A joint three-day exhibition featuring goods from Afghanistan and Uzbekistan started in Kabul on Monday but without Uzbek products due to their being held up in Afghan customs, organizers said.
The organizers said that the Ministry of Finance has sought taxes for the goods that have been brought in for display at the expo.
This is the first time that a joint Uzbek-Afghan expo has been held in Kabul. Out of 100 booths, 30 have been allotted to Uzbek investors.
“We hope that this issue is managed in the future so that we can encourage more investors,” said Asadullah Sayyad, a representative of the exporters union of Uzbekistan in Afghanistan.
“The industry and commerce ministry cannot work alone. Other ministries are involved in this respect,” said Sakhi Ahmad Paiman, head of Kabul's chamber of industries and mines.
The Ministry of Finance said that the Uzbek companies will be allowed entrance after required documents are provided to the customs.
“The document about exceptions and the exhibition has not been brought to the Kabul customs; therefore, the goods have been stopped,” said Shamroz Khan Masjidi, spokesman for the Finance Ministry.
Organizers said that required documents have been provided to the Afghan authorities from Uzbekistan's industry and commerce ministry as well as from the private sector.
“As an Afghan, I am ashamed. I won’t say anything else. I think it is regrettable and I apologize to my (Uzbek) friends,” said Abdul Hadi Farhang, head of the investors union.
“We want economic relations to be strengthened in Afghanistan same as friendly political relations between the leaders of our countries,” said Malikov Yorkin, head of the Association of Uzbekistan Exporters who spoke at an event at the expo in Kabul.