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Land Trade with China


China-Pakistan border post in Xinjiang resumes passenger clearance​

April 6, 2023

BEIJING: The Khunjerab Pass, a major land port on the China-Pakistan border in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, resumed passenger customs clearance, local authorities confirmed.

The pass connecting Gilgit-Baltistan with the China’s region officially resumed the entry and exit of passengers this week after a closure of three years in wake of Covid-19 restrictions.

The port authorities on the Chinese side of Khunjerab Pass were instructed to take all necessary measures regarding Covid-19 pandemic before the start of the arrival of goods from Pakistan.

Similarly, Pakistani border authorities were also instructed to take all measures regarding Covid-19, ensuring the containment of the disease.

Because of cold weather and lack of oxygen in the high altitude, the Khunjerab Pass generally opens from April 1 to November 30 every year, and remains closed from December 1 to March 31 of the following year.

But to ensure the smooth customs clearance of Pakistan’s urgently needed and other supplies, the port was temporarily opened twice early this year.

With difficulties including extremely cold weather, heavy snow and lack of oxygen, the local customs worked around the clock to ensure the transportation of cargo.

This year, the last temporary opening was last for 12 days between January 30 and February 10 while the first port opening was between January 19 and 20 this year.

The two temporary openings facilitated 128 cross-border personnel visits, 328 transportation vehicles’ passes, and more than 6,000 tons of goods exported, as per the Foreign Affairs Office of Kashgar prefecture.

While commenting on reopening of the pass, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Mao Ning said the Chinese side was ready to work with Pakistan to resume the opening, make the clearance more efficient and further serve personnel exchange and economic cooperation between the two countries.

She pointed out that out of the friendship between the two countries, China reopened the port temporarily multiple times during the COVID-19 shutdown to help with the smooth passing of people from Pakistan and customs clearance of emergency supplies.

Talking to APP, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal termed reopening of the pass a very positive development after three years and expressed the confidence that the trade through the land route.

He hoped that the Khunjerab border facility would be upgraded by both sides so that it could remain open for 12 months and it became an all-weather facility.

About its impact on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and bilateral trade, he said that it was good news for the CPEC projects and it was also good news for Pakistan-China bilateral trade and business.

He said particularly the people in Gilgit-Baltistan would greatly benefit from local trade through the border post.

Ahsan Iqbal said efforts were being made to resume bus service between Pakistan and China through the Khunjerab Pass to provide economical means of transportation to Pakistani students studying in China.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Moin ul Haque, in a tweet, said the resumption of operations via the Khunjerab Pass would serve to further bolster Pak-China trade and people-to-people linkage.

He said the two side were now working to keep the border crossing open all year round.

According to the customs officials, import and export cargo volume at the Khunjerab Pass topped 200,000 tonnes from 2016 to 2020.
Located approximately 5,000 meters above sea level, the Khunjerab Pass is a major trade station between China and Pakistan, and an important gateway to South Asia and Europe.

China imports mainly textiles, agricultural products and daily commodities at the land port, and exports mainly plants and herbs.

China assures equal benefits to Gilgit-Baltistan in CPEC projects​

May 5, 2023

A delegation from Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) has visited Xinjiang, China, to discuss mutual interests and seek relaxation on exports through the Khunjerab Pass. .

GILGIT: A delegation from Gilgit-Baltistan has visited the Tashkurgan town in Xinjiang, an autonomous territory in northwest China, to discuss matters of mutual interest and sought relaxation on exports to the neighbouring country through Khunjerab Pass.

The parliamentary delegation, headed by GB Assembly Speaker Syed Amjad Ali Zaidi and on a five-day visit to Xinjiang, also asked Chinese authorities to include five items from GB in the free trade agreement.
In a meeting between Chinese authorities and the GB delegation, the two sides agreed to start weekly flight operations between the Tashkurgan and Kashgar areas of Xinjiang and Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan to boost bilateral trade and tourism.

They also agreed to establish a joint small business bank to facilitate small traders and businesses. The two sides agreed to establish a trade zone in GB to promote border trade.

The Tashkurgan authorities said that they would lift travel restrictions within Xinjiang region for the border pass holders of Gilgit-Baltistan.

The Chinese side assured that GB would be equally benefited in the upcoming China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

Certain other issues were also discussed during the meetings, such as the establishment of fruit and minerals processing zones and scientific help from Chinese experts in agriculture, food and climate change by setting up a research institute in GB or cooperation with the region’s local universities.
The first ever seafood cargo container from Pakistan has successfully arrived in Xinjiang, China via Karakorum highway...


China welcomes Pakistani agricultural products, expands bilateral trade through land transportation:​

June 7, 2023

BEIJING, June 6 (APP)::China on Tuesday welcomed quality agricultural products from Pakistan to enter its market and stands ready to continue to work with Pakistan to boost bilateral trade through land transportation.

As all-weather strategic cooperative partners, China and Pakistan have engaged in close cooperation in trade and other fields, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in response to a question raised by APP about import of seafood through land route.

Last week, Pakistan first-ever seafood cargo container arrived in Kashgar city of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region through Karakoram Highway.

This is the first time that seafood containers from Pakistan have been transported by road from Karachi to Kashgar city along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

“We welcome quality agricultural products from Pakistan to enter China’s market and stand ready to continue to work with Pakistan to boost our trade through land transportation, achieve sustainable growth, bilateral trade and deliver more benefits to our two peoples,” he added.

While commenting on the seafood export to China, Pakistan Ambassador to China, Moin u Haque said that Pakistani and Chinese governments were making joint efforts to bring more Pakistani seafood and agriculture products through Karakoram Highway to the Chinese market.

“We are working together to bring more Pakistani seafood and agro products through this land route to the Chinese market,” he said.

As the world second largest consumer market, China embraces more high-quality Pakistani products exported to China.

Ambassador Haque said that facilitating trade and exports of Pakistan high-quality products through Khunjerab border was Pakistan-China shared objective.

A representative from the Pakistani transport company said that it was the first attempt at bilateral cross-border road transport business in partnership with a Chinese firm.

He noted that the shipment cost by truck was far below that of air transport, and had simpler customs clearance procedures.

In addition, shipment by road shortened transport time to eight days, which was suitable for small-scale and point-to-point logistics, while the sea transport from Karachi Port to Yangshan Port in Shanghai took nearly a month.

Pakistan to bring more seafood, agro products through KKH to Chinese market:​

June 6, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani and Chinese governments are making joint efforts to bring more Pakistani seafood and agro products through the Karakoram Highway (KKH) to the Chinese market.

This was stated by Ambassador to China, Moin ul Haque in a statement issued here while commenting on Pakistan’s first-ever land containerised seafood cargo, which has successfully arrived in Xinjiang through Karakoram Highway.

“We are working together to bring more Pakistani seafood and agro products through this land route to the Chinese market,” he said

As the world’s second-largest consumer market, China is keen on importing more quality Pakistani products, Ambassador Haque added.

Ambassador Haque stressed that facilitating trade and exports of Pakistan’s quality products through the Khunjerab border is Pakistan and China’s shared objective.
Last week, a truck carrying cold chain containers from Pakistan reached Kashgar in Northeast China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region via a cross-border land route.

This is the first time that seafood containers from Pakistan have been transported by road from Karachi to Kashgar along China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

According to a representative from the Pakistani transport company, it was the first attempt at a bilateral cross-border road transport business in partnership with a Chinese firm.

“The cost and price of cold chain transport of the route is under assessment. Our Chinese partners are also exploring more opportunities to import more commodities from Pakistan,” he added.

The container truck entered China via the Karakoram Highway, the sole land route connecting Pakistan and China. It underwent customs check at Khunjerab Port.

Pakistan aims for $1 bn trade with China via land routes, expanding economic cooperation

Mr. Ghulam Qadir, the Commercial Counselor at the Embassy of Pakistan in China, expressed Pakistan’s ambition to achieve a trade volume of $1 billion with China by utilizing land routes in the upcoming years. This goal comes in the wake of a successful transportation of a seafood cargo container to Xinjiang via the Karakoram Highway. The two nations are collaborating closely to enhance their exports, with China expressing interest in procuring high-quality agricultural products from Pakistan. Furthermore, the reopening of the Khunjerab pass for a duration of 12 months is anticipated to provide a significant impetus to cross-border trade and transportation. This development holds the potential to facilitate the export of various products, including textiles, rice, cherries, mangoes, and other food items, with an estimated market value of up to $2 billion.​

After successful transportation of seafood cargo container to Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region through Karakoram highway, Pakistan will be targeting $1 billion of trade with China through land route in coming years, Commercial Counselor, Embassy of Pakistan, Ghulam Qadir said on Saturday. “It is very heartening that export of food items especially seafood from Pakistan to China has started through land route.

This is a big success and we want to build on it to increase our export,” he told APP in an interview.

Xinjiang and Gilgit Baltistan Customs hold meeting to deepen trade cooperation​

By Zafar hussain | China Economic Net
Jul 25, 2023

Beijing- The customs authorities of Xinjiang, China, and Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan on Monday convened an online meeting to discuss and strengthen trade cooperation between the two regions and explore new avenues for economic collaboration.

Xinjiang and Gilgit Baltistan Customs hold meeting to deepen trade cooperation

Hao Weiming, Director General of Urumqi Customs led the meeting from the Chinese side while Syed Fawad Ali Shah head of the Customs Administration of the Gilgit Baltistan represented the Pakistani side remarked that China and Pakistan have long enjoyed a close partnership in various sectors, including trade.

The customs departments of Xinjiang and Gilgit Baltistan play a crucial role in facilitating smooth cross-border trade between the two countries.

During the meeting, officials from both sides discussed measures to streamline customs procedures, improve border infrastructure, and enhance information sharing. These efforts are aimed at promoting efficient trade facilitation and ensuring the smooth movement of goods across the China-Pakistan border.

Chinese side told that in 2022 total value of imports & export from Xingjiang to Pakistan was RMB 2.92 billion, an increase of 248.2 percent year on year while in the first half of this year, the import and export from Xingjiang to Pakistan was RMB 1.90 billion, a year-on-year increase of 247.8 percent.

Syed Fawad Ali Shah, head of the Customs Administration of the Gilgit Baltistan said that Pakistan wants to further deepen collaboration with China in diverse fields particularly in the field of technology and speedup customs clearness from both sides.

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