By Huzaifa Shabbir Hussain and Hammad Siddiqui
As neighbors, Pakistan and Afghanistan have a number of commonalities. Both are predominantly Muslim countries and share similar values, culture, and civilization — as well as a long history of trade through both formal and informal channels. The signing of a new transit trade agreement between Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2010 has been termed as a major diplomatic accomplishment for both countries given the current geo-political environment. However, problems persist, especially in terms ensuring stability and growth in cross border trade and investment.
To help deal with these challenges, members of the business community from both countries formed the Pakistan and Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry in February 2012, with support from the British High Commission (BHC) and CIPE.
The core objective of the chamber is to facilitate peace prospects and strengthen economic and trade ties between the two countries. Since its establishment, PAJCCI has been aggressively pursuing its goal to ensure linkages between the business communities on both sides of the border.
The exchange of delegations, B2B and matchmaking sessions, circulation of trade and business opportunities, and annual conference have become vital avenues for enhancing bilateral ties between the two countries. The platform has also provided an opportunity to raise the voice of business community on both sides of the border, encouraging government officials to make changes that enhance cross-border trade and investment.