A high-level delegation from the National Logistics Corporation (NLC), led by Major General Farrukh Shahzad Rao, DG NLC, held an extensive meeting with representatives from the Pakistan Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI). The discussions focused on strategies to significantly boost Pakistan's exports to the Central Asian Republics (CARs) as well as to Turkiye, Azerbaijan, and China using the instrument of TIR.
The FPCCI commended NLC's proactive efforts in establishing crucial land-based trade routes to regional nations, terming it a transformative initiative that will greatly enhance economic activities within the region. However, the FPCCI raised concerns regarding certain obstacles faced when engaging with the CARs, particularly the reluctance of commercial banks to issue I & E (Import & Export) forms for cargo transiting to country under sanctions. They expressed disappointment over the fact that Pakistani commercial banks are not capitalizing on the opportunities presented by the TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) convention, unlike their counterparts in other nations. This reluctance by Pakistani banks to issue I & E forms, despite no legal prohibitions, has proven to be detrimental to the expansion of Pakistan's export base. To address this issue, the FPCCI proposed the formation of a task force to push for policy-intervention at the government level.
DG NLC elaborated on the groundbreaking TIR initiatives, underscoring their immense potential in fostering economic growth in Pakistan. "NLC has successfully demonstrated the feasibility of trade through land routes with commercial trips completed to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Turkiye," he emphasized. The adoption of land route connectivity through the TIR framework is not only time and cost-efficient but also holds great promise for boosting exports of Pakistan.
DG NLC also hosted a reception in honour of His Excellency Yerzhan Kistafin, the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Pakistan, which was attended by representatives from the FPCCI and foreign missions of other Central Asian countries. Ambassador Kistafin expressed his gratitude to NLC for its endeavors in establishing land-based trade routes with Kazakhstan. He conveyed his government's commitment to fostering sustainable trade between the two countries, with TIR playing a pivotal role. The Ambassador highlighted Kazakhstan's strong appreciation of its relationship with Pakistan and expressed keen interest in utilizing Pakistani ports for exports and imports to other regions around the world.