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Ghani inaugurates first air corridor with India

Ghani inaugurates first air corridor with India

By
On
Jun 19, 2017 - 17:32

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The much-anticipated Afghanistan-India Air Corridor was inaugurated by President Ashraf Ghani on Monday when the first Delhi-bound cargo plane with 60 tonnes of medicinal plants left Kabul.

During the inaugural ceremony at the Presidential Palace, Ghani underlined the importance of the project. Top government officials, the Indian ambassador, Afghanistaninfo-icon Chamber of Commerce (ACCI) representatives and some businessmen were in attendance.

Ghani said the corridor was aimed to create more opportunities and make Afghanistan an exporter. As long as Afghanistan was not transformed into an exporter, people’s poverty could not be mitigated, the president believed.

“The temporary solution couldn’t meet fundamental issues of the country in this regard; therefore, steps were taken to implement the Afghan-Indian Air Corridor scheme.”

Ghani urged authorities to take serious steps in resolving issues of businessmen at airports and submit a report to him by next week.

He also asked Afghan traders not to allow the Afghanistan products be wasted and focus on increased exportation.

Sediqullah Mujaddedi, the president’s adviser, said the project was implemented due to the personal interest evinced by Ghani and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Afghan agricultural products would be airlifted to India for the first time, he said, adding the first flight on Monday carried 60 tonnes of medicinal plants. The second flight will carry 40 tonnes of dried fruits from southern Kandahar province.

The Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI)’s first deputy head, Khan Jan Alokozay, welcomed the launch of the project and expressed support for efforts by leaders of the two countries.

He said one of the issues Afghan traders faced was transit goods. The initiatives of the president to open alternative routes to Central Asia had led to the pleasure of traders, he acknowledged.

Alokozay asked the Customs duty administration and airport authorities to pay serious attention to simplifying the goods clearance process.

Manpreet Vohra, the Indian ambassador, also spoke on the occasion. The Indian government would support expansion of the project into a huge network of business between the two countries.

He said the Indian government while backing common initiatives aimed at expanding bilateral ties between the countries was ready to address the issues existed in this regard.

sns/mud

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