ISLAMABAD, Aug 14 (APP): President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik Sunday said the proposed US$ 5 billion, 754 km long Pak-Afghan Transit Rail link a gigantic project will strengthen bilateral trade relations besides boosting exports in the region.

Talking to a high-level foreign delegation of importers and exporters from the UK led by Muhammad Asfund Yar Khan he said it’s a good omen that the feasibility and survey of the project have been successfully executed by members of a joint team of Pakistan Railways. He said the railway link will start from Peshawar and go up to Tarmiz via Jalala Abad- Kabul-Mazaar Sharif.

He said after the execution of this multinational vital importance project, an era of prosperity, progress and development will usher in mainly aimed at well-being of the people of the region besides private sectors of either country fully exploiting their potential can foster trade and provide impetus to exports to flourish in the days to come.

He said SAARC Chamber, an apex body of chamber in the region also lauded the endeavors of Pakistan for facilitating trade among member countries by abolishing some taxes, in addition, to completely streamlining the cumbersome procedures.
He said now bilateral trade between both countries has started showing upward trends via land routes.

He said Pakistan has so far contributed US$1 billion to support the reconstruction of war-ravaged Afghanistan by building hospitals, schools, and road networks to manifest its commitment to a prosperous Afghanistan.

Iftikhar Ali Malik said from its limited resources, Pakistan is providing US$500 million for capacity building in various sectors including education, health, building schools and hospitals roads of Afghanistan besides 14,945 tonnes of human assistance via 694 trucks and 4-C130 planes since September last under arrangements of Pak-Afghan Cooperation Forum.

Leader of UK delegation Muhammad Asfund Yar Khan highly appreciated the efforts of Pakistan for fully supporting the Afghan in their hours of trials and hoped SAARC Chamber under the dynamic leadership of octogenarian trade leader of South Asia Iftikhar Ali Mailk will continue to play his key role in promoting bilateral trade in the region by actively involving private sectors of member states,he concluded.

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