PESHAWAR: Industrialists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) have demanded federal government to allow traders to conduct trade via lane route with Central Asian countries and China to boost the economy of the terror-hit province.
Naeemur Rahman, a leading businessman doing trade with Central Asia Countries, said that there are a lot of opportunities in Central Asia markets as there is more demand for Pakistani goods, but, the government never paid attention to explore these markets.
According to Naeem, currently export of Central Asian countries is 70 billion to 80 billion dollars while their import is 100 billion US dollars. He urged the government to create opportunities and provide facilities to traders from these countries for trade with Pakistan.
Naeem advised the government that border points must be opened 24/7 to increase trade with Central Asian countries. He said unlike our border points, borders pints of Central Asian countries are opened round the clock for trade
According to sources, despite getting invitation and visa from Pakistan, it usually take several months to provide clearance to traders from these countries due to which businessmen prefer to buy goods from other countries .
Shahid Hussain, Senior Vice President of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce (SCCI) said that the lane route should be opened immediately for KP traders because the cost of business is too high through Karachi port. He said that promotion of trade with Central Asian countries will have more benefits for KP.
He said that if the lane route is opened, the businessman of KP can deliver their goods to Central Asia at a low cost as distance is 700km unlike 1600km to Karachi port. He said it will also be easy for KP traders to transport their goods to China and Central Asian States.
According to Shahid Hussain, if federal government opens the lane route to China for KP, the trade volume with China can boost from 1.5 to 5 billion US dollars. He added that SCCI is currently working on regional trade connectivity that includes Central Asian countries, Turkey, Iran, and China, which will create space for regional market growth for our products.
According to Shahid, due to regional trade connectivity, goods being imported from Europe and other countries will be imported from China and Central Asian countries at low cost.