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Mazar-i-Sharif-Turkey-Europe air corridor formally opens

Mazar-i-Sharif-Turkey-Europe air corridor formally opens

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Jan 09, 2019 - 17:33

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): An air corridor between Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, Turkey and Europe was formally inaugurated on Wednesday, officials said.

The air corridor was opened during a special ceremony at the Maulana Jalaludddin Baklhi Airport in Mazar-i-Sharif city, in officials from capital Kabulinfo-icon also took part.

Samir Rasa, president’s advisor in financial and banking affairs, told reporters that five tons of dried fruits including dried mulberry and raisins were transported to London on a Turkish Airlines cargo flight for the first time.

“We are trying to have two cargo flights from Mazar-I-Sharif every week and the flights would increase in future,” he said.

Rasa said a total of 5,000 tons of domestic products including fresh and dried fruits, carpets, saffron, Qaraqul skin and others have been exported to foreign countries through 420 cargo flights so far.

He added the goods exported were of $100 million worth and six cargo flights each exported 20 tons of pine nuts to China alone in a week.

The products being exported from Balkh province include carpets, dried and fresh fruits, saffron and others.

Zahooruddin Sherzad, deputy commerce and industries minister, said that around 5,300 tons of domestic products had so far exported through cargo flights abroad and 20 percent of the transportation cost was paid by traders and the remaining 80 percent by the government.

“We can increase our products by increasing our exports, the government has programs for promoting domestic products and is trying to find new ways to facilitate Afghan traders in area of exports,” he added.

Turkish consul general in Mazar-i-Sharif, Schekin Alpar, said that Afghanistaninfo-icon and Turkey were friends and they would increase their commercial relations in future.

He said the inauguration of the Lapis Lazuli Route and the Mazar-i-Sharif air corridor would further strengthen relations between the two countries.

Alpar said more than 120 tons of Afghanistan products had arrived in Turkey via air corridor over the past eight months.

Balkh Chamber of Commerce and Industries head, Arash Younusi, said, “We are happy that we can export our products to other countries through Baklh airport, we thank the president for his efforts in this regard.”

He said was an important achievement for Afghanistan to sign a transit agreement with Turkmenistan on allowing domestic products to be exported to central Asian countries.

However, Younusi said some problems regarding Afghan traders’ visa remained unaddressed and the government should pay attention to them.

mds/ma

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