ISLAMABAD: The potential of transit trade through Pakistan warrants immediate attention of the government to put in place a robust and efficient transit trade management system that is capable of providing maximum facilitation to Pakistan’s trading partners as well as countering the threat of illegal trade by strengthening Customs controls.
This was stated by Minister of Finance Ishaq Dar while addressing the Integrated Transit Trade Management Conference organized by Federal Board of Revenue.
He said that for Central Asia and Afghanistan the routes through Pakistan are most feasible for trade as other directions involve long distances, lack of infrastructure or prohibitive climate and topography.
He added that the integration of our transport corridor with that of Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) road transport network would provide seamless connectivity to Pakistani ports at Karachi and Gawadar. This would ultimately contribute to the economy of the region.
“To achieve its goals of better connectivity with neighbouring countries and expansion of trade links, the government has announced the initiative of Economic Corridor which aims to build a high quality modern expressway linking Gwadar with Kashgar as a modern equivalent of ancient silk route. The Economic Corridor will open up countless economic opportunities for Pakistan from China to Central Asia. In addition, an MoU with the Afghan Government has been signed to connect Pakistan with Afghanistan through a reliable rail and road network,” said Dar.
He also said, “The government realizes that future economic growth depends on the development and modernization of transport & logistics infrastructure. It is the government’s vision to develop transport corridors that open up new areas, facilitate trade and give benefits to maximum people for uplifting their socio-economic condition.”
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that Pakistan is all set to receive $550 million, the second tranche of loan from the International Monetary Fund under the Extended Fund Facility.
The Finance Minister expects the tranche will be disbursed early next week. He also expressed satisfaction over the rising trend in the rupee value after the government took certain steps to curb speculation. Dar expected the rupee to continue to gain strength, but refused to speculate where it will end, he added.