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IEA to complete Afghan-Uzbek-Pak railway line

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(Last Updated On: August 4, 2022)

Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA) officials said Thursday preliminary work on finishing the railway project between Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan (Mazar-i-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railway) has started.

Speaking at a news conference on Thursday in Kabul, ARA officials said that joint technical teams have started work and are half way through the initial phase.

“Inshallah we finish this project it may not only ensure the economy of Afghanistan but also guarantee the country’s security,” said Bakht Rehman Sharafat, General Director of the Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA).

At the same time, ARA said that revenue from the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan railway line, which previously went to Uzbekistan, will now come to ARA.

“Afghanistan’s railway revenue was previously collected in Uzbekistan and then this country passed it on to Afghanistan but after the Islamic Emirate’s takeover we weren’t able to receive the revenue from Uzbekistan due to banking system crisis,” Sharafat said.

“Now, Afghanistan’s $12.5 million is with Uzbekistan which has not delivered it to the country yet.”

The railway line will connect the Trans-Corridor of Central Asia to Pakistan by the shortest route and will also provide an opportunity for South Asian countries to enter the markets of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Europe.

However, the railway administration has prioritized its plans and prioritized the projects where work is half finished or almost complete.

According to ARA, since the beginning of this year, more than three and a half million tons of goods have been transported using the existing line.

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IEA trade delegation heads to Moscow

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(Last Updated On: August 14, 2022)

A delegation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) led by the acting minister of industry and commerce left Kabul Sunday for Moscow to purchase essential commodities including fuel.

“We will try to sign agreements for the purchase of basic commodities including wheat, sunflower cooking oil (as they have big factories for it) and also fuel including diesel, petrol and LPG gas,” Nooruddin Azizi, the acting minister of industry and commerce, said before his departure. “We are in talks with their major companies.”

Azizi said that during the visit they will met with the ministries of agriculture, energy and commerce.

“We hope we will have a great achievement which will be in the interest of the Afghan people,” he said.

Food and fuel prices have gone up significantly in recent months in Afghanistan, the economy of which has been isolated following last August’s political change.

“The industry and commerce minister’s trip to Moscow under existing circumstances holds special significance. We should engage with all countries to boost trade and seize the opportunities,” said Sakhi Ahmad Paiman, deputy head of the Chamber of Industries and Mines.

Mirwais Haji Zada, deputy head of the Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock, said that there is an opportunity to increase trade with Russia.

He said that Afghanistan can also increase pomegranate and dried fruits exports to Russia.

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MTN receives $35 million offer for Afghanistan operation

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(Last Updated On: August 12, 2022)

South Africa’s MTN Group has received a binding offer for 100% of its shares in MTN Afghanistan for a consideration of approximately $35 million, the company has confirmed.

The identity of the buyer was not disclosed but the operator expects the transaction to be concluded within roughly six months, South African media reports indicated.

The sale will mark the completion of the group’s planned exit from its consolidated Middle East and Central Asia markets following the sale of its business in Yemen and the loss of its Syrian operations last year.

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Muttaqi urges China to help increase Afghan export volume

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(Last Updated On: August 10, 2022)

Afghanistan’s Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi met with Beijing’s visiting special envoy to Kabul on Tuesday and called on China to pave the way for Afghan exports.

During the meeting, held in Kabul, Muttaqi thanked the Chinese government for starting the visa issuance process in Kabul for Afghan traders, calling it beneficial for bilateral trade between the two countries.

China’s envoy Yue Xiaoyong said that he was working on bilateral and multinational relations with Afghanistan, and spoke about the “encouraging news during his recent regional visits,” according to a statement from the Afghan foreign ministry.

Yue also praised the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) for its efforts and achievements, adding that the new Afghan government has been able to fulfill challenging and significant tasks in a short period of time, and that it had managed the natural disasters and cold winter well, the statement said.

The Chinese special envoy said bilateral relations with Afghanistan had progressed significantly, adding that the meetings between the two countries’ foreign ministers depicted deep relations between the two nations.

He also said that in addition to pine nuts, China was considering importing other dried and fresh fruits to help Afghanistan’s economy.

China’s special envoy arrived in Kabul after visiting Turkey, Pakistan and India to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

In Kabul, the envoy also met with Acting Defense Minister Mohammad Yaqub Mujahid, where they discussed the need for bilateral cooperation.

Mujahid told the envoy that Afghanistan would facilitate investment in the country.

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