The Kabul Times.
Economic

Afghanistan exports goods to Europe via Azure Route

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Afghanistan has proclaimed that soon the lorries of Afghanistan that are loaded with four containers of exporting goods to leave for Europe via two ports (Aaqina) in northern province of Faryab and Torghundi in western province of Herat from the itinerary of Azure Route.
The spokesman for ministry of commerce, Musafer Quqandi said that it is planned within next couple of weeks this caravan to move to Europe via these two ports.
He said that the itinerary of Azure Route is opened for the first time before the merchandize of Afghanistan and it is planned the exporting commodities of this country to reach to Turkish Europe cities and pass through Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Quqandi added that two containers are loaded with carpet and two other with Talac mine that is used for making children powder.
Since 2014, Afghanistan made effort to open this route before merchandize of Afghanistan.
It is expected the custom-houses are located in itinerary of different countries to act in harmony with each other.
Unique tariff to be introduced and also security hurdles to be reduced.
According to Quqandi with moving of this package in itinerary is considered, the problems and possible shortcomings would be included into agreements signed with the countries the Azure Route passes through and the governments would adopt measure to remove them.
This authority of commerce and industry says that in dispatching of these packages, all national and international principles would be observed and the aim is this that the exporting commodities of Afghanistan to reach to European markets and vice versa.
Afghanistan is a land-locked country and within recent years is making effort to find access to free waters. One of these freeway is Azure Route that passes through northern neighbors.
Previously, these countries were involved in competition and political tension of Afghanistan.
Afghans believe that this itinerary is a historic highway that was using for export of Badakhshan Lapis Lazuli to central Asian and European countries about 2000 years before and based on the same, today is named as “Azure Route”.
The specifications of new Azure Route begins from Afghanistan and reaches to Turkmenbashi port in Turkmenistan and then from the itinerary of Baku city in Azerbaijan links with Tiflis region of Georgia and from Tiflis extended to Persian in Turkey.
This itinerary from Persian to Istanbul and from there continues to Europe.
The government of Afghanistan regarded this itinerary as one of shortest and most safe and simplest ways for Afghanistan. Because, from Afghanistan port till Turkmenbashi port, there is either route or railway and Baku is linked with Persian and Istanbul via route and railway. The evaluations of Afghanistan showed that transferring of commodities through Karachi port of Pakistan to borderly city of Jalalabad in eastern part of Afghanistan covers about 14 days and only the expenditure of transferring one lorry merchandize estimated over $5000 and expenditure of using Kazakhstan itinerary that is 6200 km over $4000 and from Tourghundi port till Persian of Turkey (Azure Route) 2200 km with more than $3200 expenditure.

Karima Malikzada

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The Kabul Times.