Pakistan’s Air Connectivity to Regional Economies Improves Economic Integration: Zafar Bakhtawari


ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – Aug 1, 2021): Pakistan’s United Affairs Group (UBG) General Secretary Zafar Bakhtawari said on Sunday that Pakistan’s air links with the outside world, especially with countries of the region, are crucial for regional trade and economic integration.

Promoting air, land and sea connectivity can make Pakistan a major economic and trade power at the regional level by partnering with countries in the region, especially countries in Central Asia, he said during the meeting. an interview with APP here.

In the recent geo-economic scenario, the “Port of Gwadar” appears as a major opportunity not only for the countries of the region but also for world trade, which will strengthen our trade links with the countries of the region and with the markets. global trade.

Even a $ 60 billion megaproject of global and regional significance like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will not only determine future trade trends, but also play a key role in shaping the world’s major trade markets.

In the first phase of the CPEC, the infrastructure and energy projects have been carried out and in the future, the friendly countries are to become partners of the CPEC so that Pakistan’s trade and economic relations with these countries can be further strengthened.

He said that the industrial development and common currency stages of CPEC are currently being completed, which will lead to new Sino-Pakistani friendship ties.

He added that the agricultural sector is also one of the important projects of CPEC, which will usher in a revolution in the agricultural sector in Pakistan.

Zafar said there is a potential of around $ 2 billion in bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which can be further enhanced by adding new sectors.

Peace in Afghanistan is crucial for Pakistan’s development and the mutual trade relations of countries in the region, including the economies of Central Asia.

He said that Pakistan and Afghanistan recently relaunched the protocol for the six-month extension of the 2010 Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA).

“Our trade must be based on a secure, open, consistent, reliable and legal movement of goods across the Afghan border as well as improved connectivity with Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics (CAR}), he said. he declares.

Zafar Bakhtawari said during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent visit that the Pakistan Transit Trade (AUPTT) was signed in Tashkent, between Pakistan and Uzbekistan, adding that Uzbekistan is a landlocked country with borders with Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

He said that under the Agreement, transit trade between Uzbekistan and Pakistan will take place along predetermined routes and will only use specified ports and border crossings.

He said Uzbekistan and Pakistan are obligated to ensure that appropriate infrastructure and personnel are available at border crossings and will provide separate spaces for off-dock terminals and warehouses.

He said that Afghanistan has a transit trade agreement with Uzbekistan, while Pakistan also has a transit trade agreement with Afghanistan.

Therefore, the transit trade agreement with Uzbekistan may provide opportunities for Pakistani exports to reach the potential $ 100 billion market in Central Asia.

He informed that currently Uzbekistan is heavily dependent on the Iranian seaport of “Bandar Abbas”, accessible via Turkmenistan.

Responding to a question on the draft Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Turkey, a business leader stressed the need to finalize the Pak-Turkey FTA and asked to be signed as soon as possible. possible.

Nine rounds of bilateral negotiations on the proposed FTA between the two parties had taken place in the past in different ways and hoped that the FTA could be signed by this government.

He said more serious and concrete steps needed to be taken to increase bilateral trade, which had grown from $ 1 billion a year to $ 650 million.

He said that the Turkish government, the business community and the people in general place great importance on and respect Pakistan and its citizens.

About Michael G. Walter

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