Event Detail
Pajcci Wire

Event Detail

Sunday, 07 October 2012

PAJCCI’s high level Trade Delegation in Kabul, October 7-11, 2012

The first trade delegation of PAJCCI reached Kabul from Pakistan on October 7, 2012. The high level 31-member trade delegation led by President PAJCCI, Mr. M. Zubair Motiwala comprised of various business segments from Pakistan. The prime objective of this visit was to provide an opportunity to the business community across the border to interact with each other for mutually beneficial bi-lateral economic deals. The delegation was received by Afghan counterparts at the airport and they stayed at Inter-Continental Hotel, Kabul. They departed on October 11, 2012 for Pakistan accompanied by Commercial Attache and staff of Pakistan Embassy in Kabul.

During the stay, the 3rd Board Meeting of PAJCCI was held where historical decisions were taken specifically with respect to APTTA 2010. In the meeting, members from both the sides under visionary leadership of President PAJCCI, Mr. Muhammad Zubair Motiwala and Co-President, Mr. Khan Jan Alkozai amicably resolved those issues which were pending since long between the two countries.  With the foresight to sort out concerns of business communities across the border, the board unanimously agreed on 8 most important resolutions relating to the most pressing issues of insurance and bank guarantees, responsibility of bonded carriers, installation of trackers and chips, relaxation in detention charges with respect to Shipping, issues related to partial and delayed shipment, problems with respect to physical inspection, hindrances in process of amendments and allowing Afghan trucks to reach Wagah border. These resolutions were transformed into a unanimously agreed concept paper and were presented by the representatives from both sides and board members of PAJCCI at the APTTCA meeting held in Islamabad on October 11 and 12, 2012.

At the board meeting, representatives from British High Commission, USAID, US Embassy and Pakistan Embassy – Kabul were also present to observe the discussion specifically pertaining to APTTA 2010 and related resolutions.

Pak-Afghan joint trade delegation meeting was held on October 8, 2012 where delegates were provided platform to interact with businessmen from their respective sectors, across the border. The delegates from Pakistan were welcomed by Co-President PAJCCI, Mr. Khan Jan Alkozai followed by speeches of President PAJCCI, Mr. Zubair Motiwala; Deputy Minister for Trade – Ministry of Commerce & Industries – Afghanistan, Mr. Mozammil Shinwari, Deputy Ambassador – British Embassy Kabul, Mr. Nic Hailey. Mr. Wafiullah Iftekhar, President-Afghanistan Investment Support Agency was also present at the event. Speakers marked this event as historic and appreciated the initiative of PAJCCI and hoped that this will serve as a beginning to enhancement of bi-lateral ties between the two nations. At this platform, Mr. Motiwala elaborated on the vision behind establishment of this unique chamber and stated that this is the first step towards strengthening the business relationship between the two neighbouring states whereby the business potential is estimated at $10bn but due to political upheavals and certain policies it is currently hovering around $2.5bn only. He stressed that with the employment of appropriate fiscal measures, eradication of harassment by involved agencies, rationalisation of tariffs and by improving other allied governmental policies, the remarkable achievements may be attained and this important trade delegation is a means to this vital purpose i.e. satiating the mutual business desires of businesses across the border.  

He believed that this important breakthrough and initiative of PAJCCI will support in eradicating the parallel trade and will significantly advance main stream business. It will also help businesses on both the sides by resolving their common issues related to customs, transit trade, smuggling and lack of trust with the help and commitment of PAJCCI’s Executive body.

He also applauded Mr. Khan Jan Alkozai, Co-President PAJCCI for being fundamental force behind convincing H.E. Mr. Hamid Karzai to extend the multiple business visa facility to Pakistani businessmen. The delegation was grateful to President Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, H.E. Mr. Hamid Karzai, on such an important announcement which was a long standing demand of the business community in Pakistan. The businesses who are members of PAJCCI will receive 6 months’ multiple entry visa by Afghan Embassy on the recommendation by PAJCCI. Mr. Motiwala also requested to extend this facility to one-year and later to five-year making it easier for the business community to interact across the border.

The Trade Delegation meeting was followed by B2B networking meeting amongst different business sectors giving platform to all delegates to explore common business opportunities available in Afghanistan. Later this evening, His Excellency Mohammad Sadiq, Ambassador of Pakistan in Kabul hosted a dinner in the honour of Pakistani trade delegation and Afghan counterparts of Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PAJCCI). Mr. A. Hossain Faheem, Chairman ACCI was also present at the event. The delegates were also given tour of the Embassy building and made aware of the historical transformation and rejuvenation of this building. Mr. Mohammad Sadiq also agreed to dedicate space for the display centre at the Embassy for the Pakistani traders ensuring exposure to the Pakistani businesses in Afghanistan.

The delegation was also invited to Ministry of Commerce and Industry – Afghanistan by Mr. Mozammil Shinwari, Deputy Minister of Trade and, Afghanistan Investment Support Agency by Mr. Wafiullah Iftekhar where they interacted with businessmen across the border and representatives from other ministries. At this instance, President Afghanistan Investment Support Agency agreed to sign MoU with PAJCCI for common business investments, joint ventures and rejuvenating sick industrial units of Afghanistan. The MoU is under preparation and will be signed by representatives from both the sides soon.

Delegation later visited Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and met board directors of ACCI. Mr. A. Hossain Faheem, Chairman ACCI and Mr. Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, CEO ACCI welcomed the delegates and presented national mementos to them.

Mr. Muhammad Zubair Motiwala, President PAJCCI with other board directors and Secretary General also visited US Embassy in Kabul and met Mr. Joel Reifman, Senior Deputy Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs; Ms. Karin McFarland, Trade Development Officer – USAID, Mr. Shante J. Moore, Deputy Economic Counselor. He explained the motive of this important visit and also shared with them the historical achievement of resolving the most critical issues faced by businesses across the border amicably at the board meeting. He also sought support of US Embassy in facilitating the process of enhancing bi-lateral ties between the two countries whereby Mr. Joel showed his confidence in the Executive body of PAJCCI and assured commitment and support by US Embassy in every manner possible.

Mr. Zubair also met Mr. Abdul Qayoom Bassam, Director of Private Sector, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock to discuss common agro-business opportunities and deliberated about joint support for the upcoming AgFair in Afghanistan in November 2012 specially designed for different segments related to Agro-business.

During board meeting, it was also finalized that a trade survey must be conducted between the two countries and also a Joint Economic Co-operation Conference may be held in first quarter of 2013. It was also mutually agreed that PAJCCI will open its regional offices soon and would make special committees for joint venture, standing committee for trading houses to support small and medium size exporters and committee to look after establishment and management of Business Display Centre at Embassy.

Mr. Moin Fudda, Country Director, Center for International Private Enterprises also accompanied the delegation and extended support from the platform of CIPE. The delegates also shared their feedback with the Executive body of PAJCCI on the last day before departure and shown confidence in the leadership and appreciated organizing and planning of PAJCCI Secretariat-Pakistan Chapter. They will also share an individual report of their feedback with the Secretariat in the due course of time.

This delegation was the leap forward towards the enhancement of bi-lateral ties between the two countries and has paved ways for others to take initiative and follow suit for the greater benefit of both the countries.