Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan forge agreement to boost trade, regional connectivity

Islamabad, Nov 15 (EFE).- Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan agreed on Wednesday to enhance trilateral trade and improve transit facilities in a significant move towards strengthening economic ties and regional connectivity.

The accord was reached during a meeting in Islamabad between Afghanistan’s Commerce and Industry Minister Noor uddin Azizi, his Pakistani counterpart Gohar Ejaz, and Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister Jamshid Khodjaev.

No country in the world has recognized the interim government of the Afghan Taliban, but countries such as China, Russia, Pakistan, and Central Asian states like Uzbekistan have tried to boost trade with Afghanistan.

A statement from the Afghan commerce ministry said the three sides signed an agreement on trade and transit issues.

The statement said the three sides agreed to strengthen “regional integration through the development of trilateral economic relations and trade, the increase of transit facilities, and joint investments.”

The statement said emphasis was placed on increasing transportation facilities with reduced costs, strengthening and developing the banking system, and solving transit problems.

They agreed to form a joint technical group to pave the way for increased trade between the three countries.

“The technical group…is scheduled to start their work on trade and transit-related issues by next week and share the results with the three parties for signing the final agreement,” the Afghan ministry said in the statement.

Pakistan’s Ejaz said the meeting was “a significant step towards strengthening economic ties and regional connectivity.”

He said bright prospects for trade, investment, and connectivity lie ahead.

The Taliban’s minister, Azizi, reached Islamabad on Monday. He met Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani.

The two discussed the issue of assets and properties owned by Afghan refugees who have been ordered to leave Pakistan. EFE


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