China to transport goods to Afghanistan by railway: ARA

KABUL (TOLOnews): The Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA) said that the process of transporting commercial goods by train from China to Afghanistan will start this month.
The head of the Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA) stated during his visit to Uzbekistan that the ARA and a Chinese company had agreed to transfer commercial goods from China to Afghanistan via Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
“We have reached an agreement with three countries, including a private company, and the details will be negotiated and finalized this afternoon,” said Bakht Rahman Sharaft, the head of Afghanistan Railway Authority.
The Chinese company is expected to transport 3,500 to 5,000 containers of commercial goods in each round, and some Afghan traders may choose to use this route instead of the port of Karachi.
The transfer of raw materials from China to Afghanistan by train will cut costs according to representatives of the Chamber of Industries and Mines, while Afghanistan’s commercial goods remain in Karachi port for weeks at a time.
“There will be significant reduction of costs in the transfer of commercial and industrial goods of our raw materials. The congestion that exists on this route currently takes a lot of time, and this will have a high impact on our consumers in the domestic market,” said Sakhi Ahmad Paiyman, deputy of the Chamber of Industries and Mines.
Currently, the port of Karachi serves as the entry point for commercial goods into Afghanistan from China. The Chamber of Commerce and Investment said that this route costs Afghanistan a significant amount of money.
“This means that this way (by rail) provides a lot for export and import, it provides facilitation,” said Khanjan Alkozi, a member of the ACCI.
Currently, a significant portion of Afghanistan’s commercial commodities enter the country via the Haritan, Aghina, and Turghundi railways. Efforts are being made to open the Khawaf-Herat railway to traders.