For the first time, trade between Pakistan and Uzbekistan has begun via Afghanistan. It is being hailed as an important step towards economic development in the region.
This trade is currently taking place under an international convention, according to officials. The two countries are expected to sign a formal agreement soon.
In May, Pakistan sent a truck from the Karachi port to Tashkent via the Torkham border crossing. The truck carrying medicine and other medical supplies reached Tashkent in 48 hours.
It returned to Faisalabad after two days, carrying leather products.
Bilateral trade between the two countries is aimed at promoting trade between regional states.
The project has been under consideration for the past several decades. It has been delayed because of the uncertain situation in Afghanistan.
Pakistan PM’s aide on trade Abdul Razzak Dawood said last month that trade ties with partnering countries are critical to sustainable business relationships.
To promote international trade, he said, Pakistan will benefit from its geographical position. “The present state of its relations with Uzbekistan and Afghanistan is an important development in this regard,” he said.
The government aims to make the country a hub for trade, transit and mobility, according to Dawood.
In March, the Uzbek foreign minister met Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad. The two leaders agreed to expand bilateral trade.
Pakistan offered to provide Uzbekistan trade facilities in Karachi and Gwadar. The joint communique mentioned Pakistan as a gateway for the Central Asian states.
By Siraj Khan