Pakistan and Afghanistan are developing a multimodal air-to-road corridor that will serve to bolster trade ties between the two countries, as part of the revised Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA).
The existing APTTA had expired, and is now being extended by the Pakistani government to allow for the continuing of trade between the two countries, according to a report by The Express Tribune.
There have been reports suggesting that China and Pakistan are interested in extending the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan as well.
During a recent cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the Ministry of Commerce highlighted that the APTTA 2010 did not cover the multimodal bonded air-to-land transit of cargo. The revised agreement would cover it, however, it had not yet been signed.
Last year the Ministry of Commerce obtained permission form the cabinet for a multimodal air-to-road corridor between Pakistan and Afghanistan in light of the economic crisis in the latter. Approval was sought for bonded air-to-land transit of Afghan cargo from Islamabad Airport, after which shipments would be sent on trucks through the Torkham and Ghulam Khan crossing points via road.
Previously, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had also suggested to the Ministry of Commerce to allow the multimodal air-to-land corridor for transit cargo.
This move will significantly improve the economic development of Pakistan by facilitating trade between the two countries.