Pakistan, Afghanistan extend trade deal as negotiation for fresh deal drag on

Pakistan and Afghanistan have decided to further extend their trade agreement, the Afghanistan Pakistan Trade Transit Agreement (APTTA), for six more months as negotiations for a fresh deal drag on

Jun 10, 2021
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Pakistan, Afghanistan extend trade deal

Pakistan and Afghanistan have decided to further extend their trade agreement, the Afghanistan Pakistan Trade Transit Agreement (APTTA), for six more months as negotiations for a fresh deal drag on. This is the second extension to the APTTA as the deal, signed in 2010, had expired in February 2021. 

The extension came as two sides failed to iron out differences regarding the fresh deal. Officials of both countries have been in talks since November 2020. Since then, two key meetings, held in Islamabad and Kabul, took place where they decided to revise and update the APTTA 2010. 

Differences on the policy level as well as the technical level continue between the two sides despite having seven rounds of technical level discussions between March and May. 

Currently, 30 percent of the total transit goods of Afghanistan pass through Pakistan while the rest goes through Iran, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. 

Afghanistan has long been demanding transit access for its good to India through land routes in Pakistan. On the other hand, Islamabad is seeking unhindered access to Central Asian countries. These two issues remain a major point of contention for both countries. 

The bilateral trade volume between the two countries remains below $1 billion, down from the earlier peak of $5 billion. 

(SAM)

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