Uzbekistan and Afghanistan to boost bilateral trade to $1 bln by year end

Central Asia General Newswire

Uzbekistan and Afghanistan to boost bilateral trade to $1 bln by year end

Tashkent and Kabul are determined to boost mutual trade to $1 billion by the end of 2017, Uzbek Foreign Trade Minister Elyor Ganiyev said to journalists on Tuesday commenting on the outcome of a meeting of the presidents of the two countries in the sidelines of the SCO summit in Astana.

He said the presidents of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan agreed on long-term deliveries from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan of up to 300,000 tonnes of mineral fertilizer, 2,000 units of farm machinery, up to 250,000 tonnes of millingwheat and other goods.

"Today there is every reserve and opportunity to boost the volume of mutual trade to at least $1 billion already this year," Ganiyev said.

He also said that the two presidents stressed the importance of the speedy beginning of the development and construction of the Mazari-Sharif - Sheberghan - Maymana - Herat railway. He said that the railway will help create an economic transport corridor in northwest Afghanistan.

Ganiyev said that Uzbekistan and Afghanistan are thrashing out an agreement on trade and transit cooperation which will also help increase mutual trade.

In 2016, mutual trade between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan amounted to about $500 million. Uzbekistan has over 70 companies with Afghan capital, 20 of them 100%-owned by Afghans, operating in the services' sector, trade and the production of construction materials.

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