Last week, the first transit commercial cargo destined for Afghanistan arrived at the Pakistani deep-water seaport of Gwadar on the Indian ocean shores.
According to the statement of the Ministry of Commerce of Pakistan, containers with a batch of fertilizers will be loaded onto trailers, which will then travel 1,000 kilometers from Gwadar to the Chaman on the Afghan-Pakistani border and futher to Afghan cities.
Thus, the Gwadar port hub can provide the shortest overland access for land-locked Afghanistan to the open seas, which will significantly reduce the cost of imports for Afghan transit trade.
The opening of the Pakistani sea port to Afghan import-export cargo flows is a good augur for IRA businessmen. The Gwadar free economic zone, which has all the infrastructure and legal conditions for rapid transshipment and customs clearance of goods, will increase the potential of Afghanistan’s foreign trade activity.
On the other hand, in the future, the emerging transport link between Afghanistan and Gwadar may get a link to a road corridor that will run along the future Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.
Gwadar will add for Central Asia, including Turkmenistan, another option in terms of the shortest exit to the world markets. The waters of the Indian ocean reach 28 countries, which is about 35% of the world’s population and 19% of the gross domestic product. It is also home to the world’s 23 busiest ports, accounting for 13% of global trade.
The distance from Serkhetabad – the southernmost point of Turkmenistan – to Gwadar via the Pakistani Chaman can be reached in a little more than a day.