Pakistan and Afghanistan will finalize the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) by the end of January next year.
This was revealed by the Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood. There are also speculations that the governments will sign the review agreement of APTTA in the coming months of 2021.
He said that the boost in trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan will maximize regional economic integration and enhance the connectivity among neighboring countries.
In a trade dialogue held recently, Pakistan and Afghanistan were mainly focusing on transit, bilateral and informal trade issues, Dawood informed. He further added that the meeting also addressed the opening of the eighth round of the three-day APTTA.
The adviser said that Pakistan has agreed to facilitate Afghan trade through Gwadar and Bin Qasim ports as a good gesture to enhance the economic ties. He also informed that the two countries would finalize the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) by the end of January 2021.
The adviser expressed hope that Pakistan and Afghanistan would sign the review agreement of APTTA in the coming months of 2021 and resolve investment-related matters in the recent bilateral dialogue between the countries.
He said that both sides would also discuss access to Indian trade items through mutual borders during the three-day dialogue.
Commenting on the main agenda of the trade negotiations between the two countries, the adviser informed that it includes smooth transit trade for enhancing connectivity with the Central Asian States, connecting the regional trade with the Gwadar Port, and the finalization of the APTTA and the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Afghanistan in February 2021.
He said, “We have already allowed Afghanistan to use Gwadar for their transit trade as the same was demanded by the Central Asian States to connect them with Gwadar port in [the] near future.”
The establishment of economic zones to enhance bilateral investment and trade opportunities is also possible for both countries. The use of technology is also under consideration for the smooth functioning of trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The adviser also informed that he would lead his delegation to negotiate the ninth round of the APTTA with Afghanistan in the coming month. He assured that the delegation would resolve all the issues through the common agenda of peace and prosperity.