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13 months since launch; no exportation via Afghanistan-China railroad

13 months since launch; no exportation via Afghanistan-China railroad

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Oct 10, 2017 - 20:46

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): No export of goods has taken place by the railroad linking Afghanistaninfo-icon with China but goods were imported three times.

With the passage of 13 months, no trade activities was taking place on the railroad, according to businessmen, who said transit issues with Uzbekistan, uncertainty in contracts with China and lack of confidence on mutual trade were some of the reasons that hampered the trade.

At the inauguration of the rail linkage, Chinese and Afghan officials had said the corridor would help improve trade ties in the region.

Afghan traders also believe the rail link was the most economical route to export or import good to China.

 Haji Mael, an Afghan businessman, told Pajhwok Afghan News due to the route issue in the past, goods used to be delayed from one season to another, adding that goods imported through the rail track arrived in the country in short time and economically.

He, however, expressed concern that since the inauguration of the rail link no export took place while only goods imported three times.

Mohammad Hashim Azemi, the provincial council member, said any issue in the export or import of goods from Heratan Port was connected to Uzbekistan.

“The contract inked with Uzbekistan on railroad was not in the interest of Afghanistan. We can only import goods and don’t have the right to export,” he said.

Balkh Trade and Commerce Department director says the railroad between Afghanistan and China had not reached to the transit trade route level.

Kamela Sediqui, deputy director of the Commerce Department, said the railroad was connected with Afghanistan through Uzbekistan and both countries had issues on trade and commerce, adding talks in this regard were underway with Uzbek officials and issues would be soon resolved.

She, however, said the railroad linking Afghanistan with China was a vital project for Afghanistan, adding it was a long-term project and needed time to fully made functional.

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