epa02416396 Trucks carrying Afghan transit trade supply are waiting for custom clearance at Pak-Afghan border in Chaman, Pakistan, 28 October 2010. Pakistan and Afghanistan sign the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) in Kabul on October 28. EPA/MATIULLAH ACHAKZAI

Pakistan has taken a significant step by initiating a consultative process to become part of the pilot project of the Central Asian Regional Economic (CAREC) Advanced Transit System (CATS) and Information Common Exchange. The primary objective of this initiative is to streamline and harmonize transit documentation, establish a unified electronic messaging system, and introduce a modern, risk-based affordable guarantee mechanism that rewards compliant traders.

The forthcoming CATS system will be aligned with the EU’s New Computerized Transit System, enabling seamless multi-modal transit trade between Asia and Europe. A kick-off meeting involving relevant departments and ministries showcased a consensus among stakeholders in Pakistan for joining CATS.

The comprehensive goals of CATS encompass enhancing supply chain security across the CAREC region. This regional platform aims to facilitate smoother and more efficient trade flow across borders while reducing overall trade costs.

The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program, comprising 11 countries and development partners, strives to promote development through cooperation, fostering accelerated economic growth and poverty reduction. Guided by the vision of “Good Neighbors, Good Partners, and Good Prospects,” CAREC actively facilitates practical, results-oriented regional projects and policy initiatives crucial to sustainable economic growth and shared prosperity in the region.

Since its establishment in 2001, CAREC has mobilized $41 billion in investments, contributing to the development of multimodal transportation networks, increased energy trade and security, facilitated the movement of people and goods, and laid the foundation for economic corridor development.

The expanded scope of CAREC 2030 presents opportunities for development partners to engage with the region in five operational clusters: Economic and Financial Stability, Trade, Tourism, and Economic Corridors, Infrastructure and Economic Connectivity, Agriculture and Water, and Human Development. Development partners can assume lead roles based on their comparative advantages, fostering new ideas and projects while providing policy guidance, capacity building support, and investment opportunities.

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