Zakhilwal, Dar talk Af-Pak economic cooperation


Both countries to boost bilateral trade to $5b by 2015

Afghan finance minister hopes Pak construction companies would work in Afghanistan

Af-Pak JEC to meet in Kabul in October

Afghanistan Finance Minister Dr Omer Zakhilwal and his Pakistani counterpart Senator Ishaq Dar along with their respective teams discussed ways to enhance trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan during a meeting at the Finance Ministry in Islamabad on Sunday.

During the two-hour long meeting, both sides agreed that opportunities to enhance economic cooperation, trade and connectivity between the two countries should be exploited for the benefit of their people.

The ministers discussed cooperation in areas of communications, railways and power transmission as well as the Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement.

Dar pointed out the need for a double taxation treaty between the two countries for encouraging private-sector investment. The Afghan minister welcomed the proposal, adding that he hoped Pakistani construction companies, who were experienced in undertaking huge infrastructure projects, would avail the opportunity to work in Afghanistan where the government had launched various communication projects.

Zakhilwal invited the Dar to visit Afghanistan and it was decided that the Joint Economic Commission between Pakistan and Afghanistan would meet in Kabul in October to review the extent of implementation of the decisions taken in the meeting and to explore new avenues to enhance the economic ties between the two Dar had chaired an inter-ministerial meeting on Saturday to finalise the issues to be discussed with Zakhilwal during his Islamabad visit.

Earlier, Afghan Ambassador Omar Daudzai had met Dar to discuss the details about Zakhilwal’s visit.

The two countries have agreed to enhance bilateral trade to $5 billion by 2015 from the current $2.5 billion.