Operationalisation of Azhakhel Dry port stressed to increase country’s imports, exports

PESHAWAR   -   Chairman Standing Committee Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) on Dry Port, Zia ul Haq Sarhadi has stressed upon the government to make Azhakhel Dry Port operational for increasing imports and exports of the country. Due to its suitable location, the operationalization of Azhakhel Dry Port can play a very effective role in creation of large scale livelihood opportunities through promotion of Pak-Afghan trade and increase in commercial activities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa because of its proximity to CPEC route, Zia opined.

In a press statement issued here on Saturday, Zia ul Haq Sarhadi, who also holds the designation of Coordinator Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI), said that the Azakhel dry port had been constructed at a cost of Rs 600 million with the objective of promotion of trade in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said Khyber Pakhtubkhwa has been blessed with precious resources including gems, marble, honey, tobacco, match, furniture, carpet etc. If these resources are properly projected in international markets and businessmen are given some incentives, the economic challenges of the country can be overcome to a larger extent, he expressed. He said that the businessmen of KP were exporting these items but due to lack of cargo train at Azkhakhel Dry Port, they were facing much difficulties in sending of goods to Karachi sea ports. At the time of inauguration of Azhakhel Dry Port, the business community was assured that apart from modern facilities, one window service would also be provided and a special cargo train between Karachi and Peshawar would be launched, he said. The promise of special cargo train is still not fulfilled despite passage of several years, Zia lamented. Coordinator Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry also demanded early completion of phase II of CPEC and ML-1 Railway so that the business community could reap the benefits of these mega projects.

The ML-1 is inevitable for improvement of communication links and for commercial activities in the country, he stressed.

The Azha Khel dry port can serve as game changer in economic development of the country due to its proximity with Peshawar Motorway, Rashakai Industrial Zone and Bacha Khan International Airport, Zia reiterated.

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