The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Railway boosting Afghanistan’s export

Several merchants in the country’s northern province of Balkh that over 95% of their commercial transactions are conducted through the railway, and importing and exporting goods via this route is more cost-effective compared to transportation by car or air. Bashir Navid Trading Company’s representative in Mazar-e-Sharif Zamray Niro stated that, in the past, most commercial transactions were carried out by car, whereas 95% of all commercial activities currently are being conducted through the railway since its establishment. “Goods such as fuel, foodstuff, eggs, medicine, and other sensitive items are imported into Afghanistan primarily by car,” said Niro. Officials at Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA) stated that a total of 427,595 metric tons of goods were exported and imported through the railway only in May 2023. According to him, the value of exporting and importing in the previous year reached approximately 383,000 metric tons per month. The Afghanistan Railway Authority’s spokesperson Abdul Sami Durrani states that on a daily basis, 8 trains containing commercial goods are imported into Afghanistan, and 1 train carrying Afghanistan’s goods is exported abroad. According to him, a total of 4.6 million metric tons of goods were shipped via the railway in the previous year. Afghanistan is connected to four countries by railway, reaching a total of approximately 272 km in length. Economists believe exporting via railway will positively affect exporting Afghanistan’s products to other countries, and existing challenges in this regard shall be addressed to increase domestically produced goods. Shaker Yaqoubi, an economist, states that conducting commercial transactions via the railway would prevent Afghanistan from being exclusively reliant on neighboring countries such as Pakistan and Iran. He also emphasized that commercial transactions would enable various products and goods to be transported at affordable prices from Afghanistan to Middle Eastern countries, creating opportunities for higher-profit sales. In recent years, Afghanistan has been exporting its products through an air corridor, but the cost of this exporting route is very high. Although the initial railway project was designed by companies from the former Soviet Union and Britain, the urban trains were purchased from Germany. In 1920, King Amanullah Khan purchased 3 locomotives from Germany and put them in operation in Darul Aman – Kabul city route. But they were destroyed and ruined after the civil war, and their dilapidated skeletons remained in Kabul. Saida Ahmadi

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.