| GEO Business|
Pakistan, Afghanistan achieve $5bn trade
| Updated at: 0126 PST, Monday, December 06, 2010|
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Afghanistan have intensified trade and economic cooperation to achieve $5 billion target of bilateral trade by 2015.
The agreement to this effect was reached during the wide-ranging talks between President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, who visited Kabul on the invitation of the Afghan President on December 4-5.
President Karzai and Prime Minister Gilani also agreed to "accelerate the implementation of the RECCA IV deliverables in different areas of regional economic cooperation, particularly those important projects on energy cooperation such as the CASA- 1000 and TAPI (Turkmenistan- Afghanistan- Pakistan- India) Gas Pipeline.
"Develop a joint approach to further strengthen economic, educational, transit-trade and investment cooperation between the two countries including through the existing bilateral, trilateral, quadrilateral and regional cooperation frameworks.
"Focus on infrastructure development particularly rail and road connectivity between the two countries particularly the following projects: Peshawar- Jalalabad rail link; Quetta-Kandahar rail link; Build modern facilities at Landi- Kotal- Torkhem and Chaman- Spinboldak".
The two leaders agreed to "Prioritize economic cooperation and integration through, among other means, full and seamless implementation of the Afghanistan- Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) as of January 2011.
"Agree to work jointly to achieve the target of $ 5 billion bilateral trade by 2015, by inter-alia pursuing closer customs and tariff harmonization and facilitating greater interaction among the private sectors of the two countries.
"Note that their countries' rich mineral resources afford opportunities for shared development. In this regard, agree to identify projects and develop cooperation. Regularly review bilateral development projects including building of schools, universities hospitals and roads with Pakistan's assistance".