The Pakistani and Afghan officials have finalized the amended draft of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA). This will serve to address the obstacles in trade faced by both neighboring countries.

The greatest barrier to trade was access for Afghan trucks to reach India through Pakistan. Similarly, Pakistani Trucks getting permission for access to Afghanistan and the Central Asian States was also an issue. However, in 2017 Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) insisted the government review APTTA. They suggested including India and Tajikistan in the reviewed agreement.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) Afghanistan said that the inclusion of India and Tajikistan would benefit all four of us and the trade relations between us would rise by 70 percent.

A Decade of strengthening trade relations

In 2010, Pakistan and Afghanistan signed the APTTA to improve trade cooperation. A decade of cooperation ended in February 2021. In March 2021, a three-month extension was granted. The primary cause for extension was to avoid any disruptions to trade and transit.

Back in March, Razak Dawood, an Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment said that Pakistan’s trade and economic relations with Afghanistan and Central Asian countries would transform Pakistan into a hub for trade, transshipment, and transit.

Furthermore, trade must be based on the secure, open, consistent, reliable, and legal movement of goods at the Afghan border. Dawood also emphasized the need for enhanced connectivity with Afghanistan and CARs.

spokesperson for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Afghanistan, Fawad Ahmadi said that there was an optimism that Afghan transit cargoes would freely move to South Asian countries via Pakistan territory and Pakistan’s cargo trucks would easily enter Central Asia through Afghanistan.


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