Cooperation among Afghanistan, China, Pakistan to bring prosperity

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LAHORE, June 29 (APP): The SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an apex body of chambers in the region on Thursday said trilateral cooperation among Afghanistan, China and Pakistan would bring about prosperity and peace in the region.
Talking to the media persons here, SAARC Chamber Vice President
Iftikhar Ali Malik said: “We will continue to play its vital
role for the promotion of trade with Afghanistan and special
Afghan desk has also been set up to facilitate traders of
either country. China is proposing a trilateral mechanism for
cooperation for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and
coordination of counter terrorism actions between Pakistan
and Afghanistan.”
He said China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan had a long
tradition of interactions and Pakistan was one of the largest
trading partners of Afghanistan as it exported goods and
services worth approximately $3 billion annually.
He said the next phase of CPEC, as part of the wider
One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, would be extended to
Central Asia via Afghanistan.
He said:” If we look into the CPEC, it has four main
components: transit and trade, infrastructure, energy cooperation,
and economic integration. Afghanistan can be helpful when it
comes to all these components”.
Iftikhar Malik said Afghanistan was a natural transit
corridor and most of its own infrastructure projects could
be aligned with OBOR. He added there were very close
people-to-people and business-to-business relations between
Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Giving suggestions to improve trade relationship between
Pakistan and Afghanistan, he said tariff rates should be reduced
on essential commodities, non-tariff barriers lowered and
trade facilitation eased to remove obstacles faced by
Afghan businesses and lower the cost of transactions, adding
that concessionary export refinancing facilities should be
made available to Pakistani exporters for incremental
flows of goods to Afghanistan.