The Ministry of Finance (MoF) on Saturday said during the finance minister’s recent trip to Georgia, he spoke to officials from five countries along the Lapis Lazuli Corridor and they all agreed to sign an agreement based on transporting goods to European markets.
The agreement is set to be signed between Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey in the near future.
“The Lapis Lazuli Corridor is very important for Afghanistan and for four other countries, because it has a direct effect on the economy of the countries. All the necessary documents are ready. We have spoken with Georgia and officials from the other countries and we want the agreement to be signed in the near future,” finance ministry spokesman Ajmal Hamid said.
According to Hamid, Georgia has also agreed to help Afghanistan transport its products to European markets.
Afghanistan and Georgia in addition to expanding economic cooperation, agreed to establish a joint chamber of commerce.
Meanwhile, Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) said Afghanistan should be fully prepared to use the Lapis Lazuli Corridor for exports and imports.
According to ACCI, the lack of transit and trade agreements and also visa problems for Afghan traders are the most challenging problems in the way of using the corridor.
“First we should resolve the problems regarding Afghan traders’ visas. Government should resolve the problem through the foreign ministry and through diplomatic channels,” ACCI deputy head, Atiqullah Nusrat said.
Currently Afghanistan only imports non-alcoholic beverages from Georgia. Nothing is exported there.
However, ACCI officials said Georgia as a transit country can play a significant role in helping Afghanistan to take its goods to Europe.