President calls for boost in trade exchanges


Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday called for increasing trade crossing points along the border with neighboring countries in Balochistan, saying, it would greatly help generate economic activities and enhance the quantum of exports.

He asked the concerned organizations to take steps for facilitating the importers and exporters of the border areas of Balochistan to enhance country’s exports.

The President expressed these views while addressing a meeting on Borders and Trade Management in Balochistan here at Aiwan-e-Sadr.

The meeting was attended by Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, Minister of Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin, Governor Balochistan, Syed Zahoor Ahmed Agha, Chief Minister Balochistan, Mir Abdul Quddus Bezenjo, Secretary Interior Yousaf Naseem Khokar, Chief Secretary Balochistan, Mather Niaz Rana and other senior officials.

The meeting was briefed about the problems being faced by the people and traders of Balochistan. It was informed that the province had no petrol pumps in the remote areas and the traders along the border also lacked necessary facilities such as communication, banks and roads infrastructure.

The President asked the relevant departments to take practical steps for ease of doing business and help facilitate the transportation of goods from Balochistan to other provinces.

He told the meeting that he had already asked the Ministry of Petroleum, particularly Pakistan State Oil (PSO) to make arrangements for meeting the fuel requirements of remote areas of Balochistan on priority basis, apart from establishing additional petrol pumps on Makran Coastal Highway to facilitate the people travelling between Gwadar and Karachi.

The meeting emphasized the need for easing and expediting the process of granting No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to foreign investors as well as facilitating the businessmen of Central Asian States to import and export their goods through Gwadar Port.

The meeting agreed to hold the next meeting at Gwadar to be attended by all relevant stakeholders to help address the issues being faced by the traders and people of Balochistan.

In order to boost bilateral trade with Afghanistan, the Finance Minister informed that it had been decided to do trade with Afghanistan in local currency.

He assured that the Ministry of Finance would provide all necessary support at trading points with neighboring countries to help traders of Balochistan.