Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan to ink transit trade agreement
The trilateral transit trade agreement would be inked soon among Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan.
The agreement forms part of the Afghanistan-Pakistan-Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA).
APTTA was signed between Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2010, based on which Afghan traders can export their goods to other countries through Pakistan.
In July 2012,, Pakistan had proposed to include Tajikistan in the transit trade agreement with Afghanistan to convert it into a trilateral accord and extend the trade to the entire region.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Trade Project has been working effectively with the Ministry of Commerce and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Customs for the implementation of the APTTA which came into effect on June 12, 2011 due to the Trade Project’s efforts. APTTA is a successor to the 1965 Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement (ATTA) which aims to boost regional trade between and through the two countries.
APTTA requires procedural and regulatory reform to discourage unauthorized trade and introduces mechanisms that reduce transit cargo dwell time.
The most favorable advantage APTTA would have among several others for Pakistan would be to reap the benefits of improved land access to the Central Asian Region (CAR). This consists of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, thus capturing a total market of 61 million people with an average per capita income as high as $11,800. “The total potential exports of Pakistan to these five central Asian countries could exceed US $7 billion based on its current imports.”
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