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Railway new option for Afghan exports to China

AT News Report

KABUL: The first train carrying Afghan goods would depart soon to China, officials in the northern Balkh province said, while Chinese goods came by the first train to Afghanistan in September 2016.

Sher Ahmad Sepahizada, head of provincial chamber of commerce and industries said that the first train carrying 35 to 40 containers of talc stones, carpets and dried fruit would depart to China in less than a week.

The train passes Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to arrive in Chinese soil within 20 days. Officials in Balkh province say that the train imported Chinese goods, would have go back with empty wagons, and now they will carry Afghan goods in return.

They say that lack of modern scan machineries in Uzbekistan and costume problems in the past hampered import and export between Afghanistan and China via railway.

President Ashraf Ghani in his recent visit to Tashkent spoke with Uzbek officials to solve the problems and from now Afghan goods will be sent to China via Central Asian states.

China is considered as among Afghanistan’s biggest trade partners. China exported goods at a cost of one billion dollars last year, while Afghan exports to China cost 300 million dollars.

Last year, 1,300 tons of peanuts were exported to China via an air corridor costing 45 million dollars.

China is also a good market for Afghan saffron.

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