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Kazakhstan vows deeper transit cooperation with Afghanistan

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KABUL – Kazakhstan Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kanat Tumysh, has reiterated Kazakhstan’s commitment to enhancing trade and economic relations with Afghanistan during a media briefing in Astana.

He highlighted Afghanistan’s ongoing economic crisis, with two-thirds of its population in need of humanitarian aid, facing food shortages, and grappling with worsening epidemiological conditions. These challenges, he warned, create a conducive environment for extremism and terrorism, posing risks to the entire Central Asian region.

Kazakhstan, like other global community members, recognizes the importance of preventing Afghanistan from descending into instability. Tumysh expressed belief in the collective efforts of the international community to assist Afghanistan in becoming an independent, stable nation that can peacefully coexist with its neighbors and uphold its international commitments.

As part of its humanitarian assistance, Kazakhstan has sent 10 thousand tons of wheat, food items, essential goods, and medicines to Afghanistan in recent years. Moreover, the country is actively focusing on developing trade and economic ties with Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a significant importer of Kazakhstan’s agricultural products, with about 70% of its wheat exports going to the country. Currently, the bilateral trade volume between the two nations stands at 990 million US dollars, and Kazakh authorities aspire to increase this figure further.

Strengthening trade relations with Afghanistan is seen by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a catalyst for the growth of other sectors in Kazakhstan’s economy. This includes the establishment of new transport and logistics routes in the southern direction, granting access to markets in Pakistan, accommodating approximately 220,000 people, and linking to Pakistani ports in Karachi and Gwadar to reach the markets of the Persian Gulf states and the Middle East. Additionally, the authorities are keen on developing the Middle Corridor, which facilitates trade routes between China and the European Union.

To foster closer economic ties, Kazakhstan is hosting the Kazakh-Afghan Business Forum in Astana from August 3 to 5. The event expects the participation of more than 150 Afghan entrepreneurs, providing a platform for productive discussions and mutual collaboration.

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