Afghan transit trade through Pakistan’s Gwadar port became operational on Friday. This is the first sea trade between the two countries.
The first cargo ship berthed at the port on Friday. Adviser to Prime Minister for Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood announced the development on social media.
The trade commenced under the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement-2010.
“The cargo ship SIBULK TRADITION has berthed at Gwadar, carrying 16,000 tonnes of urea for transit to Afghanistan. This is a first and marks the beginning of a new era in Pakistan’s trade by sea,” he tweeted.
The transhipment of goods to Afghanistan through Gwadar port is important as the port is located close to Chabahar, the Iranian port being developed by India, with Iran’s cooperation, to ship its cargo to Afghanistan.
This also offers a much shorter overland link particularly to southern regions of the war-torn nation. Gwadar port is being developed by China as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The advisor said that “for the first time, bagging will be done locally instead of foreign ports. Urea will be bagged and shipped on trucks to Afghanistan at Gwadar, which will generate employment for the locals.”
Dawood further said that “instructions have already been passed to allocate all labour jobs to local population” of Balochistan.
Afghanistan will be allowed trade of sugar and wheat through this route. However, all the sealed consignments will have to take the route of the neighboring country.
(With inputs from PTI)