Pakistan and Afghanistan have signed a protocol for three-month extension of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) 2010.

Speaking on the occasion, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood stated that his vision for trade and economic relations with Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics (CARs) was to make Pakistan a hub of trade, transit and transshipment.

“Our trade should be based on secure, open, consistent, reliable and legal movement of goods at the Afghan border along with enhanced connectivity with Afghanistan and CARs,” he emphasised.

Dawood, however, added that it was a long-term vision and “through our current engagement with Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, we are laying the foundation for its implementation.”

It would ensure that Pakistan leveraged its geo-economic location in the region to enhance its international trade. “Our discussions with Afghanistan and Uzbekistan are a step in this direction,” the adviser said.

Both sides expressed satisfaction with the extension of the agreement and decided that technical teams of the two countries would conclude the revised agreement soon.

The signing ceremony was held via video link on Thursday simultaneously in Kabul and Islamabad. Ministry of Commerce secretary along with representatives of both embassies in the respective capitals attended the event.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2021.

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