KHYBER: The first shipment from China to Afghanistan via Sust border under the Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) Convention crossed over to Afghanistan at Torkham border.

A statement issued by local customs authorities said that this historic event marked a major development in the realm of transit trade and will go a long way in enhancing the transit trade activities on Pakistan Afghanistan border as well as strengthening economic ties with China, Afghanistan and Central Asian republics.

Importantly, the TIR facility is being regularly availed by the traders for import, export and transit to Central Asian States and Russia via Torkham.

A ceremony was held at Torkham Zero Point which was attended by the officers of Directorate of Transit Trade, Peshawar, Collectorates of Customs, Appraisement and Enforcement, Peshawar, in charge Pak Army, in charge NLC, representative of Afghan Gumrak, office holders of Pak-Afghan Chamber of Commerce and local traders.

The Director, Transit Trade, Peshawar, Arbab Qaisar Hamid, while speaking on the occasion, underlined the significance of the developments and major initiatives under taken by Pakistan customs in the recent past to enhance, facilitate and streamline the transit and bilateral trade.

These measures, he said, included Uzbekistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (UPTTA), Tajikistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (TPTTA), air to land transit trade facility at Islamabad airport, cross stuffing, beginning of reverse cargo through Ghulam Khan, simplification of TIR rules regulating the movement of Afghan vehicles through border stations etc.

He emphasised that with the completion of Integrated Transit and Trade Management System (ITTMS), the problem of traffic congestion at Torkham would be resolved and the volume of bilateral and transit trade increased.

Pak Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce joint secertary Zia Sarhadi, Torkham Customs Clearance Agents Association president Riaz Shinwari, were also present on the Occasion.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2023

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