Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement

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Senior officials from Pakistan`s and Afghanistan`s trade ministries have met regularly in recent months to discuss the revised deal, but differences have apparently prevented them from concluding the deal. Kabul has long demanded access to Afghan trucks to transport export-related goods via Pakistan`s land routes to Indian destinations. Afghan officials also want their trucks to be able to load goods that Afghanistan wants to import from India. Pakistan allows Afghan trucks to unload their goods not far from the Indian border and return empty. At a meeting on Tuesday, Pakistan`s cabinet authorized the temporary extension of aptta until Islamabad and Kabul have completed their ongoing discussions on the “changes, proposals and additions” proposed in the updated agreement. Despite previous agreements, ongoing tensions have prevented the full exploitation of the bilateral trade potential of Afghanistan and Pakistan and must be addressed if the goals set during President Ghani`s recent visit are to be achieved. During his visit to Pakistan in November 2014, newly elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani highlighted Afghanistan`s potential to serve as a land bridge between Pakistan and Central Asia and asked Pakistan for the same ease of trade with India. Ghani has set a goal of increasing bilateral trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan to $5 billion by 2017. Pakistan, in turn, has agreed to take steps to clear 95 percent of Afghan goods imported under the Transit Trade Agreement within twenty-four hours and to reduce tariffs and charges on port and storage facilities.6 Trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan has increased significantly, from $0.83 billion in FY06 to $2.1 billion in FY13.1 Pakistan supplies most of Afghanistan`s total imports. to 24.3% in FY13.2, but this share has declined since 2011 due to a combination of factors including political instability, tariff delays, SUSPENSIONS OF NATO supplies and other issues. While Pakistan`s share of transit trade has declined, Iran`s share has steadily increased.

India, Iran and Afghanistan have recently finalized a draft new transit trade agreement; The planned land route will connect Afghanistan to the Persian Gulf from iran`s Chabahar port in the Gulf of Oman and allow the movement of goods from South Asia to Afghanistan and Central Asia. Official banking relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan remain limited, as traders on both sides of the border are forced to rely on unofficial remittances and inconsistent exchange rates. Complaints were also reported about road and customs clearance infrastructure in both countries. According to the companies interviewed, the current practice of checking all containers instead of random selection slows down the transit process, and repeated checks on the Afghan and Pakistani sides of the border extend the transit time. However, during a visit to Kabul in April 2015, Pakistani Trade Minister Khurram Dastagir announced important steps to improve the situation. These include (1) allowing partial delivery of Goods in Transit from Afghanistan based on the system instead of manual processing; (2) a reduction in the share of Scanned Afghan cargo from 100% to 20%; and (3) the goal of increasing handling of nearly 90 percent of Afghan cargo on day one, with 80 percent cleared without sweeping. The Minister of Commerce also promised to set up common customs and clearance points for more efficient cross-border transport of goods. The agreement allows Afghanistan access to Pakistani seaports as well as land routes to conduct international trade and export Afghan goods to India, Pakistan`s arch-rival. In return, Islamabad accesses the markets of Central Asian countries via Afghanistan. Aptta was concluded in 2010 after years of effort, with the UNITED States playing the supporting role at the time, replacing an outdated 1965 agreement. Afghanistan also refuses to grant Pakistan the right to import and export goods from Central Asia through Afghan territory. The 2010 APTTA agreement allowed the export of Afghan goods to India via Pakistani territory, but did not allow the export of Indian goods to Afghanistan via Pakistani territory.

[28] APTTA calls for various measures to combat the smuggling of duty-free goods in Pakistan and Afghanistan by requiring: cargo tracking devices, bank guarantees and special licenses for guaranteed carriers for transit trucks, vehicle tracking systems and container depots. [20] The 2010 Agreement replaced the Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement signed in 1965. The 1965 agreement granted Afghanistan the right to import goods duty-free through Pakistani seaports. Pakistan has approved a three-month extension of its decades-old transit trade agreement with landlocked Afghanistan, allowing both sides to finalize and sign a revised version of the document currently under consideration. The governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan must make further arrangements for mutually beneficial trade relations. The following recommendations could point to a way forward for this long journey: “The system is currently functioning well and Pakistan continues to engage in trade activities with Afghanistan in accordance with international law,” he said. Afghanistan`s landlocked country means it depends on its neighbors to facilitate the transit of its trade with the global economy as a whole. The two countries initially signed the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) in 1965.4 The APTTA was redesigned in 2010 to allow the transit of Afghan exports through Pakistan to wagah`s border with India and to the port cities of Karachi and Gwadar. Pakistani trucks, in turn, are allowed to transport goods to all parts of Afghanistan. The agreement also led to the formation of a joint chamber of commerce. In July 2012, Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to extend APTTA to Tajikistan, a first step in establishing a North-South trade corridor.5 The proposed agreement would allow Tajikistan to use pakistan`s ports of Gwadar and Karachi for imports and exports, while Pakistan would trade with Tajikistan under conditions similar to the transit agreement with Afghanistan. Recently, a ministerial delegation from Tajikistan arrived in Pakistan to study trade prospects in various sectors.

A comparison of the reported unit prices of the main products of Afghan transit trade (as communicated to Pakistan Customs) with the unit prices reported by Afghan export partners shows that items such as fabric, glassware, office furniture, soaps, green tea, tires, generators, etc. are significantly undervalued. The extension was essential to facilitate uninterrupted transit traffic between the two countries and to give technical teams enough time to finalize negotiations on the new APTTA-2021, according to the Commerce Department. During Afghan President Ashraf Ghani`s visit to India in April 2015, he said, “We will not grant Pakistani trucks equal access to transit to Central Asia,” unless the Pakistani government has included India in the 2010 Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement to allow the movement of Indian goods through Pakistani territory.[29] which is directly contrary to Article 5 of the Agreement. which explicitly excludes Indian exports from the agreement. [30] Pakistan rejected calls for India`s admission because the signed agreement explicitly denies Indian goods the right to transit through Pakistan. The required truck tracking systems have been implemented in Pakistan, while the Afghan side has not yet installed such systems on its own trucks. [25] In addition, the reliability of Pakistani and Afghan trucks to cross mountainous terrain in both countries has been questioned, as Afghan trucks often enter Pakistani territory without required insurance, in violation of APTTA conditions. [26] Afghanistan has not yet informed Pakistan of its customs transit regulations required by APTTA, despite repeated requests from Pakistan and assurances from the Afghan government. [27] In July 2012, Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to extend APTTA to Tajikistan, which will be the first step towards establishing a North-South trade corridor. .

gepubliceerd op 23 januari 2022