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PESHAWAR: The first ever Afghanistan bound China cargo shipment that entered Pakistan through Sost border from Khunjerab on August 28, 2023 has crossed Torkham border for its final destination of Kabul.

The shipment was allowed to use the old Silk Route under the UN’s Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) Convention, which provides an easy & economical route for trade between countries across the world.

On the occasion of crossing the border by China shipment a ceremony was also held at Torkham Zero point, said in a press release here on Saturday.

Directorate of Transit Trade, Peshawar, Collectorates of Customs, Appraisement and Enforcement, Peshawar, Incharge Pak Army, Incharge NLC, representative of Afghan Gumrak, office holders of Pak Afghan Chamber of Commerce and local traders attended the ceremony. Director Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI), Ziaul-Haq Sarhadi was also present at the historic event.

“This remarkable initiative marked a major development in the realm of transit trade and will go a long way in enhancing the transit trade activities on Pak Afghan border as well as strengthening economic ties with China, Afghanistan and Central Asian republics,” observed Shamsur Rehman Wazir, Director Transit Trade Torkham while speaking on the occasion. He said the convoy of China cargo reached its destination safely and within its stipulated period of time without any hurdles. Utilization of this route by Chinese businessmen for transportation of goods to Afghanistan will open up new vistas of commerce and livelihood in Pakistan, Shams added. “This trade activity has been started on trial basis and soon its volume will be increased to a desired level,” commented Arbab Qaiser, Director Transit Trade Customs Department. In a press statement issued here, Arbab Qaiser said the scope of China goods will be expanded to Central Asian Republics after supplying goods to Afghanistan.

Sarhadi hailed crossing of first ever China cargo for Afghanistan via Khunjerab border and termed it a good omen. This development, would not only increase volume of trade at regional level, but would also create a large number of livelihood opportunities for people associated with custom clearance, goods transportation, fuel business, daily wagers, etc.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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