Aftab Ahmed Vohra
Aftab Ahmed Vohra is a Pakistani business figure based in Lahore, mostly in the Chemical industry. He started his business in early 1970s. He is the Chairman of Vohra Group of Companies. He belongs to reputable family of Chinioti Sheikhs.
Currently, he is Member Executive Committee of the LCCI as well as Life Member of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI). He is a member of FBR’s “Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee”. Vohra has remained an Executive Committee Member of India- Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IPCCI) under the patronage of FPCCI & FICCI.
Pak India Trade Promotion Committee
Vohra is the chairman of the Pak India trade promotion committee. He is working hard since 2005 to strengthen the relations of Pakistan and India. Vohra regularly chairs meetings with companies and organisations relating to this.
On the 23of July 2013, a 12- member World Bank mission visited Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday and had an interactive session with the LCCI members including Aftab Ahmed Vohra on Pak-India trade through land route. The World Bank team headed by Ms Diep Nguyen-van Houtte, Senior Operations Officer, South Asia Regional Integration spent well over an hour at the LCCI to gather the views of LCCI members about facilities at Wagha.
“Everyone talks about Indo-Pak trade, but very few question insufficient facilities at the dry port. The growth in bilateral trade is directly linked with infrastructure facilities, which we lack,” said Aftab Ahmad Vohra, chairman of Pak-India Trade Promotion Committee, while talking to The Express Tribune.
Dry ports are crucial, but unfortunately, Pakistan is not ready to trade with India via road or rail, Vohra said. Currently, for the 137 items that Pakistan trades with India, the whole port and adjacent arteries get overloaded, and hardly 300 trucks can be accommodated. Due to this traffic jam, attaining clearance for goods gets delayed during the custom’s scanning process.
Suggesting a solution, Vohra said that at the current stage, the government should allow at 50% representation of the private sector to handle port matters to streamline the process. “Operational matters should be given to the private sector as they have more technical knowledge and experience than the governmental department in running the port. The private sector will invest in infrastructure more efficiently than the governmental departments just like they did at the Sialkot dry port,” Vohra added.
Business community, on both sides of the border, expects that bilateral trade which currently stands at $2.4 billion can touch $10 billion in a few years, if traders are provided with better and more modern infrastructure, which will take at least five years to build if started on a priority basis.
Out of the total 7,500 tradable items between India and Pakistan, only 1,209 were banned while the rest can be imported by Pakistan from India. The business community from the both the countries feels that the border points will achieve significance once Pakistan allows India to transport goods to central Asia through Pakistan.
However to even dream this, the government must be willing to spend on infrastructure development at the trade gates.
The world is segmented into different regional blocks such as the European Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations and North American Free Trade Agreement to bolster trade between regional members, Vohra said.
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- "Pak-Thai businessmen to enter into joint ventures". The Pakistan Newswire. 2006-01-30.
- Saadia Salahuddin. "East meets West". Shehr, The News on Sunday.