Pakistan and Afghanistan on Monday kicked off high level talks in Islamabad to revise current transit trade relations and look into the possibility of a preferential trade agreement and a plan to establish border markets to facilitate bilateral trade, officials and diplomats told Xinhua news agency.
Afghanistan Minister of Industry and Commerce Nisar Ahmad Ghoryani is leading the Afghan delegation while Pakistan is represented by Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan for Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood.
Pakistan and landlocked Afghanistan had signed a transit trade agreement in 1965 that was revised in 2010.
A Pakistani official told Xinhua on Sunday that Pakistan has shared a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Afghan side to establish joint border markets, the report said.
He said both sides will also discuss the opening of new corridors and ports of entry/exit for Afghan transit trade to provide the maximum relief to the Afghan traders.
Razak Dawood on Monday said improving trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan will maximise chances of regional economic integration and enhance the connectivity among neighbouring countries, Pakistan’s International The News reported.
In recent trade dialogue, Pakistan and Afghanistan mainly focused on transit, bilateral and informal trade issues through the agenda of shared prosperity and peace, the adviser said, while addressing the opening session of 8th round of three-day Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA).
“We have already allowed Afghanistan to use Gwadar for their transit trade, as the same was demanded by Central Asian states to connect them with Gwadar Port in the near future” the adviser said, adding that Pakistan had agreed to facilitate Afghan trade through Gwadar and Bin Qasim ports as a goodwill gesture to enhance economic ties with Afghanistan.
Pakistan has agreed to provide opportunities to Afghanistan trade items through Gwadar and Bin Qasim ports in a good will gesture to enhance economic ties. The preferential trade agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Afghanistan would be finalized by the end of January next, the reports said.
Pakistan’s adviser hoped that the review agreement of APTTA would also be signed in the coming months of 2021 and investment-related matters would be resolved in the recent bilateral dialogue between Pakistan and Afghanistan.