Trade volume between China and Pakistan surged by nearly 47% to $856.3 million at the Khunjerab Pass this year, while the New Year cargo pushed up demand for shipment on the route, the Chinese media reported on Saturday.
Cargo import and export reached 66,600 tonnes in the first 11 months at Khunjerab Pass between Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region and China’s north-western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the report added.
The trade volume increased by 1.4 times to 5.99 billion yuan – up 46.8% from the same period last year. Authorities at the Khunjerab Pass said they would continue to increase customs clearance efficiency to facilitate trade in the future.
At 5,000 metres above sea level, Khunjerab Pass is a major trade route between China and Pakistan, and an important gateway to South Asia and Europe. China mainly imports textiles, agricultural products and daily commodities, and exports plants and herbs.
Demand for shipment rises
Last week, the Ningbo Shipping Exchange in the city of Ningbo northeast Zhejiang province said that its containerised freight index in the India and Pakistan routes rose significantly as the New Year cargo pushed up demand for shipment.
It said that the Ningbo Containerised Freight Index (NCFI), a wind vane of China’s busiest port’s freight rates for the international container shipping market, stood at 882.3 points at close of the previous week, up by 3.4% against the second week of December.
Reported every Friday, the NCFI was first published in September 2013.
According to the Ningbo Shipping Exchange, New Year cargo pushes up demand for shipment that tightens cabin space has raised the booking price.
China is an active promoter of trade liberalisation – a development trend globally.
In order to increase imports from the friendly neighbouring countries, it has adopted many preferential policies to gradually reduce the trade deficit.
Khunjerab Pass lies on the strategic Karakoram Highway (KKH), which is a part of multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. The port is extremely important platform and is considered to be an important link to China’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The trade at Khunjerab Pass is conducted through the newly-introduced Web-based One Customs (WeBOC) system. The government believed that trade would be much easier after WeBOC as it would align the Sust dry port with all the modern infrastructure in dry ports across the country.
The port has been operationalised for export this month, according to Adviser to Prime Minister on Trade and Industries Abdul Razak Dawood, who said that the operationalisation of the port would reduce the time taken for “trading across borders” and also reduce port congestion at Karachi.
According to the planning ministry, Gwadar smart port city’s contribution to Pakistan’s gross domestic product would rise $200 billion to $300 billion by 2050. It said that the per capita income of the citizens of Gwadar would be around $2,000 in 2025 and around $4,000 by 2035.