Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan ink transit trade deal

KABUL (SW) – Officials at the Ministry of Industry and Trade say that a tripartite trade meeting between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan was held in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, on Tuesday.

Akhundzada Abdulsalam Javad, the spokesman of the ministry, told Salam Watandar that in this meeting, the Afghan-Trans railway project, strengthening of transportation routes, upgrading of infrastructure, reduction of trade barriers and strengthening of cross-border trade were discussed. He adadded at in this meeting, the three parties also signed a commercial and transit cooperation memorandum.

Akhundzada Abdul Salam Javad ememphasized”A tripartite agreement has been signed between Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan. In this contract, first of all, the railway line of Uzbekistan should come to Pakistan, and they agreed on the transfer of raw materials from Uzbekistan to Pakistan. In the transfer of trade materials, especially seasonal fruits, from Pakistan to Uzbekistan, facilities have been created for Afghanistan, so that through the territory of Uzbekistan, oil and flour and some things imported from Russia can be used in this way, as well as Afghanistan from the port of Karachi.”

At the same time, the officials of Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce have said that this meeting will set a clear perspective in the fields of trade, investment and mutual relations for the benefit of these three countries. Gohar Ejaz, Minister of Commerce of Pakistan, wrote on his “X” account that this meeting is an important step to strengthen economic relations and regional communication between these three countries. The Minister of Commerce of Pakistan added: “This tripartite meeting is an important step towards economic cooperation and provides the basis for increasing trade, investment and economic ties between countries.”

A number of economic experts consider the outcome of this meeting and the signing of the tripartite memorandum as important for finding a solution to the country’s transit problems.

Abdul Nasir Rashtia, an expert on economic issues, expressed his hope that this time Afghanistan, in collusion with the neighboring countries, will be able to force the Pakistan to implement the provisions of this memorandum. He says: “At least this time Afghanistan, in collusion with the neighboring countries, can force the Pakistanis to stick to their promises. But, I think that the Afghan government should spend more of its energy on alternative ways and expanding trade relations with other countries.”

Mohammad Rafiq Sadeqhyar, another expert on economic issues, says that the tripartite meeting between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan can be effective in finding a solution to the country’s transit problems. It should be mentioned that a delegation from the caretaker government of Afghanistan headed by Nuruddin Azizi, the acting minister of industry and trade, went to Islamabad on Monday, to participate in the tripartite meeting between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan. Nouruddin Azizi also discussed with Jalil Abbas Jilani, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Interim Government of Pakistan, about finding a solution for more than 3000 containers of Afghan businessmen’s goods stranded in Pakistan.