Pakistan, Afghanistan to revise transit trade agreement

Islamabad, March 4: Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed on a facilitation package to boost bilateral trade to $5 billion in the next few years, the media reported on Friday. An official of the commerce ministry told Dawn that in the first step the two countries would exchange revised draft transit trade agreement, by March 15.  “We are expecting to receive the draft from Kabul within the deadline,” the official added. Draft amendments would then be deliberated at the seventh meeting of Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority (APTTCA) to be held in last week of this month, the official added.  “Kabul will host the crucial meeting to finalise the revised treaty.” According to APTTA, the provisions of the present agreement shall be revised and amended appropriately to facilitate transit trade. The official said that this amendment would help Pakistan export goods to Central Asian States without payment of duty and taxes via Afghanistan. The Afghan trucks will be allowed to carry Pakistani exports to Afghanistan on their return journey. Similarly, Pakistani trucks will be allowed to carry Tajik and Central Asian export cargo while returning to Pakistan.