The decision was made at the request of the government of Afghanistan.
Lahore (Dunya news) – Pakistan on Monday decided to resume exports of Afghan goods through the border crossing Vah from July 15, 2020, after implementation of the COVID-19 protocols.
According to a press release of the foreign Ministry, the decision was made at the request of the Afghan government and with the aim of facilitating transit trade with Afghanistan.
With this step, Pakistan is fulfilling its obligations in the framework of the Pakistan-Afghan transit trade agreement (APTTA). Pakistan has restored bilateral trade, Afghan transit trade at all border terminals pre-COVID-19 condition, the FO said.
In a press release on, “Pakistan remains fully committed to further strengthening its bilateral relations with Afghanistan in all fields, including trade, and also to facilitate transit trade to Afghanistan under APTTA.”
ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Trade on Wednesday told the Standing Committee of the National Assembly on Trade that because of the Covid-19 pandemic, 1,900 containers, under the Afghan Transit Trade, were trapped in the Port of Karachi, which greatly disturbed export orders.
The committee, in a meeting chaired by MNA Syed Naveed Qamar, recommended the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to take immediate steps to restart the Afghan Transit Trade.
The trade ministry, however, said there was no ban on the Afghan Transit Trade, but problems arose because of the suspension of trade after Covid-19 and the problem would be resolved in the next two to three days.
The Committee was told that in addition to the Afghanistan Transit Trade, the ministry is also considering continuing bilateral trade with Afghanistan and kinnows stored in warehouses will be sent when the lock is revoked.
Briefing on the steps taken by the trade ministry during the Covid-19 pandemic, Advisor to the Prime Minister of Trade Abdul Razak Dawood showed that despite directives from the State Bank of Pakistan, banks demanded guarantees from the business community. “Just like the Bangladesh government, we are also considering launching a concession loan with a 2% increase,” he said. The Trade Secretary told the committee that exports would be certified by the Pakistan Trade Development Authority (TDAP) to ensure there was no shortage of supply in the local market because without checks and balances, there was a possibility of scarcity of commodities emerging in the country.
He added that although the textile ministry had stated its willingness to export N-95 and other masks, the Department of Commerce banned the delivery of face masks without issuing a certificate of no objection. Speaking of wheat and sugar exports, the secretary told the committee that the two commodities were within the scope of the food ministry and the trade ministry had no knowledge of wheat and sugar exports.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2020.