Change in transit trade agreement would allow Pakistan to export goods to Central Asia without paying duty and taxes via Afghanistan.
According to media reports, Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to boost bilateral trade to $5 billion in a few years’ time. The first step to boosting bilateral trade would be a revised transit trade agreement which will be finalized by 15th March. An official of the commerce ministry stated that a draft of the transit trade agreement was expected from Kabul within the deadline. The draft would then be subjected to amendments during the seventh meeting of Afghanistan Pakistan Transit trade Coordination Authority (APTTCA) which will be held during the last week of March. The said meeting will be held in Kabul.
According to APTTCA, the provision of the present transit trade agreement will be revised and amended to facilitate bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The amendments Pakistan is hoping to make should allow the country to export several goods to Central Asian States via Afghanistan without having to pay duties and taxes. These amendments should allow for trade to increase between the neighbors and reach $5 billion in the next few years.
The revision in the transit trade agreement would allow Pakistani trucks to carry Tajik and Central Asian cargo while returning to Pakistan via Afghanistan and, the Afghan trucks in return will be allowed to carry Pakistani merchandise to Afghanistan. Trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan is expected to increase at an exponential rate, which would not only help foster strengthened relationship between the two countries, but lead to cooperation in other sectors as well.
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