China-Pakistan border to reopen on April 1

Authorities push to resume regular trade activity at Khunjerab Pass

INP March 30, 2023
Pakistan-China border, Khunjerab pass

The Khunjerab Pass, a key border crossing between Pakistan and China, is to reopen for trade activities on April 1, Gawadar Pro reported on Thursday quoting an official notification.

The pass was closed in an attempt to contain the spread of coronavirus transmission between the two countries.

Authorities in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) had stopped two shipping containers carrying goods from entering Pakistan through Khunjerab Pass in January 2020 while requesting the federal government to delay the reopening of the border crossing for trade as a precautionary measure.

However, with the recent decline in positivity rates, relevant authorities are presently making efforts to green-light customs clearance, hoping to drive up cross-border trade and business in the post-COVID-19 era.

Read Trade gap shrinks to $21.3 billion in Jul-Feb

Notably, Khunjerab Port is the only land port linking Pakistan and China and a strategic point on the Karakoram Highway, linking G-B, Pakistan and Xinjiang Ugur Autonomous Region, China.

The pass usually remains open from April 1 to November 30 every year and remains closed from December 1 to March 31 owing to the weather conditions imposed by harsh winters and lack of oxygen at high altitudes.

It is pertinent to mention that Khujerab Pass was temporarily opened twice earlier this year to allow the transport of goods from China to Pakistan.

The two temporary openings have facilitated 128 cross-border personnel visits, 328 vehicular passes and more than 6,000 tons of good exportation.

In 2019, prior to Covid-induced shutdowns, trade volume between China and Pakistan had surged by nearly 47% to $856.3 million at the Khunjerab Pass.


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