Pakistan keen to lay Rail-Tracks and refurbishing existing routes for direct and transit trade with Afghanistan and Iran: Minister

Islamabad, May 11, 2016 (PPI-OT): Minister for Commerce Engr. Khurram Dastagir Khan has said that Pakistan is deeply interested into laying modern Rail Tracks and refurbishing existing routes for direct and transit trade with Afghanistan and Iran. Chairing a meeting with business delegation from South Africa here on Wednesday, the minister said the Govt considers Rail-Tracks as Trade Corridors because it will play vital role in boosting Pakistani exports and facilitating transit trades.

The South African delegation was led by Mr. Willem Goosen of M/s Grindrod Rail, Multi-Continent Investment Company. He was accompanied by Mr. Asfhaq Anwar, a Pakistani businessman in South Africa. The Commerce Minister said, the government is deeply interested in an integrated locomotive services for boosting trade with neighbouring countries like Afghanistan and Iran.

“We will also establish a modern Rail-link from Gwadar Port to up country and further to Afghanistan for the transit trade,” the minister said. “Refurbishing of existing Rail infrastructure for trade with Iran is also under consideration as trade ties with Iran is getting stronger,” he also added.

He was of the view that the government is utilizing substantial resources in meeting power generation demands of the exporting industrial sector. And for the purpose, he added, construction work on power plants including super critical technology Sahiwal Coal-fired Power Plant, construction of which is underway on a fast pace.

“We shall ensure smooth supply of imported raw input for Sahiwal plant through Rail-route,” he said. Mr. Dastagir told the delegation that Pakistan intends to initiate talks with South Africa related to Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) for increase in existing trade volume between two countries.

The South African delegation offered their support in provision of funding, rail-infrastructure development and services, technology transfer, training of human resource and 360 degree logistics support in supplying imported input for different projects. Call on meeting with Korean Ambassador: Korean Ambassador His Excellency Dr. Song Jong-Hwan, also called on Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastagir Khan and discussed matters related to mutual interest.

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