The United Business Group (UBG) of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has established five facilitation centres, one each at Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Quetta, for Afghan importers and exporters for smooth flow of trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan. According to a spokesperson for the UBG here on Friday, Chairman UBG Iftikhar Ali Malik, while talking to an Afghan traders delegation, led by Muslim Khan, said that the volume of bilateral trade traffic on both sides would increase massively in the coming days, contrary to fears of reduction in Pak-Afghan trade and transit trade due to the changing situation in Afghanistan. He said in a couple of days, trade between the two countries had almost doubled since the Taliban seized control. He said that it’s good omen that the new Afghan government in one go reduced customs duties on 159 items in Afghanistan, which included construction, steel, cement, glass, plastic, foams, petroleum products and foods. Iftikhar Malik said if the situation improved in coming days, the confidence of local and foreign investors and traders including general Afghan people would be restored. He said business-friendly conducive environments would create job opportunities besides help strengthen the fractured economy of decades long war-torn states. He lamented that earlier the number of imports in 24 hours did not consist of more than 60 to 70 vehicles; however, 1,223 cargo trucks were cleared in 24 hours which was the largest border crossing between two countries. Iftikhar Malik said that the UBG attached great importance to Afghan traders and had established facilitation centres at the following cities in Pakistan to help assist, guide and address their genuine grievances on top priority at all levels across the country.