Ghani vows to transform Afghanistn into big exporter
KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani has promised facilitating the export of Afghanistan’s fruits to different cities of India and giving traders access to the international market for fresh fruits.
The president held out the promise during a video conference with governors of Kandahar, Baghlan, Ghazni, Parwan, Kunduz and Nangarhar provinces on Tuesday evening, his office said on Wednesday.
Also on Tuesday, fruit traders in Kabul attended a protest gathering against what they called ‘lack of access’ to international markets for their products. Dozens of traders and civil society activists took part in the gathering.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) officials also were present on the occasion. ACCI deputy head Khan Jan Alkozai thanked the president for his efforts to promote exports and imports, saying businessmen were still faced with multiple problems.
He said for the resolution of their problems, Afghan trucks should be allowed to directly reach the Wagha border in Pakistan’s city of Lahore. He added Afghanistan exported 2.5 tonnes of fruits to Pakistan, Iran, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Wolesi Jirga Member Haji Almas Zahid asked the government to pave the ground for furit exports to Moscow through air and land routes.
Finance Minister Eklik Hakimi said his ministry had talked to the transport ministry to address issues related to scales in port cities. He said several meetings had been held with businessmen to formulate a unified strategy in this regard.
The president thanked the businessmen for their efforts for the development of the country, stressing violations of law and public harassment must come to an end because the government was answerable to the people.
He said the finance ministry had the board memebership of Aryana Afghan Airline and efforts would be made to expand the air corridor to other cities of India.
Ghani said two export centres for Afghanistan would be opened soon in Turkmenistan and Azarbijan. Two more centres would be inaugurated in Kazakistan and Moscow.
He pledged discussing trade-related issues with Uzbek leadership during his upcoming visit to the neighboruing country. Memuranda of Understanding (MoUs) would be signed with Uzbekistan on further expanding economic ties.
The president retieriated his resolve to transform his landlocked country, heavily reliant on imports, into a major exporting economy. – Pajhwok