The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Trans-Afghan Railway project effective for bilateral economic development

The Afghanistan Railway Authority recently announced the opening of a joint office in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, dedicated to the development of the Trans-Afghan Railway Project(TARP). The initiative is expected to promote regional connectivity, trade and boost economic growth in Afghanistan and neighboring countries. The opening of the joint office was announced, following a tripartite meeting between railway officials from Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan, during which they discussed ways to enhance cooperation and accelerate the implementation of the project. The meeting was attended by the Director General of the Afghanistan Railway Authority, Bakht-ur- Rahman Sharaf, who expressed his optimism for the project’s success. Several Afghan merchants and citizens told in an interview with The Kabul Times correspondent that opening the joint office for the Trans-Afghan Railway Project in Tashkent will be effective for facilitating trade among the central Asia countries, and such an initiative creates employment for dozens of people, and it is a good opportunity for the people and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, The Afghanistan Railway Authority says that the office has been established to handle the work of the Afghan-Trans Railway and will be managed by representatives of the three countries. The Afghanistan Railway Authority spokesperson Abdul Sami said that Afghan-Trans railway project offices will be opened in Kabul and Islamabad shortly. “It has been decided to establish an agency in Kabul and another agency in Pakistan,” Abdul Sami added. In the meantime, Abdul Latif Nazari, the deputy of the Economy Ministry said that the Afghan-Trans Railway project plays an important role in the country’s economic mobility. “The importance of the project is that it can ultimately lead to economic mobility, poverty reduction, economic growth, and development of the nation,” Nazari added. According to some economists, the project will provide many facilities in the field of commercial goods transportation. “The railway goes from our northern borders to the south, east, and west of Afghanistan and connects us with the railway networks of different countries. In this way, we can provide our exports and imports much cheaper,” said Azerakhsh Hafizi, an economist. “With the implementation of the project, a great commercial revolution will be created in the region,” said Qutbuddin Yaqubi, a political analyst. According to him, the transit routes for commercial goods are the best route for trade, either for Afghans or foreign merchants. “ I hope that the representation of Afghanistan will have an office as soon as possible so that we can properly manage it and increase the level of Afghanistan’s import and export to Central and South Asian and European countries because this route can connect Afghanistan with other foreign countries,” Qutbuddin Yaqubi added. The Afghan-Trans Railway connects Central Asian countries with South Asian countries by passing through Afghanistan. According to the Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA), the Afghan-Trans Railway project from Mazar-i-Sharif to Torkham is more than 760 km long, and it is expected to be completed within five years at a cost of 6 billion dollars. In addition to creating jobs for 30,000 people, Afghanistan will export and import millions of tons of various goods through annual transit and earn millions of dollars by operating the project, according to the information provided by the country’s railway authority. Shukria Kohistani

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.