First Chinese cargo shipment reaches Afghanistan via Torkhem Border

Peshawar  -   First ever Afghanistan-bound China cargo shipment that entered Pakistan through Khunjerab route on August 28, crossed Torkham Border on Thursday evening for its final destination of Kabul.

The shipment was allowed to use the old Silk Route under the UN’s Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) Convention, which provides an easy and economical route for trade between countries across the world.

On the occasion of the border crossing, a ceremony was also held at Torkham zero point. Directorate of Transit Trade, Peshawar, Collectorates of Customs, Appraisement and Enforcement, Peshawar, In-charge Pakistan Army, in-charge NLC, representative of Afghan Gumrak, officeholders of Pakistan- Afghan Chamber of Commerce and local traders attended the ceremony.

Director Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) Zia-ul- Haq Sarhadi was also present at the event.

“This remarkable initiative marked a major development in the realm of transit trade and will go a long way in enhancing the transit trade activities on Pak-Afghan border as well as strengthening economic ties with China, Afghanistan, and Central Asian republics,” stated Shamsur Rehman Wazir, Director Transit Trade at Torkham while speaking on the occasion.

He said the convoy of China cargo reached its destination safely and within its stipulated period of time without any hurdles.

Utilisation of this route by Chinese businessmen for transportation of goods to Afghanistan will open up new vistas of commerce and livelihood in Pakistan, Shams added.

“This trade activity has been started on a trial basis and soon its volume will be increased to a desired level,” said Arbab Qaiser, Director Transit Trade of the Customs Department.

Speaking on the occasion, Director PAJCCI Ziaul Haq Sarhadi hailed the crossing of first-ever China cargo for Afghanistan via Khunjerab border and said it would not only increase volume of trade at regional level, but would also create employment opportunities for people associated with customs clearance, goods transportation, fuel business, daily wagers etc.

“This transit route is very suitable for China to target Afghanistan and CARs by reducing the travel time to almost 70% and is also economical as it is expected to reduce the logistics costs by more than 30%,” Zia said.

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