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New road, rail link sees Chinese cargo arrive in Hairatan after only 11 days

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(Last Updated On: September 23, 2022)

The first load of freight from China to Afghanistan on a new road and rail route transiting Central Asia arrived in Hairatan, in northern Afghanistan, on Thursday.

Twelve containers, carrying mostly vehicle parts, took only 11 days to reach Afghanistan.

The new multimodal route starts in China’s northwestern Xinjiang province then passes through Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan before entering Afghanistan.

The cargo traveled along the first stage – around 500 kilometers from the city of Kashgar in Xinjiang to Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan – by road since there is no rail link, although one is planned eventually.

The first containers left Kashgar on September 13, the RailFreight.com website reported.

At Osh, the cargo was loaded onto trains to link up with Uzbekistan’s rail network across the border in Andijan.

They then crossed eastern Uzbekistan and headed south into Afghanistan to arrive at Hairatan, which links with the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif along an Uzbek-built railway line.

The journey on the new route took only 11 days – compared to one to three months for the current route used to send cargo from China to Afghanistan through Pakistan via the seaport of Karachi and overland.

China and Afghanistan have been trying to get a rail connection off the ground for years.

In 2016, the first cargo train traveled from China to Hairatan through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, loaded with textiles and household goods. But it took another three years before any cargo moved back along the route to China, when a train loaded with talcum powder made the journey in 2019.

The route across Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan is now undergoing a three-month pilot, and should eventually carry some 4,000 containers annually.

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IEA’s Ministry of Finance: The recent report of SIGAR is far from the truth

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(Last Updated On: February 6, 2023)

The Ministry of Finance of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) considered the recent report of “SIGAR” about companies and institutions in Afghanistan to be far from the truth and rejected it.

In the announcement that was published by this ministry on Sunday (5th January), it is stated: “The Office of the Special Inspector General of the United States of America for Afghanistan “SIGAR” has claimed in its quarterly report to the US Congress that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, receives money from those organizations and institutions that work in the field of humanitarian aid; under the license fee, tax and administrative fees, which provide a large part of Afghanistan’s revenue The Ministry of Finance of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan considers the said report to be far from the truth and rejects it separately.”

“The Ministry of Finance has exempted those organizations and institutions that are active in the field of humanitarian aid, No money is received from them, and no administrative expenses are imposed on them.” Read the ministry statement.

The Ministry of Finance has also added that in all the country’s customs, the customs tariff of the goods imported by these organizations and institutions has reached zero, and the goods of the mentioned institutions enter the country without tax.

According to this ministry, only license fee is taken from foreign organizations and institutions, which is a small amount and has a legal framework and is balanced with other countries and has no effect on Afghanistan’s national income.

The Ministry of Finance has assured that the organs of the Islamic Emirate, including the Ministry of Finance, provide administrative, financial and security facilities for the organizations and institutions that operate in the field of humanitarian aid and are committed to all their promises in this field and in the distribution and sending of humanitarian aid they are partners with them.

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Flour mill opens in Herat province

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(Last Updated On: February 5, 2023)

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce says that a new flour mill has opened and is now operational in Herat province.

Afghan Industry and Commerce Minister Nooruddin Azizi, inaugurated the flour mill, which is privately owned, on Saturday in the presence of an accompanying delegation.

According to the ministry, Azizi thanked the business owner for investing in the mill, which was built in Phase 1 of Herat Industrial Park at a cost of $1.2 million.

The flour mill will be able to produce 180 tons of flour per day, and has provided employment for more than 700 people.

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Afghanistan, Pakistan sign draft convention to avoid double taxation

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(Last Updated On: February 4, 2023)

Afghanistan and Pakistan have signed a draft convention to avoid double taxation between the two countries.

The convention was signed after three-day talks concluded in Islamabad on Friday, Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue said in an announcement.

The Afghan delegation was headed by Revenue Legal Services Director Nida Muhammad Seddiqi while FBR’s International Tax Operations DG Sajidullah Siddiqui headed the Pakistani delegation.

The sides thoroughly deliberated over all the outstanding issues identified during the second round of negotiations held in Islamabad from 27th-30th December, 2021.

FBR Chairman Asim Ahmad thanked the Afghan delegation for visiting Pakistan and expressed optimism that the convention will further strengthen economic relations between the two countries.

Pakistan’s special envoy for Afghanistan welcomed the move as “another important step forward.”

“It took us some 12 years to cross this milestone. Investors, contractors and businesses on both sides will benefit significantly,” Mohammad Sadiq said on Twitter.

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