First shipment of trade goods enters Pakistan via new TIR route with China
GILGIT, Aug 28 (Gwadar Pro)- For the first time, a shipment of trade goods entered Pakistan via a newly established road trade agreement with China, Pakistani customs officials said on Sunday afternoon.
This development follows the recent inauguration of an International Road Transport (TIR) route connecting China’s Kashgar city and Islamabad, Pakistan's capital. The purpose is to boost cross-border trade between the two nations.
Marking the inaugural TIR trade route between China and Pakistan, this signifies a fresh approach to cross-border transportation for Xinjiang and potentially sets a precedent for future trade routes within the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
China, a longstanding ally and friend of Pakistan, has committed more than US $ 65 billion for CPEC infrastructure projects in Pakistan as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This initiative involves creating a network of roads, railways, pipelines, and ports in Pakistan to link China with the Arabian Sea, facilitating Islamabad's economic growth and modernization.
The current trade volume between China and Pakistan stands above US $ 12.06 billion, showing an increase of nearly 19 percent from 2021 when it was US $10.14 billion, that which was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local traders are elated, considering this a positive moment for the Gilgit-Baltistan region in the north. President of the Gilgit-Baltistan Chamber of Commerce, Imran Ali, said in a statement that the new trade route will usher in prosperity for the region.
He envisions this route lowering commodity prices in the future and becoming a favorable and efficient means for Central Asian countries to connect with China.
Imtiaz Hussain, an Assistant Collector at Pakistan's Silk Route Dry Port (SRDP), said that two shipments destined for Afghanistan arrived at the Sost Dry Port under the TIR agreement. The cargo will be cleared on Monday (August 28) before continuing its journey to Afghanistan.