Pakistan sends first potato shipment to Tajikistan, opening trade gateway to Central Asia

Pakistan sent the first batch of locally produced potatoes to Tajikistan opening up new avenues for trade in Central Asia, according to the embassy officials.

The National Logistics Cell (NLC) dispatched its trucks to Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan, to deliver the potato consignment, according to the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP).

The NLC trucks completed the journey from Okara and Rahim Yar Khan to Dushanbe in just seven days, according to a statement released by the Embassy of Pakistan in Tajikistan.

Ceremony in Dushanbe

A special ceremony was held at Dushanbe Customs Terminal One Tajikvneshtrans on April 2024 following the arrival of the inaugural convoy of three trucks under International Road Transport.

The inaugural ceremony was attended by several dignitaries, including Tajikistan’s Transportation Minister Azim Ibrohim, Pakistani Ambassador Muhammad Saeed Sarwar, NLC Director General Major General Farrukh Shehzad Rao, and members of the Tajik business community as well as the representatives of the Association of
International Automobile Carriers of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Tajik Transport Minister Azim Ibrohim welcomed the NLC consignment and emphasized that the arrival of the first cargo convoy from Pakistan to Tajikistan is the result of the implementation of agreements between the two friendly countries.

“This initiative marks an important milestone in bilateral trade relations between the two countries” and would provide more opportunities for Tajikistan to access the seaports of Karachi and Gwadar, the Tajik minister said during the occasion. He also lauded Pakistan’s role as a significant trade partner in the region.

Pakistani ambassador Saeed Sarwar highlighted Pakistan’s potential as a regional hub for connectivity and trade, he invited the Tajik traders to use Pakistan’s seaports, which offer the most efficient, shortest, and economic route to connect with the markets in the Middle East and beyond.

“Trade through NLC under the TIR (International Road Transport) system will facilitate timely and efficient import and export of goods between both countries,” he stated.

Pakistan aims to strengthen its position as a key trade and transit hub, linking the Central Asian republics with global markets. To achieve this, the country has invested heavily in infrastructure development, including roads, railways, and pipelines.

These efforts are part of the broader China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative, which aims to boost economic connectivity and address Pakistan’s financial challenges.

The successful transportation of potatoes to Tajikistan is a testament to Pakistan’s commitment to expanding its export market and enhancing economic cooperation with its neighboring countries.

It not only signified a major milestone in bilateral trade relations but also paved the way for future trade opportunities and economic growth for both Pakistan and Tajikistan.

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