Pakistan seeks trade access to Central Asia via Afghanistan

Pakistan has asked Afghanistan to allow it trade and commerce access to Central Asia States, a statement from the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) said on Tuesday.

The matter came up for discussion during a meeting between Afghan Commerce Minister Nisar Ahmad Ghoryani and his Pakistani counterpart Razak Dawood, the statement said.

An Afghan commerce ministry delegation is currently in Islamabad to attend the 8th round of three-day Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA).

Commerce Minister Nisar Ahmad Ghoryani said President Ghani was interested in investment by Pakistani investors in Afghanistan and a trade access to South Asia particularly India. He said if Afghanistan and Pakistan resolved their trade issues, both countries would benefit to a larger extent.

Pakistan Commerce Minister Razak Dawood said that Pakistan wanted improved bilateral trade with Afghanistan and access to Central Asia through Afghanistan.

He said there was a great potential to enhance trade and commerce between Afghanistan and Pakistan but unfortunately trade between the two countries had declined in recent years.

According to Dawood, a new agreement would be signed in days to come through which Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan would be connected through a railway track. The project would be materialized with $4.5 billion from the World Bank.