On July 15, Pakistan and Uzbekistan inked a transit trade agreement, shifting the latter’s entire trade from Iranian Port Bandar Abbas to Pakistani seaports.
Pakistan anticipates a potential $90 billion in revenue from the pact, which will grant all Central Asian countries access to Pakistani sea ports, including Gwadar.
The Agreement between Uzbekistan and Pakistan on Transit Trade (AUPTT) would allow Pakistani seaports to reach Uzbekistan and provide Pakistani exporters access to all five Central Asian countries. This will help to improve commerce and regional connections, as well as open possibilities for Pakistan to increase exports to Uzbekistan and tap into a $90 billion market in Central Asia.
The Uzbek-Pakistan agreement has been negotiated and finalized, and it covers commerce and transit of commodities by road and rail, as well as customs processes, mostly on the model of the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA), which was a comprehensive and time-tested agreement with improved mechanisms.
According to a Commerce Division official, the APTTA 2010 provided Pakistan access to Central Asian commerce for transporting commodities up to Afghanistan’s border crossing locations with Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, but Pakistan had no agreement to transport exports beyond those points.
Uzbekistan was offered the use of Pakistani seaports as part of the government’s ambition to make Pakistan a trade, transit, and transshipment hub, as well as to improve regional connectivity with Central Asia. This agreement would further enhance trade and cultural ties between the two countries.