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First cargo arrives in Pakistan from China under new road trade deal

09:59 PM | 27 Aug, 2023
Pakistan-China trade
Source: File photo

KHAPLU – With local traders describing it as a “happy moment” for the Gilgit-Baltistan region, the first-ever cargo carrying trade goods from China entered Pakistan on Sunday under a new road trade deal between the two neighbouring countries.

The development comes days after the two countries opened an international road transport (TIR) route between China’s inland city of Kashgar and the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, aiming to enhance cross-border trade. 

According to a Pakistani customs official, this is the first inaugural TIR trade route between China and Pakistan that highlights a fresh mode of cross-border transport for Xinjiang, potentially setting a precedent for future trade routes within the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). 

“Two consignments, bound for Afghanistan, have reached the Sost Dry Port under the TIR agreement,” says Imtiaz Hussain, an assistant collector at Pakistan’s Silk Route Dry Port (SRDP) Sost. 

“The cargo will be cleared on Monday before leaving for Afghanistan.” 

Longtime ally Beijing has pledged over $65 billion in building CPEC infrastructure projects in Pakistan as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The corridor includes a network of roads, railways, pipelines and ports in Pakistan that will connect China to the Arabian Sea and help Islamabad expand and modernize its economy. 

Currently, the total volume of trade between China and Pakistan is above $12.06 billion, up nearly 19 percent as compared to 2021 when it stood at $10.14 billion due to COVID-19 pandemic. 

Imran Ali, president of the Gilgit-Baltistan Chamber of Commerce, said the new trade route would bring prosperity to the region. “This is a happy moment for us. It will bring prosperity to the region and open the door for different kinds of business opportunities in Pakistan,” he added. 

“With the opening of this route, prices of commodities will also be slashed in the future.” 

Ali said this would be a “very feasible and shortest way” for Central Asian countries to connect with China. “The opening of this route is a good omen for Pakistani traders,” he said. 

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Currency Rates in Pakistan - Pakistani rupee exchange rate against US dollar, Euro, Pound and Riyal - 24 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 24, 2024.

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

On Saturday, Euro stands at 302  for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 24 February 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94

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