Pakistan's embassy in Kabul in a statement has said that the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) will expire in the next few months and that there is a need for a revised agreement between the two countries.
“Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement will expire in February 2021, therefore, a revised agreement needs to be finalized as soon as possible,” the Pakistani embassy in Kabul said in a press release on Thursday.
"Moreover, negotiations on bilateral Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and MoU for the establishment of Joint Border Markets will also be held on the side-lines of the 8th APTTCA meeting in Islamabad," the statement said.
Sources said Pakistan by asking for the renewal of the agreement is seeking to ensure the transit of its products to Central Asia through Afghanistan’s soil without any conditions.
Afghanistan and Pakistan signed the trade and transit agreement 10 years ago to help promote legal trades between the two nations and avoid further challenges.
“Recent meetings between representatives of Afghanistan and Pakistan have paved the way to seek a solution to the trade and commerce issues between the two countries. We hope that all trade and business issues between the two countries are resolved soon,” said Naqibullah Fayeq, the CEO of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce.
“We hope that all the remaining transit and trade challenges between Afghanistan and Pakistan are resolved soon,” said Fawad Aman, a spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
The business community in Afghanistan said that over the past decade, Afghan trade convoys weren’t allowed to enter Indian markets through Pakistani soil.
“Problems and challenges have always left major financial losses to the private sector; therefore, there is a dire need to address these challenges through diplomatic channels,” said Sayed Zaman Hashemi, an economic affairs analyst.