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IEA welcomes Russia’s plan to export gas to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: January 1, 2023)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC) has welcomed Russia’s suggestion that it will export gas to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The ministry said in a statement on Saturday that the Islamic Emirate is fully committed to positive economic relations with all countries and has already provided the ground for regional connectivity.

“The Islamic Emirate welcomes the statements of the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who said that Russia wants to export its natural gas to Afghanistan and Pakistan,” read the statement.

The statement also said that the Islamic Emirate considers the export of Russian gas to Afghanistan and South Asia beneficial for the countries of the region.

Experts believe such projects will increase confidence for investing in Afghanistan.

This comes as Afghanistan is suffering from international sanctions after the takeover of the country by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA).

IEA officials, however, have repeatedly expressed hope for turning the country into a major economic and transit hub in the region.

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

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(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

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(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

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(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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