Tajikistan’s Minister of Transport Khudoyorzoda Khudoyor, on Friday signed trade and economic agreements with Afghanistan during a two-day visit to the country.
Khudoyor had been in Kabul this week for an Economic and Trade Cooperation meeting in Kabul.
The Tajik minister said that in the past three months Afghanistan and Tajikistan’s trade and transit relations have increased substantially, resulting in Afghanistan becoming one of Tajikistan’s key trade partners.
Khudoyor headed a ten-member Tajik delegation to Afghanistan and was optimistic about a further increase in trade between the two countries.
He said that in the first quarter of the current year Tajikistan exported $74 million USD in goods to Afghanistan, of which $11million USD was in cement.
“Without a doubt the expansion of trade between Afghanistan and Tajikistan has paved the way for us to increase our income and this will increase transit of goods from both countries,” said Khudoyor.
After recent closures of the Afghanistan crossing with Pakistan, Afghan traders started looking for alternative trade partners, and have since increased trade volumes from Turkey, Iran and India. Other Central Asian countries are also looking to increase their exports to Afghanistan.
Meanwhile the Afghan Minister of Economy Abdul Sattar Murad said that the expansion of economic cooperation and trade between Afghanistan and Tajikistan is to the benefit of both countries.
Murad said that at this week’s 6th Economic and Trade Cooperation meeting between Afghanistan and Tajikistan both countries agreed on expanding cooperation in the transport infrastructure sector and increase exports and improve economic growth in both countries.
“The agreement can provide more opportunities for improving cultural, economic and trade relations in both countries and we are trying to implement more development projects to provide economic improvement for both countries” said Murad.
Meanwhile the Tajik minister said his country is committed to providing better opportunities and improving transit of Afghan goods through his country to Europe and China.
The Tajik minister said that at the moment Afghanistan provides good opportunities for transit of Tajikistan goods to India, Iran and Turkey’s markets.