peshawar    -   Traders have stressed the need to take pragmatic steps to remove hurdles in the way of regional trade, and termed it imperative to boost-up trade with Central Asian Republics (CARs) aimed at enhancing the country’s export.

Pakistan is losing huge foreign exchanges owing to impediments in the way of regional trade, the traders and exporters said while talking in a joint meeting between members of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), and Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WCCI) Peshawar with senior officials of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) here at chamber’s house on Saturday.

Speaking on the occasion, SCCI president Hasnain Khurshid apprised the visiting Director General TDAP Naseer Ahmad about SCCI and WCCI functioning. The meeting was also attended by chamber’s office-bearers, former presidents, WCCI’s president Shahida Parven, TDAP Peshawar Region Director Sabz Ali Khan, Assistant Director Zahid Khan, Director Islamabad Ishaq Shinwari, AD Ayaz Muhammad and Small Industrialist’s Association (SIA) president Arif Awan.

The participants of the meeting attributed Pakistan’s trade deficit widening owing to lack of capturing regional markets in a benefitting manner and losing of huge foreign exchange through bilateral trade and regional trade.

The speakers expressed fear that Pakistan would be economically bankrupt, if regional market couldn’t fully be exploited. They said it would also only be made difficult to stabilise businesses, trade and economy but could be completely impossible.

The participants demanded the government to take realistic measures to remove impediments and streamline trade with regional countries and ease difficulties of traders, especially exporters.

TDAP DG Naseer Ahmad said that incumbent government and his institute are fully committed to facilitate and promote regional trade. In this regard, he added, the regional trade has been divided in three regions, including Africa Region, Central Asian Region (CARs) and ASEAN region.

He said that TDAP would organise a single country exhibition in the Central Asian Region in October this year, while the second single country exhibition would be held in the month of December this year. T

he TDAP senior official invited the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa business community to participate in the both single country exhibitions.

Naseer Ahmad assured to resolve traders’ community issues relating to regional trade in light of the proposals of business community.

SCCI chief Hasnain Khurshid called for the effective role of commercial attaché and counsellors posted in foreign missions to capture central Asian markets in an efficient manner.

He urged the State Bank of Pakistan to ensure issuance of loans to exporters to fully exploit investment potentials and opportunities in regional countries.