Afghanistan to export goods to Europe via Turkmenistan, Georgia

KABUL (TCA) — Afghanistan’s Finance Ministry says that Afghan traders will soon be able to export their products to European markets after an agreement is signed between Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey in the near future, TOLOnews agency reports.

The Ministry of Finance on July 1 said that during the finance minister’s recent trip to Georgia, he spoke to officials from five countries along the Lapis Lazuli Corridor and they all agreed to sign an agreement on transporting goods to European markets.

“The Lapis Lazuli Corridor is very important for Afghanistan and for the four other countries, because it has a direct effect on the economy of the countries. All the necessary documents are ready. We have spoken with Georgia and officials from the other countries and we want the agreement to be signed in the near future,” Finance Ministry spokesman Ajmal Hamid said.

According to Hamid, Georgia has also agreed to help Afghanistan transport its products to European markets. Afghanistan and Georgia in addition to expanding economic cooperation, agreed to establish a joint chamber of commerce.

Meanwhile, the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) said Afghanistan should be fully prepared to use the Lapis Lazuli Corridor for exports and imports. According to ACCI, the lack of transit and trade agreements and also visa problems for Afghan traders are the most challenging problems in using the corridor.

“First we should resolve the problems regarding Afghan traders’ visas. The Government should resolve the problem through the foreign ministry and through diplomatic channels,” ACCI deputy head, Atiqullah Nusrat said. Currently Afghanistan only imports non-alcoholic beverages from Georgia. Nothing is exported there. However, ACCI officials said Georgia as a transit country can play a significant role in helping Afghanistan to deliver its goods to Europe.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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