Afghanistan is asking for Kazakhstan’s support in entering the Organization for Cooperation of Railways, Tengrinews.kz
reports citing Director of KazIndustry and expert of the Center for Modern Afghanistan Research Mohammad Daud as saying at Kazakhstan-Afghanistan business forum.
“Transit via our neighboring countries is the main barrier for cooperation. Uzbekistan declared a conventional ban that stopped transit of some of the goods. Besides our railway station accepting the goods has a very weak infrastructure. It is unable to cope with the arriving cargoes. What can we do? Afghanistan has its own railroad. It has to take the initiative and enter the CIS Organization for Cooperation of Railways. Kazakhstan could support Afghanistan in Russia, so that it can enter this organization more quickly. Then the transit problem would be fully resolved and we would be able to accept goods independently. Right now there is no way through... Uzbekistan decides on everything that goes to Afghanistan,” Mohammad Daud explained.
According to Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce, the commodities turnover between Kazakhstan and Afghanistan in January-December 2012 reached $321.5 million. Afghan entrepreneurs are interested in food, flour, construction materials and oil products.
“Kazakhstan has the leading position in the region and Afghan party realizes that. Many of our businessmen also want to invest but there is currently very little information about Kazakhstan. There are also visa problems for entrepreneurs, that’s why not all businessmen willing to work can come here,” Daud said.
Last October Afghanistan authorities asked Kazakhstan to introduce simplified visa procedures
between the countries. The suggestion was made by Afghanistan’s Minister of Trade and Industry Anwar-Ul-Haq Ahady during the fifth meeting of Kazakhstan-Afghanistan Inter-Government Commission for Trade and Economic Cooperation.