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Pakistan poised to become a transit and transhipment hub: Advisor

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The National Logistics Cell (NLC) has started its operations under the Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) Convention.

The first consignment will leave Pakistan for Turkey and Azerbaijan today through Iran, the Advisor to PM on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood was apprised in a briefing at the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).

This is a milestone for enhancing regional trade and connectivity and will complement the Silk Route Reconnect policy of MOC.

He was informed that one private sector company already has the license to operate under TIR and many private companies are also applying to get the same.

Mr. Dawood said, “The vision of the Ministry of Commerce is ‘Connectivity through Trucking’ and as a policy the government will support the private sector in this regard.” Pakistan shares borders with Iran and Afghanistan which are also TIR members.

He was informed that NLC will initially start its transportation operations with Turkey and Azerbaijan.

These will later be extended to other countries in the region.

Speaking at the occasion Mr. Dawood said, “This will create opportunities for Pakistan’s services sector, especially the logistics companies, due to the international trade traffic which will utilise Pakistan’s geographic access. It is the key to make Pakistan a Transit and Transhipment hub and will attract investment in Pakistan’s logistics sector and associated services.”

The NLC is the second operator in Pakistan, and the first in public sector, to begin its operations under TIR. It will also be the first time that Pakistan’s trucks would move through Iran under TIR. Previously, goods had to be offloaded from Pakistan’s trucks and reloaded onto Iran’s trucks at the Taftan-Zahidan border. The TIR is a highly secure international Customs transit system for goods international movement across frontiers of Member countries. It enables intermodal transportation with minimum interference hence facilitates free flow of goods at competitive transport costs and with minimal physical inspection of goods. The system is based of TIR Carnet which is a document issued under TIR for sealed road transport for each shipment enabling it to reach the destination country without customs inspection. The NLC was awarded the TIR license by Pakistan National Authorization Committee (PNAC) of the International Transport Union (IRU), which administers the TIR Convention internationally. The Advisor was informed that the NLC plans to undertake TIR operations to Turkey and Azerbaijan shortly and will be the leading TIR operator to undertake regional trade.

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