Beijing backed Gwadar port in southern Pakistan recently started handling transit cargo to and from Afghanistan, making an undoubtedly positive development for the $50 million China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Diyala, the cargo ship on 14th January unloaded two cargo containers of chemical fertilizer under the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APPTA), which enables both countries to access each other’s transportation infrastructure to transport goods through designated corridors.
The cargo after unloading was transported by truck from Gwadar to Afghanistan via the Chaman border crossing through northern Balochistan.
The transhipment of goods to Afghanistan through Gwadar port will offer a much shorter overland link, particularly to southern regions of the war-torn nation. And, will bring down the costs of imports and therefore the cost of living in Afghanistan.
“We are pleased for the new progress achieved in the development of the Gwadar port. We support Gwadar port in playing a bigger role in promoting regional goods and trade cooperation. It is proven that the CPEC not only benefits both China and Pakistan but also regional connectivity and economic cooperation.”~Geng Shuang, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson
According to reports, Pakistan already handles approx. 47% of total Afghan exports, while almost 60 per cent of Afghan transit trade goes through the Torkham border crossing.
The latest development might be a blow for the Chabahar, the Iranian port being developed by India. India started developing the port to transport goods to Afghanistan after Pakistan closed the land routes through Wagah Border.