ISLAMABAD (Agencies): A significant step towards strengthening trade relations between Pakistan and Azerbaijan was taken as H.E. Mr. Rashid Nabiyev, the Azerbaijan Minister of Digital Development & Transport, visited Pakistan to meet with Federal Minister for Commerce, Syed Naveed Qamar. The meeting primarily focused on finalizing the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and Transit Trade Agreement (TTA) between the two countries.

Minister Nabiyev shared that the PTA is expected to be concluded in the first week of August, while the TTA is set to be signed either by the end of August or in September. He assured that discussions regarding the TTA are currently ongoing within Azerbaijan’s relevant ministries.

In a bid to enhance connectivity and trade prospects, Minister Nabiyev also disclosed that Azerbaijan Airlines will soon initiate direct flights between Islamabad and Baku.

Federal Minister Syed Naveed Qamar emphasized that the commencement of direct flights would further strengthen bilateral trade and connectivity between Pakistan and Azerbaijan.

To ensure the timely finalization of the Transit Trade Agreement, Minister Qamar proposed the establishment of a High-Level Joint Working Group, dedicated to actively working towards achieving the desired goals.

Presently, both countries are engaged in negotiations for the Preferential Trade Agreement. Pakistan has already completed consultations and submitted a request list of 103 items seeking market access to Azerbaijan on June 14, 2023.

In return, Azerbaijan has shared its request list of 84 items, and the Ministry of Commerce in Pakistan is currently conducting stakeholder consultations to address these items.

Regarding the Transit Trade Agreement, the Ministry of Commerce shared the draft agreement with Azerbaijan on September 15, 2022, with the consensus of all stakeholders. The agreement covers all modes of transportation, including road, railways, air, and sea.

During the discussions, tariff reduction modalities and lists were also deliberated upon, aiming to facilitate trade between Azerbaijan and Pakistan.

Both sides expressed a strong commitment to enhancing bilateral trade ties between the “brother countries” and strengthening economic cooperation for mutual benefit.

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