The roadway between Peshawar and Kabul through the Khyber Pass has served as the key node in trade between Afghanistan, Central Asia, and South Asia for centuries. Today, the roadway represents the key route through which goods are transported between Afghanistan, the CARs, and the rest of the world through Pakistan’s deep-sea ports. Improving the efficiency of the Peshawar-Kabul corridor is a key step in improving integration of South and Central Asia. Development of the Khyber Pass Economic Corridor would benefit consumers, producers, and traders along the Khyber Pass from reductions in transit costs and times for goods and from investments in private sector development.
The KPEC Project objective is to improve regional connectivity by reducing the transit time and costs of trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan; and support inclusive economic development along the Peshawar–Torkham international trade corridor.
Trade through the Khyber Pass is hindered due to multiple issues like border disputes, diplomatic tensions, successive waves of conflict, and dilapidated infrastructure. The situation has stifled the development of cross-border value chains along the trade route between Kabul and Peshawar. Despite high demand for Pakistani products, Pakistan’s exports to the CARs in 2016 comprised less than one percent of their total imports. Route through the Khyber Pass is therefore important for economic development of Pakistan and that of the countries across Central and South Asia; as well as for ensuring the stability of an area vital to global security.
KPEC is a step in right direction, being initiated at a very appropriate time, to complement the ongoing activities to facilitate/promote cross-border trade between Pakistan, Afghanistan, CARs and rest of the world. The planned Peshawar-Torkham Expressway will go a long way to promote trade, increase productivity of the local value chains and expedite sustainable economic growth in and around the Khyber Pass region.
The Global integration of South and Central Asia is intertwined with the Khyber Pass which has served as the key node for trade for hundreds of years. With a history spanning over centuries, Khyber Pass not only exhibits economic but historic and cultural value as well. Khyber Pass Economic Corridor project in this spirit aims to expand economic activity along the Khyber Pass by improving region connectivity and promoting private sector development whilst working towards the protection of archaeological and natural heritage of the region. Khyber Pass Economic Corridor will not only benefit the citizens of Pakistan but also the people outside Pakistan i.e. traders, and consumers from Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics including the disadvantaged segments of society. Afghan medical patients, and students enrolled in Pakistani schools crossing to Pakistan will benefit from better infrastructure and a more efficient border crossing.
The expressway between Peshawar and Kabul. Through the Khyber Pass represents a section of Corridors 5 and 6 of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC). Corridor 5, which runs through Pakistan, has the potential to provide the shortest link between the landlocked countries of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Arabian sea. With the support of the World Bank, National Highway Authority and Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa via Khyber Pass Economic Corridor Project will aim to improve the regional connectivity of Pakistan whilst opening doorways for creating and enhancing economic opportunities in the region especially the Newly Merged District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Director General Message
The Khyber Pass Economic Corridor Project, financed through the World Bank is one of the flagship joint initiative of Federal Government and Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa focusing on developing clusters of economic activities and economic zones in the province. Development of Expressway and the connecting transport infrastructure under project will provide a strong foundation for private businesses to invest in the economic zones.
The global integration of South and Central Asia is intertwined with the Khyber Pass has served as the key node in trade for hundreds of years. The Peshawar-Torkham expressway proposed under project is part of Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) that runs through Pakistan, has the potential to provide the shortest link between the landlocked countries of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan and the Arabian sea. This express way will reduce transit time and costs for regional and international trade transiting the Khyber Pass and extend the Karachi – Lahore – Islamabad – Peshawar Trans-Pakistan Expressway System and form an integral part of the planned Peshawar – Kabul – Dushanbe Motorway.
I expect that the improved regional connectivity through this corridor will not only facility the commercial traffic and expand economic activities between Pakistan and Afghanistan but also promote private sector development along the corridor. Subsequently, this will lead to economic development of the region and creation of job opportunities in the province.