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IEA stops coal trucks through Torkham to speed up fresh fruit exports



(Last Updated On: May 30, 2022)

The Ministry of Finance of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) on Monday banned the movement of coal trucks through Torkham customs so as to ease traffic through the border crossing for trucks carrying fresh fruit.

According to a directive of the Ministry of Finance, coal trucks will no longer be allowed to pass through Torkham customs and will have to use alternate routes.

The move was taken to avoid spoilage of fresh fruits and traffic congestion on highway, the ministry said.

“Due to the fresh fruit season in Afghanistan and large quantities of fresh fruit being exported through Torkham customs, drivers of coal trucks have to export though Paktia, Paktika and Khost customs to avoid spoilage of these fruits and traffic congestion,” read the ministry’s statement.

Afghanistan has long yielded a wide variety of fruit and exports a huge amount to Pakistan every year.

So far in Afghanistan, ten types of apples, ten types of pomegranates, about 24 types of apricots, 18 types of grapes, about 15 types of cherries and 19 types of peaches have been identified in the country.

This comes after the IEA government said it has increased coal exports to Pakistan.

The IEA government, which is not recognized by the international community and cannot obtain foreign funding, has also increased its tax on coal exports, Deutsche Welle reported.

“Coal exports have increased because we have paved the way for traders,” Ahmad Wali Haqmal, a spokesman for the IEA’s finance ministry, told Reuters.

He added that 16 billion afghanis worth of coal had been exported from Afghanistan in the past six months, with three billion afghanis (about $33 million) coming from customs.

According to Deutsche Welle, Pakistani officials have not yet commented. But government sources say coal imports from Afghanistan have increased and up to 500,000 tonnes of coal may be purchased monthly from the neighboring country.

Pakistan currently imports about three-quarters of its coal from South Africa.

Last week Mansoor Ahmad Khan, ambassador of Pakistan to Afghanistan, said in a tweet that he met with Haji Muhammad Rasool Totakhel the President of the Coal Union of Afghanistan to resolve logistic problems in transporting coal from Afghanistan to Pakistan.

“This is important for promoting trade and connectivity,” Mansoor Ahmad Khan tweeted.


Freight trains to Afghanistan via Hairatan-Mazar-e-Sharif suspended



(Last Updated On: February 2, 2023)

The Afghanistan Railway Authority has announced that the transportation of goods on the Hairatan-Mazar-e-Sharif railway line from Uzbekistan has been stopped until further notice.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), said the railway line from Uzbekistan has been temporarily closed.

He stated that there is no problem in the technical and operational aspects of the Afghan Railways, and added that there was a shutdown by Uzbekistan.

Calling the closure of this railway line temporary, Mujahid asked traders to be patient and import essential goods using the Akina-Andkhoy railway line.

In explaining the reason for the temporary closure of the Hairatan-Uzbekistan railway line, the Afghan Railway Authority noted that it has been working to transfer management affairs of the line for the past three months. The authority also said a delegation from Afghanistan will meet with officials in Uzbekistan in the next few days to finalize the final memorandum on this matter.

Afghan Railway Authority added: “After signing this memorandum, the process of transfers from Hairitan-Mazar-e-Sharif route will start again and will continue normally.”

The Afghanistan Railway Authority announced last month that as a result of negotiations between the Afghan side and officials from Uzbekistan Railways, the responsibilities of the Hairatan-Mazar-e-Sharif railway line were handed over to Afghanistan by Uzbekistan.

Afghanistan Railway Authority said management of the line had for 11 years been provided by an Uzbek company, Sogdiana Trans.

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Iran hoping to establish trade hub in Afghanistan



(Last Updated On: February 1, 2023)

Iran’s deputy minister of trade Mohammad Mousavi said Tuesday in a meeting that Tehran is considering setting up a trade center in Afghanistan in the near future.

According to Mehr News Agency, Mousavi expressed hope that the establishment of this center will strengthen ties between Kabul and Tehran.

He did not however say where the center would be situated.

Addressing the meeting, titled “Trade opportunities between Afghanistan and Iran” he said Tehran’s wanted to invest in Afghanistan and participate in the country’s “sustainable growth”.

At the same time, Afghan officials have said that the volume of imports from Iran, such as food and fuel, has totalled more than $1 billion so far this solar year (from April 2022).

According to the officials, Afghanistan’s export volume to Iran was much lower and totalled only $20 million.

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Afghanistan’s exports to India total almost $200 million in past 9 months



(Last Updated On: January 31, 2023)

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC) says over the past nine months, Afghanistan has exported goods to India worth $159 million, most of which was asafetida, saffron and pistachio nuts.

The MoIC officials said Tuesday they would try to expand economic relations between Kabul and New Delhi because India can become one of Afghanistan’s major economic partners.

“In the last nine months, our exports to India totalled $159 million,” said Abdul Salam Akhundzada, a spokesman for the MoIC.

According to MoIC’s officials, Afghanistan has imported goods worth $291 million from India in nine months, and the total trade volume is $450 million.

“The important goods we exported were pistachio, cumin, raisins, saffron and asafetida seeds, and we imported sugar, medical spices and various clothes from India,” said Akhundzada.

“And our imports from India totals $291 million.”

However, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) has said that there are currently problems with the export and import of goods from India but once these problems are solved, the trade volume will amount to $1 billion.

Meanwhile, the commodities are being transported from Afghanistan to India and vice versa via the air corridor, Wagah port in Pakistan and Bandar Abbas in Iran.

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