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November 14, 2014
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Pakistan, Afghanistan agree to double bilateral trade volume

November 14, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and his Afghan counterpart, Dr Omar Zakhilwal, on Thursday agreed on concerted efforts to enhance bilateral trade from the existing $ 2.5 billion dollars to $5 billion in the next two to three years as envisaged by the leadership of the two brotherly Islamic countries.
Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar received Dr Omar Zakhilwal here at the the Finance Ministry on Thursday and had detailed exchange of views on Pak-Afghan relations, specifically focusing on ways and means to enhance economic cooperation, says a statement issued by the ministry on Thursday.
Welcoming his Afghan counterpart, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar congratulated him on the peaceful transfer of power in Afghanistan.“Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is a seasoned technocrat and a wise politician to lead the country in its future quest for prosperity and development,” he said.
He also felicitated Zakhilwal on assumption of the office of Senior Economic Advisor to the President of Afghanistan. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that as part of his vision for a “Peaceful and prosperous” neighbourhood, Prime Minister Nawaz Shairf places great emphasis on strong, stable and cooperative ties with Afghanistan. Ishaq Dar emphasized on trade facilitation measures with a view to promote bilateral trade.
While highlighting Pakistan’s economic engagement in Afghanistan, he made special mention of projects like the 100-bed Naeb Aminullah Khan Hospital at Logar, hostel building for 100 students at Rehman Baba School and the 200-bed Jinnah Hospital at Kabul.
He said these projects would be completed soon as all related issues had been resolved through mutual discussion at the highest level.The minister also briefed the Afghan finance minister on projects related to energy, road and rail links, emphasizing frequent interaction between officials of both the countries for better results. Afghan finance minister,Omar Zakhilwal said the new leadership

of Afghanistan looked forward to forge economic cooperation with Pakistan.
“We have enormous respect for Dar who has rebuilt Pakistan’s economy. The president of Afghanistan holds Finance Minister Dar in high esteem and considers him a great friend of Afghanistan”, Zakhilwal added.
Afghan Finance Minister endorsed Ishaq Dar’s views on promoting bilateral trade, adding that the Afghan President wished to see the volume of trade doubled in coming years. He mentioned that he had proposed the idea of Joint Pak-Afghan Business Council at a meeting with the LCCI the other day and would extend all out support to see this realised.
This would sure help enhance trade and economic interaction, he said. The minister also assured support on visa facilitation. Zakhilwal also appreciated Pakistan’s contribution regarding various projects in Afghanistan.
Later, Ishaq Dar hosted a luncheon in honour of the visiting Afghan dignitary which was also attended by Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs.

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