23 May 2018

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Air Corridor Helps Afghanistan Bypass Pakistan

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Monday January 22, 2018

Kabul (BNA) The National Unity Government NUG has been focusing on one of the most important sections, the economic infrastructure, in the last three years. Creation of air corridor between India and Afghanistan was an exceptional initiative of the NUG.
The first corridor was opened in 16 June 2017 and since opening, 52 flights have taken place worth multi-million dollars. Now we have been fortunately witnessing opening of the second air corridor through which 40 tones apples were exported to Mumbai which is one of the big cities and a good market for exports of Afghanistan. India markets are good particularly due to demand for our fruits and vegetables. Since transition of goods through ground to Indian market were disturbed, the Afghan government in agreement of Indian government requested creation of air corridor between Kabul-Mumbai that facilitates exports- imports of goods. If this air corridor was not opened we would had been depending to Pakistani markets and with every closure our private sectors sustained heavy damages.
Exploitation of Chabahar port was one of the working priorities of NUG for creation of trade facilities. This port has increased and facilitated Afghanistan access to other regional ports and enable us to have more than one trade option.
Iran and India exploit Afghanistan territory for imports-exports of their commercial commodities that create good income to government treasury. Chabahar port rescued us from dependence to Pakistani port of Guadaar because as we had been witnessing, Gaudar port was closed by Pakistani authorities time and again under different pretexts.
From the point of view of time, this port takes less time for imports-exports of both sides. India has already expressed readiness to invest US$ 500m in this port and Iran has promised to help too. This port enjoys good importance to both India and Iran. India due to political rivalries with Pakistan, wants to make it an alternative to Guadar port of Pakistan. For Iran its comfortable and easier to have access to central Asia via Afghanistan. From the port to Afghanistan border, Iran would build infrastructures.
If railway is established according to global standards, it would be cheaper for imports-exports. Last year, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan opened a railway network of Lapis Lazuli through which we can have access to European markets through Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. Commodities transit through Lapise Lazli route is the most suitable trade road among Afghanistan, central Asia, Caucasus, Balkhan and central Europe and the most effective connection mean of South Asia to European countries.
 

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