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Traders upbeat over resumption of business with Afghanistan

www.thehindu.com/
17 July 2020

Pakistan has allowed transit trade through Wagah border

Traders in Punjab’s Amritsar are upbeat about resuming their business after Pakistan recently allowed Afghanistan to send goods to India using the Attari-Wagah border under the Pakistan-Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement.

“Movement of trucks through the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Attari has been allowed, and we are expecting the first consignment of goods, mostly dry-fruits from Afghanistan, in a day or two. At least nine trucks from Afghanistan have left,” said Mr. Ashok Sethi, director of the Confederation of International Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Both Pakistan and India had suspended trade through the Attari-Wagah border in March this year to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Sethi said Amritsar’s dry fruit and spices sectors that rely on trade with Afghanistan have already suffered a loss to the tune of not less than ₹45 crore, which includes traders loss, revenue loss at ICP and staff salaries during the past four months. “Resuming of trade has come as a big relief to businessmen here amid the prevailing gloomy economic scenario,” he said.

“Local traders have already placed orders for dry fruits and fresh fruits and as soon as things get streamlined we are expecting 8 to 10 trucks daily from Afghanistan with goods consignments. With the festival season approaching the sentiment is upbeat among traders who are expecting good demand for dry fruits and spices in the coming days,” he added.