Ashgabat, Kabul agree on diversification of trade and economic relations

19 April 2019 12:51 (UTC+04:00)

By Trend

Afghanistan’s Trade Attache Radai Hotak visited Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan (UIET), Trend reports with reference to UIET.

The meeting was attended by the leadership of the UIET's International Trade Department and the Turkmenistan Trading House in Afghanistan.

The meeting participants confirmed their interest in building up mutually beneficial trade contacts and discussed a number of steps to diversify joint efforts for realizing the export potential of the partnership, the news report says.

Turkmenistan and Afghanistan are interested in the implementation of a regional transit project through Azerbaijan, according to a joint statement by the presidents of the two countries issued on February 24, 2019. The document was signed following the negotiations between President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in Ashgabat.

"The leaders of the countries express satisfaction with the beginning of the implementation of the five-sided agreement between Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Turkmenistan on transit and transport cooperation dated November 15, 2017 (the Lazurit, or Lapis Lazuli Corridor Agreement)," the statement says.

The parties also reaffirmed support for the proposal to hold a meeting of transport ministers and heads of the customs services of the state parties to the Agreement concluded in Ashgabat in May 2019.

The Lapis Lazuli transit project envisions construction of railways and highways connecting the city of Torghundi in Afghanistan’s Herat Province with Ashgabat, and further with the Caspian port of Turkmenbashi. The corridor will continue to Baku, then go through Tbilisi to Ankara with branches in Poti and Batumi, and continue from Ankara to Istanbul.

The budget of the project, which aims to facilitate transit logistics and simplify customs procedures, is estimated at $2 billion. The large-scale project is designed to increase the economic integration of the region and the volume of trade.


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