Afghanistan: Exports through air corridors to reach $100 million

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KABUL (TCA) — The government of Afghanistan continues its efforts to inaugurate more air transport corridors in order to increase the country’s exports, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported.

The Public Relations Office of the Senior Advisor to President Ashraf Ghani in Banking and Finance said that so far Afghanistan has exported over 4,400 tons of local products to world markets through air corridors which is valued at least $80 million.

Sameer Rasa, Head of Public Relations Office of Senior Advisor to the President in Banking and Finance, said the total exports to other countries through air corridors will increase to 5,000 tons of goods by the end of this fiscal year – December 21 – which will total up to $100 million.

“We continue our efforts to increase the number of flights. We want to come to an agreement with other airlines as well to increase the flights. And also we are working on enhancing goods packaging,” said Rasa.

Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) meanwhile said the air corridors are playing a vital role in increasing the export of agricultural and other products from Afghanistan.

The ACCI deputy head Khan Jan Alokozay said the value of the local products will increase to 50 percent if they are exported through air corridors to world markets.

“The air corridors have benefited farmers as well, because investors have sold the Afghan products with higher prices in world markets and the prices have increase here,” Alokozay said.

At the same time, an economic analyst, Hasibullah Moahid, said that despite the vital role of the air corridors, the government should accelerate efforts on expanding transit routes with other countries through land.

“Trade has grown well over the past few years, especially in the last few months and this is because of the air corridors. However, it can be a short-term achievement, but cannot be a long-term strategy for leading Afghanistan towards self-reliance,” he said.

The first air corridor was opened between Afghanistan and India last year in June. It was followed by other air corridors between Afghanistan and Turkey, China, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan.

Sergey Kwan

TCA