In a major boost to Afghanistan-Pakistan transborder trade, Pakistan has proposed to open 12 Joint Border Trade Markets (JBTMs) along the border with Afghanistan, as per a report published in TOLOnews
In a major boost to Afghanistan-Pakistan transborder trade, Pakistan has proposed to open 12 Joint Border Trade Markets (JBTMs) along the border with Afghanistan, as per a report published in TOLOnews.
The announcement came just two weeks after Prime Minister Imran Khan undertook his first official tour of Afghanistan. Transborder trade, among many other issues, was discussed during Khan’s state visit. Pakistan’s embassy in Afghanistan announced the proposal by releasing a statement on Monday.
“The JBTMs are believed to promote the wellbeing of the people living on both sides of the Durand Line, rehabilitate those affected by anti-smuggling drive, economically integrate the neglected areas, formalize bilateral trade and transform local economies," reads the statement issued by the Pak embassy.
The Durang Line is the internationally recognized boundary that separates Afghanistan and Pakistan, though Afghanistan never accepted it as the boundary.
According to the statement, Pakistan has prepared a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for establishing these markets and the draft has been handed over to the Afghan government on 22 November for seeking their views on the proposal.
The draft also includes proposed sites for markets and lists of goods that can be traded there.
Cross-border trade between the two countries is expected to remain below $1 billion this year, mainly due to frequent border closures and unresolved trade disputes. The Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Trade earlier said the transit permission to India remained a key unresolved trade barrier, among other issues.