ISLAMABAD: As a major development showing increasing trade ties with Central Asian countries, the first-ever shipment from Pakistan under Transport Internationaux Routiers (TIR) left for Uzbekistan on Friday.
Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood attended a briefing on recent developments in the trade and connectivity of Pakistan with the neighboring countries.
According to officials, at the outset, the advisor said that connectivity with trading partners was vital for viable trade relations. He said that the structure and efficiency connectivity networks enable access to markets and should be considered a facet of trade competitiveness.
Dawood said that the long-term vision of the government for trade and economic relations with Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Central Asian Republics (CARs) was that “we want to make Pakistan a hub for trade, transit and trans-shipment”.
He further said that the trade must be based on secure, open, consistent, reliable and legal movement of goods at the Afghan border along with enhanced connectivity with Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and CARs. “This will ensure that Pakistan leverages its geo-economic location in the region to enhance its international trade,” Dawood said.
He further said that the current engagement with Afghanistan and Uzbekistan were steps towards implementation of this vision.
He was informed that a milestone had been achieved in Pakistan’s transit trade history as Pakistan Customs processed the first-ever TIR consignment at Torkhum destined for Tashkent, Uzbekistan via Afghanistan yesterday. The consignment consisted of herbal medicines, and after completion of all custom formalities at Torkhum, it crossed into Afghanistan.
Dawood said that this was a moment of great pride for Pakistan and he lauded the efforts and role of Pakistan Customs in this regard. “This successful TIR operation will usher a new era of direct land-route trade with the CARs,” added Razzaq.
He said that the use of TIR system will streamline border procedure cutting time and money for trade and transport operators.
The Customs Convention on the International Transport of Goods under Cover of TIR Carnets (called the “TIR Convention”) came into force in March 1978 and it replaced the original Transport Internationaux Routier (TIR) of 1959.
Pakistan became a member of TIR Convention in 2017. The convention now has 68 contracting parties including China, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey and all the Central Asian Republics. The objective of the TIR Convention is to facilitate international transit through simplified customs transit procedures and an international guarantee system.
Customs procedure takes place at origin and destination rather than at each border crossing, using a single guarantee.