FBR amending Rules to broaden the scope of transit trade to Central Asian states

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has proposed certain amendments in Customs Rules and Transit Trade Rules as a seamless transit trade would magnify Pakistan’s role in the immediate region and the entire world.

With the proposed amendments, FBR intends to broaden the scope of transit trade to Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan through Torkham, Chaman and Ghulam Khan via Afghanistan.

As the country plans to expand its transit trade relationship with countries beyond Afghanistan, the Transit Trade Rules and Customs Rules would govern Pakistan cargo exported to Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan through Torkham, Chaman and Ghulam Khan via Afghanistan;

Pakistan cargo imported from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan through Afghanistan via Torkham, Chaman and Ghulam Khan;

Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan’s imports through Karachi Ports, Port Qasim and Gawadar Port in transit through Pakistan and Afghanistan; and

Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan’s exports in transit through Afghanistan and Pakistan through Karachi Ports, Port Qasim and Gawadar Port.

A meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan decided to amend regulatory framework for ensuring low cost, transparent and efficient transit trade. Director General Transit Trade Sarfaraz Waraich assigned Director Transit Trade Karachi Zeba Azhat to analyze the existing regulatory framework and prepare proposals.

Zeba Azhar is a very high profile officer known for her research and analytical skills. The proposals are finalized with the assistance of Additional Director Rehmatullah Vistro and officers of Transit Trade across the country.

Pakistan, as an important logistics hub for transit trade will undoubtedly bring prosperity to South Asia along the trade routes and beyond, as nothing opens up an area to economic development better than good transportation networks with good transit rules and an ability to transport goods and people effectively.

By virtue of its geographical position, the importance that Pakistan has cannot be undermined. Pakistan’s geo strategic advantage lies in the fact that it shares borders with Iran, Afghanistan, China and India while Arabian Sea connects it to the rest of the world.

This advantage has not only evoked much interest among the major powers of the globe but also promoted multi-lateral trade with neighboring countries. Pakistan, therefore, serves as an essential hub operating as a focal point of logistics to the neighboring states, especially land-locked Afghanistan.

Transit through Pakistan is currently the only viable option for Afghanistan, and both countries have signed Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA). Pakistan and Afghanistan have also reached an understanding on the broad parameters of Afghan exports to Pakistan and India and the use of Afghan territory for Pakistan’s exports to the Central Asian states.

Thus, Pakistan stands on the crossroads of becoming a major trade corridor for tapping the Central Asian markets by virtue of its strategic location with three efficient seaports.

 

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