Trade routes development and cooperation prospects discussed by Serik Zhumangarin with Minister of Trade and Industry of Afghanistan

Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Trade and Integration of Kazakhstan Serik Zhumangarin and Minister of Trade and Industry of Afghanistan Haji Nooruddin Azizi discussed the main aspects of cooperation on August 2, 2023. 

As Serik Zhumangarin noted, during his April visit to Kabul, the parties set a goal to increase the volume of trade turnover between the countries from $1 billion to $3 billion.

"90% of Kazakhstan's exports to Afghanistan are processed products. We are already seeing great progress in expanding the nomenclature of trade. In addition to such traditional products as flour and wheat, deliveries of rolled domestic metal, mineral fertilizers, rye and flax have begun. Following the results of the last visit of Kazakhstan companies to Kabul, the first deliveries of our energy drinks, flour products, mineral fertilizers took place, there is interest in sunflower oil. Textiles appeared in imports from Afghanistan along with agricultural products. We have a lot to actively work on," Serik Zhumangarin noted. 

To intensify cooperation, the Afghan side was offered to use the potential of the Trade House of Kazakhstan in Herat and open its trade representative office in Kazakhstan.

The participants of the meeting discussed the possibilities of development of existing trade routes and creation of alternative routes for supply of goods through Afghanistan. In particular, today, a 20% discount to the railway tariff is applied for transportation of grain and flour to Afghanistan through Galaba station on the territory of Uzbekistan. At the same time, taking into account the existing discount, tariffs for transportation of Kazakhstan grain cargoes through the territory of Uzbekistan in the direction of Afghanistan and Tajikistan are quite high.

"To increase exports of our goods to Afghanistan, we are working on an alternative and more profitable route through Turkmenistan. Our railroad company has worked out the issue of providing additional discounts of 10% to the already available 30% discounts on the transit tariff through Turkmenistan through the Turkmen-Afghan crossing of Turgundi," Serik Zhumangarin continued. 

Currently, the regime of cargo transportation in the Trans-Afghan direction is simplified. However, one of the problematic aspects of using this route is the high cost of transportation of bulk cargoes. Taking into account the mutual benefit of increasing the volume of deliveries along this route, at the meeting the Kazakh side asked the Afghan side to consider reducing tariffs for Kazakhstani bulk cargoes to $200.

Kazakhstan is considering the participation of domestic companies in other economic projects being implemented in Afghanistan, especially in transportation, mining, telecommunications and agriculture. In particular, after the visit of the Kazakhstan delegation to Kabul in April this year, Kazakhtelecom JSC signed a contract with the Afghan side to supply on a commercial basis fiber-optic Internet to Afghanistan.

Kazakhstan and Afghanistan also cooperate in education. Today, 130 students from Afghanistan study at Al-Farabi KazNU. Annually 30 people are accepted for training. Serik Zhumangarin offered to increase the number of students from Afghanistan studying in Kazakhstan in case of interest.  

For reference: Since 2005, the gross volume of investment inflow from Afghanistan into the economy of Kazakhstan amounted to about $11.7 million. 52 joint ventures, mainly in the field of trade, operate in Kazakhstan.

#International Cooperation #Serik Zhumangarin

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