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The National Assembly Session has been prorogued on Saturday, the 6th March, 2021 Committee Meetings:11:00 AM: Meeting of the Sub-Committee-II of PAC (Revised) at Committee Room No.2 Parliament House, Islamabad | 11:00 AM: 12th meeting of the Sub-Committee of the Special Committee on Agricultural Products at Seminar Room No.2 PIPS, Islamabad | 11:30 AM: Defence Production (Cancelled) at Committee Room No.7 | 02:00 PM: Meetings of the Sub-Committee-VII of the PAC (Revised) at Committee Room No.2 |

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Capitalizing CPEC Potential And Enhancing Trade Links With Afghanistan, Key To Socio-Economic Development Of The Country: NA Speaker
Thursday, 18th February, 2021

SIMPLIFYING TRADE DISPUTE MECHANISM, EFFICIENT BORDER MARKET MANAGEMENT AND EASE OF DOING BUSINESS FOR INVESTORS IMPERATIVE FOR INCREASING EXPORT VOLUME: NA SPEAKER*
 
Islamabad:  18th February 2021; Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser has said that trade liberalization and facilitating traders would bring mutual prosperity and development. He said that promotion of trade with its neighbors need special focus of public representatives. He mentioned that Pakistan has wonderful opportunity to capitalize on the unfolding CPEC and its trade with Afghanistan especially in the post COVID-19 context. He said that business and investor friendly policies would attract investors from across the world to invest in different businesses. He expressed these views while chairing the 8th meeting of Executive Committee of Pakistan- Afghanistan Parliamentary Friendship Group (Pak-Afghan PFG) in the Parliament House today.
 
 While reviewing the implementation status of recommendations of Pak-Afghan PFG, Speaker Asad Qaiser directed the Commerce and Law Ministry to expedite the bill process for evolving a workable trade dispute resolution mechanism as it has been pending since one year.  He also  stressed  that there should not be any discriminatory policies of Banks for opening bank accounts of  foreign investors. The Deputy Governor of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) briefed the committee that total number of  9035 number of  Afghan Nationals have Bank Accounts in 26  Banks of the country.  He said that border management and border markets need interventions to create economic opportunities for people in and around the border areas.  He stressed the importance of cross-stuffing of transit trade containers to radically reduce the cost of transit trade. He also directed the Ministry of Interior to simplify the procedure for foreign nationals to own properties in Pakistan, in a bid to encourage them to invest in the country. BOI was instructed to come up with a comprehensive proposal to encourage foreign investment in Pakistan.
 
The Committee also deliberated initiative to enhance Pharmaceutical exports to Afghanistan. Mr Arbab Shahzad, SAPM emphasized  the need to have workable solution for relaxing ban on the export of livestock  especially for the people of borders areas in KPK and Balochistan.  He also sought strong coordination between federal and provincial departments to tackle the issues of border areas especially emerging issues of pedestrians, providing alternative livelihoods and infrastructural development.  On the briefing by Representative of Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), he said that the recruitment process of different FBR post be expedited. MNA Ms. Shandana Gulzar also remarked about open regime for investors and making trade friendly policies.
 
The meeting of Executive Committee was attended by Special Assistant to Prime Minister Mr. Arbab Shahzad, Special Envoy of Prime Minister for Afghanistan Sadiq Khan, MNAs Ms. Shandana Gulzar Khan, Mr. Mohsin Dawar, Mr. Yaqoob Sheikh, Mr. Salahudin and Senior Officers of Ministry of Interior, Commerce, FBR, National Logistic Cell, Food Security, Foreign Affairs, Board of Investment and Governments of Balochistan and KPK.
 
Yesterday, on the instructions of the Speaker National Assembly, the Executive Committee’s task force had met and discussed various challenges to tapping the potential of Chaman as hub for Pak Afghan trade. The 2 hour long meeting took up over 16 agenda points and deliberated various issues in detail. The meeting had ended with notable progress towards resolution of important issues involved.