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First Afghan Transit Cargo to reach Gwadar Port on Sunday

Pakistan Ministry of Commerce, and Federal Bureau of Revenue have approved the clearance of Afghan Transit Cargo arriving at Gwadar International Terminal Ltd after the confirmation that the trade related infrastructure at Gwadar port is ready to handle bulk cargoes to and from Afghanistan.

Hailed the approval as a milestone event that has been long expected for many years, Zhang Baozhong, Chairman, China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC) said excitedly that, “It has been 18 years since Gwadar Port was constructed, and the day it wields its power in bringing economic benefits finally comes!”

Zhang hinted the first transit cargo that ships 15,000 tons of chemical fertilizer will arrive at Gwadar port on October 20, signaling Gwadar port has set sail as the most competitive port in transit of Afghan Cargo.

According to the notice issued by the Ministry of Commerce, the bulk cargoes imported at Gwadar Port for onward transit to Afghanistan will be transported in containers after stuffing/loading the same into containers of international specifications. A team responsible for clearance of Afghan Transit cargo has also been established to fulfill the according duties, citing an office order by the FBR.

In the meeting of a sub-committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs last week, officials acknowledged that Gwadar Port’s main competitors would be Singapore and Dubai ports, since incentives such as no cargo demurrage charges and three months storage facility would surely divert business to Gwadar.

Official data showed that Pakistan is regaining its share in the Afghan transit trade as flow of cargoes rose 43.95 per cent to 93,732 containers in 2018-19 from 60,516 containers in the preceding year, The assessed import value of the transit cargoes also grew a robust 54.88pc to $5.715 billion in 2018-19 from $3.97bn a year earlier.

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