Gwadar Port Processes First Transit Goods For Afghanistan Markets
Pakistan’s Gwadar port has received its first shipment of goods destined for Afghanistan, acting as a transit for goods exported by the UAE.
Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistan’s special envoy for Afghanistan, stated that “The first transit consignment of bulk cargo through Gwadar to Afghanistan started today. Several consignments are lined up for coming days. We have crossed another milestone towards establishing our credentials as a transit city.”
The ship carrying trade goods for Afghanistan anchored at the port, which was transported to Afghanistan via road after customs clearance.
With its 600-kilometer coastline, Gwadar is a key deep seaport currently operated by China, which seeks to gain direct access to the Indian Ocean via Gwadar in line with its US$64 billion Pakistan-China Economic Corridor (CPEC) mega project.
The economic corridor is hoped to provide China cheaper access to Africa and the Middle East and also earn Pakistan billions of dollars to provide transit facilities to China.
Two weeks ago Islamabad reopened a key border crossing to resume exports from Afghanistan to India under the Pakistan-Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA). The 2010 bilateral trade agreement provides Afghan traders access to the eastern Wagah border with India, where Afghan goods are offloaded onto Indian trucks. The agreement, however, does not permit Indian goods to be loaded onto trucks for transit back to Afghanistan.
Last month, Pakistan also reopened three key trade routes – the southwestern Chaman, northwestern Torkham, and Ghulam Khan border crossings – for transit trade and exports to Afghanistan.
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Silk Road Briefing is written by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm has 28 offices throughout Asia, and assists foreign investors into the region. For strategic advisory and business intelligence issues please contact the firm at email@example.com or visit www.dezshira.com