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Pakistan, Taliban Bolster Trade, Transit Ties During Kabul Talks

© PhotoPakistan, Afghanistan Bolster Trade, Transit Ties During Kabul Talks
Pakistan, Afghanistan Bolster Trade, Transit Ties During Kabul Talks - Sputnik India, 1920, 29.03.2024
From March 24 to 27, Pakistan and Afghanistan held discussions in Kabul, achieving significant progress in bilateral trade and transit agreements despite escalating tensions following Pakistan's airstrikes against terrorists in the border regions of Afghanistan.
From initiating discussions on revising the transit trade agreement and to implement a Temporary Admission Document (TAD) for commercial vehicle drivers, Pakistan and the Taliban* government agreed on several key initiatives aimed at streamlining cross-border commerce and enhancing their economic ties.
Pakistan's Commerce Secretary, Mohammad Khurrum Agha, and his counterpart Nooruddin Azizi agreed to establish a bilateral Preferential Trade Agreement, enhancement in multimodal air transit, and discussed issues pertinent to transit trade through Afghanistan, as well as the Afghanistan–Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) which got expired in 2021.
The two countries reached an agreement that Pakistan will facilitate the transfer of goods from international to regional containers (cross-stuffing) at Karachi's ports over the next six months.
An agreement on preferential trade was also reached, whereby both sides will grant tariff preferences to 10 export goods, eight of which are agricultural and two industrial.
Additionally, an agreement was made to issue temporary free licenses for truck traffic for a one-year trial period, set to commence in May 2024.
Both the countries have reached a consensus on facilitating the transfer of goods through the airports of both countries, adopting a multi-modal air transit approach set to commence within the next two months.
As part of Pakistan's recent initiatives regarding the transit of Afghan goods, it has been agreed that the mandatory bank guarantee will be eliminated within a week, reverting to the previous insurance-based system.
Furthermore, in consultation with the relevant parties, necessary steps will be taken to eliminate additional hindrances.
Both sides agreed to stop barter, develop banking relations, and discussed the export of coal from Afghanistan to Pakistan, with Pakistan ready to buy at international prices.
*under UN sanctions for terrorism
Trade route - Sputnik India, 1920, 07.12.2023
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