Silk Route Reconnect Policy: Agreement on Transit Trade signed with Uzbekistan Tashkent, the 16th July 2021:
Silk Route Reconnect Policy: Agreement on Transit Trade signed with Uzbekistan Tashkent, the 16th July 2021: The on -Pakistan Transit Trade (AUPTT) was signed in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 15th July 2021. The Agreement was signed by the Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood and the Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan for Investment & Foreign Trade, Mr. Sardor Umurzakov. The signing of the agreement was witnessed by Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan is a land locked country having borders with Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. It has transit trade agreement with Afghanistan while Pakistan also has Transit Trade Agreement with Afghanistan. Therefore, Transit Trade Agreement with Uzbekistan can provide opportunity to Pakistani exports to reach to the potential US $ 90 billion market in Central Asia. Currently Uzbekistan is highly dependent on the Iranian seaport of Bandar Abbas, accessed through Turkmenistan.
As part of the vision of the present government, to make Pakistan a trade, transit and trans-shipment hub, and enhance regional connectivity with Central Asia, Pakistan provides the shortest route for trade.
Salient Features of the Proposed AUPTT 2021
Under the Agreement, Transit trade between Uzbekistan and Pakistan will take place along pre-determined routes and only utilizing specified ports and border crossings. Uzbekistan and Pakistan are obligated to ensure that suitable infrastructure and personnel are available at border crossings and will provide separate spaces for off-dock terminals and warehousing, at entry/exit points and other customs notified places, on reciprocal basis. While each country remains responsible for licensing transport operators (e.g., trucking firms) registered in their territory, Uzbekistan and Pakistan would issue Road Transport Permits on the basis of which, transport operators will be able to transport goods through the other country’s territory. That is, Uzbek trucks may carry goods via Pakistan to sea ports rather than having to re-load them onto Pakistani trucks at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and vice versa.
The Uzbek government shall recognize Pakistani driver’s licenses and vehicle registration documents, and vice versa. The Uzbek and Pakistani governments shall expedite and simplify the process for awarding multiple-entry visas to truck drivers from one another’s countries. With the exception of selected perishable items, goods transiting through Uzbekistan and Pakistan shall be stored in sealed containers meeting international specifications. The Uzbekistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Committee (UPTTCC), which will be established under the AUPTT, would be responsible for monitoring and facilitating the implementation of the agreement. Grievances Redressal, Dispute Settlement and Arbitration mechanism are available in the Agreement.
The Agreement has four Protocols of which Protocol-1 deals with International Carriage by Road of Goods and Baggage in Transit. Protocol-2 relates to Temporary Admission of Vehicles for Commercial Use. Protocol-3 is about Customs Control and Transit Regime while Protocol-4 deals with Control of Precursors and Chemical Substances used in the illicit manufacture of Narcotic Drugs or Psychotropic Substances.
The AUPTT will put in place the legal framework to enhance connectivity between the two countries. This is a part of MOC’s Silk Route Reconnect Policy. Under this Agreement, Pakistan will provide Uzbekistan access to our seaports & beyond and Pakistan will get access to the Central Asian Republics and beyond. This will be enhanced further with signing of the PTA which will significantly increase our bilateral trade.