Afghanistan has started issuance of one-year multiple entry business visas to Pakistani businessmen.
The government of Afghanistan has now formally communicated to the finance minister Ishaq Dar that the Embassy as well as three Consulates General of Afghanistan have started issuing one-year multiple entry business visas to Pakistani businessmen.
The matter was initially raised by finance minister at the 9th session of the Pak-Afghan Joint Economic Commission (JEC) in Kabul in February 2014. Federal finance minister had suggested to the Afghan side to reciprocate the facility being extended to Afghan businesspeople by Pakistan, with a view to increasing bilateral trading relations.
Pakistan again took up the matter with the Afghan side during the visit by the Afghan finance minister to Islamabad in November 2014 as well as at the recent 10th Pak-Afghan JEC held in Islamabad in November 2015, wherein the finance minister emphasized the importance of the measure for further improvement of bilateral trade.
Addressing the 10th Pak-Afghan JEC finance minister had said: “Major boost in bilateral trade is not possible if businessmen to businessmen contacts are not facilitated. For trade facilitation, we are hoping that Afghanistan would consider relaxing the visa issue regime which impedes visits of Pakistani businessmen. In this regard, I would emphasize that the process of issuance of visa to the businessmen may be reciprocated. We are very keen that our businessmen and your businessmen grow their businesses and sustain our relations.”
Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar has welcomed the decision of the government of Afghanistan to issue one-year multiple entry business visas to Pakistani business community. He has said that the decision will go a long way in helping the two countries achieve the target of raising bilateral trade to $5 billion by 2018. It is worth mentioning here that earlier it was agreed in the 9th session of the Pak-Afghan Joint Economic Commission (JEC) in Kabul in February 2014 that both the countries will work single-mindedly and with great zeal to achieve the target of bilateral trade of $5 billion.
Ishaq Dar hoped that the Pakistani businessmen would avail of the new facility in order to boost exports to and business ties with Afghanistan.