Government authorities and business actors from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan have met in Termez, Uzbekistan, to discuss the development of an economic corridor connecting the three countries.
Uzbek Transport Minister, Ilkhom Makhkamov, opened the high-level working meeting organised by his Ministry. He underlined the importance of cooperation in the field of transport and logistics.
The participants visited the only border crossing between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. They were able to witness the crossing of a TIR truck from an Uzbek operator entering Uzbekistan. Another one, run by a Pakistani TIR company, was also preparing to exit Afghanistan at the time.
The route, connecting Central Asia with the Pakistani ports of Karachi, Gwadar and Port Qasim, is the most economically efficient and the shortest, according to Pakistan’s Minister of State and Chairman of the Board of Investment, Muhammad Azfar Ahsan.
The Deputy Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation of Afghanistan, Akbar Jan Polad, stated that Afghanistan is keen on developing its transit potential and reassured all participants about the security of transit routes across Afghanistan.
Tatiana Rey-Bellet, IRU’s Director of TIR and Transit, underlined that setting the right conditions for trade and transit means enhancing transit security and facilitation. The three countries all use TIR, and applying the TIR system correctly in the corridor will serve exactly this purpose.
The use of the TIR system should also be accompanied by harmonisation measures, such as the enforcement of already existing standards for trucks weight and dimensions.
IRU, together with member associations and governments of the three countries, is determined to develop this corridor, which is becoming increasingly important to connect South Asia with Central Asia and beyond.