In a significant development towards boosting bilateral trade and the operationalization of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the National Logistics Corporation (NLC) achieved another milestone by starting regular cargo service from Islamabad and Karachi to Kashghar and Shanghai for export as well as import shipments. This major breakthrough towards cross-border movement was achieved with first movement of NLC convoy to China. Plans are also afoot to extend the cargo service to Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and beyond via China under the Transport Internationaux Routier (TIR) and Quadrilateral Transit Trade Agreement (QTTA).
The TIR and QTTA frameworks serve as highly useful instruments for transit trade, holding immense potential to exponentially boost regional trade. In recent past, the NLC has emerged as a key player in the government's endeavors to diversify markets for Pakistan's exports through its proactive outreach policies. In line with this vision, the NLC has successfully delivered a number of consignments to Turkey and Azerbaijan via Iran, as well as to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan through Afghanistan. These journeys were undertaken under the TIR Convention, encompassing round trips to these nations.
A ceremony to send-off trucks was organized at the NLC Silk Route Dry Port in Sost. Mr. Muhammad Ali Quaid, the Minister for Information Technology of Gilgit-Baltistan was the chief guest on the occasion. The event was attended by senior officials from Gilgit-Baltistan, Mr. Fawad Ali Shah, Collector Customs, presidents of the chambers of commerce from Hunza, Nagar, and Gilgit and a large number of importers and exporters. The commencement of the cross-border cargo service to China was warmly welcomed by all participants, who termed it as a significant stride towards fostering bilateral trade between the friendly countries.
NLC trucks crossed into Tashkurgan via the Khunjerab Pass. After fulfilling the requisite customs and immigration formalities, the trucks proceeded towards Kashgar. On their return to Pakistan, these trucks will carry import cargo, reinforcing the two-way nature of this historic trade route.
Driven by the overwhelming response from the business communities towards NLC's regional connectivity initiatives, the organization is planning another convoy to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan via China. Leveraging the QTTA and TIR mechanisms, this transportation undertaking will substantially reduce both time and costs for exporters and importers, further facilitating and streamlining trade operations between these countries.