KARACHI: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia agreed on Saturday to strengthen cooperation in the fields of customs and taxation to increase bilateral trade, the Arab News has reported.
The development follows a 2019 visit by Saudi Customs Authority officials to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to discuss exchanging real-time information on the value of goods originating from Islamabad and Riyadh, and joint law enforcement measures to control illicit flows of currency and prevent drug trafficking.
On Saturday, Saudi Ambassador Nawaf bin Saeed Al-Malki met with FBR chairman Muhammad Javed Ghani in Islamabad.
“It was agreed in the meeting that relevant departments of both countries would further promote the cooperation in the field of customs and tax and would learn from each other’s best practices which would result in increasing the trade volume between the two countries,” the FBR said in a statement after the meeting.
Pakistani businessmen said the development was a “step in the right direction.”
“The trade between the two countries could only be increased by easing out tax and custom procedures of both the countries,” Sardar Shahid Ahmed Laghari, chairman of the Pakistan‐Saudi Arabia Business Council of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), told Arab News, as he lauded the Saudi ambassador’s efforts to resolve the issues faced by the business communities of both the countries.