KARACHI - Zubair Motiwala has been unanimously elected as the first president and Khan Jan Alokozai as co-president of the board of directors of Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI).
This election was held at the first meeting of PAJCCI Tuesday where delegates from Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Chaman Chamber of Commerce, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) came together.
The delegates also elected Usman Bashir Bilour and Engr Daroo Khan from Pakistan and Mohammad Yonass Momand and Haji Atiqullah Mominzada from Afghanistan as two vice presidents from each side.
The board also elected 11 members each of PAJCCI board from both countries and agreed to elect leadership of rotational basis, one year from Pakistan and another from Afghanistan.
PAJCCI will play its role to revive ancient Silk-Route for trade and give reality to the slogan South-South Trade and open the doors to Central Asian countries through Afghanistan.
PAJCCI is a joint collaboration of four chambers, initiated three years ago, to promote bilateral trade and strengthen economic ties between the two countries.
The Chamber will have two offices, one at Karachi and other in Kabul. PAJCCI has started functioning from February 2012 with the induction of secretary general and executive director.
British High Commission and Centre for International Private Enterprises (CIPE) have played a key role in formation and technical support for this Chamber. UK government has provided the core funding of $ 0.2 million each for KCCI and Afghan Chamber.
Speaking on the occasion, Zubair Motiwala said that the existing trade volume of $ 3 billion can be enhanced to $ 6 billion in next three years with the active role of PAJCCI members.
He said the core objective of this Chamber is to facilitate peace prospects and strengthen economic and trade ties between the two brotherly countries. At the same, it will also be a catalyst to easing out any pressure by political and legal framework in the respective countries in the most appropriate manner possible, he added.
Motiwala said that the major benefit of this Chamber will be the saving of losses to national exchequer being caused by smuggling under the garb of Afghan Transit Trade (ATT).
He said that currently, the smuggled goods worth $ 2.5 billion are coming back to Pakistan. About 30 percent of the total containerised cargo under Afghan Transit is not accounted for and therefore, Pakistan is losing billions of rupees as duties.
Khan Jan Alokozai said that PAJCCI will help in boosting trade and curb smuggling. He said that Pakistan can have access to the markets of Central Asian countries via Afghanistan after the formation of this Chamber.
He urged the private sector of Pakistan to come forward and utilise this Chamber for trade promotion. He said that this Chamber will also help Pakistan which is aspiring to get gas and electricity from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan.