Photo taken on Nov. 13, 2016 shows the COSCO Wellington cargo vessel with containers moored at Gwadar port, Pakistan. (Xinhua/Liu Tian)
Afghan ambassador to Pakistan said Pakistan's decision to allow Afghan traders to import goods via the Gwadar port "will certainly have a positive impact on Afghanistan-Pak trade and transit ties."
ISLAMABAD, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Atif Mashal on Friday said Pakistan's decision to allow Afghan traders to import goods via the Gwadar port in southwestern Balochistan province will boost bilateral trade and transit ties between the two countries.
Mashal's comments came following the arrival of a cargo ship, carrying 16,000 tons urea for transit to Afghanistan at the Gwadar port, according to China Overseas Port Holding Company which operates the Gwadar port, and Abdul Razak Dawood, advisor to Pakistani prime minister on commerce, textile, industry and production, and investment.
Pakistan last month announced to allow import of the Afghan bulk cargo of wheat, sugar and fertilizers at the Gwadar port and onward transit to Afghanistan in sealable trucks, instead of being limited to containers.
"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. Instructions have already been passed to allocate all labor jobs to local population," Dawood said on Twitter on Friday.
Photo taken on March 24, 2018 shows a view of the Gwadar port of Pakistan. (Xinhua/Liu Tian)
The Afghan ambassador welcomed Pakistan's decision and appreciated efforts by the Pakistani advisor.
"This will certainly have a positive impact on Afghanistan-Pak trade and transit ties. We must extend support to each other for revival of commerce and connectivity in Central and South Asia that will surely benefit people in the region," Mashal said in a tweet.
Pakistan announced in October last year to open the Gwadar port for the Afghan transit trade as the trade related infrastructure at the port was already to handle bulk cargoes to and from Afghanistan. The first ship carrying containers for Afghan transit trade arrived at the Gwadar port on Jan. 14, 2020.
Pakistan and landlocked Afghanistan had signed a transit trade agreement in 1965 that was revised in 2010, which calls for better facilitation in the movement of goods between the two countries.
Afghan traders would previously use ports in Karachi, the commercial hub of Pakistan, for import under the transit trade agreement.■