Gilgit (BR): Construction of Kashgar- Gwadar economic corridor would help Pakistan to earn billions of rupees every year through export of fruits and livestock to China and other neighbouring countries.
The main strength of economy of GB depends largely on fruits and horticulture, and after the construction of the said economic corridor, GB would be able to introduce locally produced items in international markets besides earning foreign exchange, said Deputy Director Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP)- Gilgit, Sabz Ali Khan. There is an increasing demand of fruits and vegetables in China it would be a great opportunity for GB to export local produce to big Chinese market He said efforts have to be made to improve the livelihood of the mountaineers in the years ahead, and added that one of the options available is to process the fruit locally to increase its shelf life and to add to its value, so that it may be transported economically.
He said due to lack of interest of past governments towards Gilgit- Baltistan’s infrastructure people here remained unable to gain maximum advantages from locally produced items including fruits, vegetables, live stock, gems, minerals and tourism sector. The present government, in collaboration with China, is working on war footing to develop infrastructure of Karakorom Highway, from China to Islamabad, he said.
Presently fruits and vegetable producers of GB often complain that they are facing difficulties in exporting their produce to China because of a number of health and sanitary requirements such as product certification, labelling standards, import approval requirements and delays in customs clearance, he said
Sabz Ali suggested the provincial government to establish a local institution with the capacity to inspect organic produce intended for export, under the guidance of the Chinese State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ). These trained inspectors should also assist the farmers and exporters in complying with certification requirements, he added.
To a query he said incident of Ata Abad, land sliding and damage to Hunza River, badly hurt transportation system in Gilgit-Baltistan. The road which leads Gilgit- Baltistan to China got completely disrupted but now the work on reconstruction of road has been completed and the imports and exports activities through Sost border are continuing without any interruptions.