Pak-Afghanistan PTA to finalize by end of January 2021: Dawood

Our Correspondent
ISLAMABAD: The Adviser to Prime Minister of Pakistan for Commerce and Investment on Wednesday informed that Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Afghanistan will be finalized by the end of January, 2021.
The Adviser hoped that Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) also to be signed in last week of January, 2021 and investment-related matters between the two countries would be resolved in the recent bilateral dialogue between Pakistan and Afghanistan in Kabul.
Razak Dawood maintained that the government will hold extensive meetings with all stakeholders in the coming days in this regard. He said that in the recent post Covid- 19 pandemic scenario, tremendous opportunities exist and “I hope that our businessmen will realize them”.
He said that during the recent visit to Afghanistan for bilateral trade negotiation for the conclusion of PTA and on Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA), he held an extensive round of discussions with the concerned officials in Afghanistan and one on one meeting with the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan , Ashraf Ghani in Kabul.
Pakistan and Afghanistan have initiated the discussions on bilateral trade, Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) and Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and investment-related matters between the two countries, said a press release issued by the Ministry of Commerce here.
It is worth mentioning that Abdul Razak Dawood led an official delegation to Afghanistan from November 16-17, for discussions on bilateral trade and to enhance the economic integration between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
This was preceded by last month’s visit by Afghanistan’s acting Minister of Industry and Commerce,Nisar Ahmad Ghoriani, to Pakistan where he conveyed the special invitation of the Afghan President to visit Kabul this month. Apart from the Adviser to PM on Commerce, the delegation includes high-level officials from the Ministries of Commerce and Maritime, Federal Board of Revenue (Customs) and State Bank of Pakistan.
The adviser met a number of dignitaries representing a cross-section of Afghan government. The adviser called on the Afghan President and discussed a wide range of issues pertaining to trade and economic integration.
He also met Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) and thanked him for his support.
He also called on the Speaker of Da Afghan Wolesi Jirga and the Governor of Da Afghanistan Bank.
The 7th Meeting of the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Cooperation Authority (APTTCA) was held in Kabul after a break of more than four years.
During the official talks, extensive and fruitful deliberations were held on the whole spectrum of bilateral trade and investment relations including formalizing the informal cross-border trade.
The adviser hoped that the visit would mark the beginning of a new era of trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.
He said that this would lead to integration of the two economies and move the bilateral trade to a more formal and documented arrangement.