The Kabul Times.
Economic

Symbolic steps taken for exports’ promotion: ACCI

The ACCI authorities say that few symbolic steps have been taken for exports’ promotion but not basic. A senior member of ACCI Azrakhsh Hafizi said, there are a lot of undone works in our exports’ system which are the main reason of not promotion of exports particularly exports of foodstuffs and fruits.
Hafizi adds that except symbolic works, the government has taken no steps for exports’ promotion. He called very important holding of ISO certificate for exports promotion and said that due to lack of this certificate, the Afghan traders supply agricultural products in very low price in Pakistan.
He went on to say, we have good delicious fruits which are unique at global level for their high quality but due to lack of global quality certificate, our products offered are supplied three times cheaper than their actual value.We cannot sell our products with a sufficient reputation at the international markets. The government has failed to receive the ISO quality certificate in the last 17 years. This is simple, the government should allow us to merge few companies, invite a global quality certificate source to give us certificate.
The Geneva based ISO was established in 1947 to unify, codify standard at globallevel create facilities in international trade, support producers and consumer and develop scientific, technologic and economic cooperations and most countries of the world have ISO membership for their exports promotion. Despite of elapse of 70 years since the ISO establishment, Afghanistan has failed to get its membership, so due to lack of ISO quality certificate our fruits are supplied three times cheaper.
Hafizi added, our fruits exported to Pakistan, are sold with Pakistani certificate. They issue their quality certificate and pack them. Lack of standard containers for transportation of agricultural products is another challenge ahead our exports and over 40 pc agricultural products are spoiled before reaching the markets.
The ACCI authorities call most promises of the government for exports promotion impractical and say the NUG should take practical steps.
Last year, president Ghani had told the RECCA conference that Afghanistan would be the regional economic crossroad but he failed to achieve his goal. The ACCI authorities don’t call useful air corridors for exports promotion and request basic steps.
Hafizi said, last year, we exported about one million tonnes dried and fresh fruits,medicinal herbs, precious stones, carpets and handicrafts but only a low percentage were carried out through air corridors. At present our merchandized are exported through air corridors to India. Kazakhstan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Europe. Spokesman of the MoCI Musafer Qoqandi said that so far near to 3300 tonnes merchandized worth US$ 60m have been exported in 190 flights.
Spokesman of the MoAIL Akbar Rostami said, over $200m agricultural products have been exported through air corridor to India. On Sep 27, a new air corridor was opened among Afghanistan, China, Russia and Calcutta city of India and the first Afghan exports consignment was sent to Europe and 23 tonnes commodities were exported to Italy, Finland and India. Agricultural products constitute 25pc of domestic products.
Ali Ahmad

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