with 13 other countries. Pakistan is Afghanistan’s most important trading partner so the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber is absolutely necessary. We wholeheartedly support this initiative.”
Speaking afterwards, Zubair Motiwala from Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Ghulam Sarwar Khan Mohmmand from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry said:
“We agreed to hold the first board meeting in January in Islamabad. The Agenda for the meeting will include discussion on facilitation of Afghan imports through Karachi, investment opportunities in Sindh and exploration of the potential for hydroelectric energy in Afghanistan.”