ISLAMABAD - Progress on multibillion dollars Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline project will figure high during the two-day official visit of Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Malikgulyyewic Berdimuhamedow beginning from March 16.

Visiting on the invitation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the Turkmen president will exchange views with Prime Minister Sharif on security of TAPI gas pipeline through Afghanistan, besides signing a number of bilateral agreements with Pakistan during his visit.

The groundbreaking of the 1,814-kilometer long pipeline project was held in Ashgabat on 13 December last year and the ceremony was attended among others by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Vice President of India Hamid Ansari.

The construction work on the 1,814-kilometre (1,127 mi) pipeline has already started and it will run from gas fields in Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan to India. It starts from the Galknysh gas field in Turkmenistan.

The $10 billion gas pipeline project starts from the Galknysh gas field in Turkmenistan and is proposed to pass through Afghanistan alongside the Kandhar-Heart Highway in western Afghanistan, and then via Quetta and Multan in Pakistan.

The final destination of the pipeline will be the Indian town of Fazilka, near the border between Pakistan and India.

The two leaders will also discuss enhancing their trade ties and for improvement of working in the fold of Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) of which both the counties are members. The objective of the ECO is to establish a single market for goods and services among the member countries of the region.

The sources pointed out that Pakistan and Turkmenistan will also sign number of agreements for entering cooperation in the field of trade and economy.

Pakistan expects investment in various projects from Turkmenistan.