Turkey urged to help Kandahar fruits reach Europe
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Traders in southern Kandahar province on Thursday urged the Turkish ambassador in Afghanistan to facilitate their dried and fresh fruits in reaching Europe markets through Turkey.
The Turkish envoy, Ali Sait Akin, was invited to a gathering organised by the Kandahar Chamber of Commerce in Kandahar City, the provincial capital.
Besides members of the trader’s body, dozens of dried and fresh fruits’ traders also attended the gathering.
Kandahar chamber of commerce president Haji Nasrullah Zaheer Pajhwok Afghan News that currently dried and fresh fruits produced in Kandahar were only exported to Pakistan and India because they lacked facilities to export them to the markets of other countries.
He welcomed Turkey’s decision to open a consulate in Kandahar and start flights between Turkey and Kandahar, saying the developments would result into increased trade between the two countries.
He said the flights between Kandahar and Turkey would enable Afghan traders to take their goods to European markets via Turkey.
Zaheer urged the Turkish ambassador to facilitate the trip of an 11-member group of Afghan traders to Turkey in order they could closely asses markets there and arrange packaging and standards acceptable to Turkish buyers.
Deputy head of the chamber of commerce, Abdul Baqi Bina, said earlier Kandahar traders had to face problems in travelling to Turkey because they had to visit Kabul for two to three weeks to get visas.
But he said the opening of the Turkish consulate in Kandahar would resolve problems traders faced in getting visas. He said Afghan traders would be able to import goods directly from Turkey to Kandahar and to export their goods to Turkey and then Europe.
The Turkish ambassador promised to make efforts at providing all facilities mentioned by the Afghan traders in exporting and importing goods.
He also said some Turkish experts would arrive in Kandahar to assist Afghan traders in various areas.
Dried fruit traders’ union head Haji Abdul Ahad said it had been a long-standing demand of Afghan traders to export their goods to European countries.
He said currently Kandahar traders exported their dried and fresh fruit products to Pakistan and via Pakistan to India, but Pakistan had always created problems for Afghan traders during peak seasons.
He also urged the government to find an alternative route for Afghan traders to shun reliance on Pakistan. He said it would be better if the Afghan traders were facilitated in exporting their goods via Chabahar port of Iran and through Tajikistan.
Ali Sait Akin, who arrived in Kandahar a day earlier, had announced that his country would not only open a consulate in Kandahar this year but would also start flights between Turkey and Kandahar.
He said strengthening relations between the two countries were not only a desire of the governments but also of the peoples of the two countries.
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