Role of Turkmenistan key in trade with Afghanistan: MPs

After recent visit of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to Turkmenistan, a number of members of Afghanistan parliament considered role of Turkmenistan as significant in strengthening of Afghanistan economic and trade.
A number of lawmakers by pointing to recent visit of the country’s President to Turkmenistan say increasing of trade between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan can play key role in strengthening of Afghanistan’s economic bases and trade.
“Turkmenistan has had friendly and good relations with Afghanistan for long years and expansion of trade relations between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan will further improve economic development in our country,” a member of parliament’s international relations commission Sayed Ali Kazimi said.
He added that Kabul should have further strategic relations in the field of trade and transportation with Ashgabat.
“Afghanistan can have strategic relations with Turkmenistan in the field of gas and railway as the country has further profession in the respective sector,” Kazimi said, adding that Turkmenistan has had good relations with Afghanistan in the past too and currently Afghanistan needs further economic development that should be paid attention to.
In the meantime, Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) says currently trade between Afghanistan and Central Asian countries has reached to over $2 billion.
“Most of Afghanistan trade is with Turkmenistan and increasing of the trade between the two countries can further improve economic development of Afghanistan,” ACCI deputy Khanjan Alokozay said, adding trade with Turkmenistan from point of investment, transit and business is very important.
An Afghan economist and Kabul University lecturer Saifuddin Saihoon says trade between Afghanistan and other countries in the region and world has unprecedentedly increased in recent years and it is hoped the trade relations of Afghanistan with other countries in particular Turkmenistan will further increase in near future.
Last week, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani paid an official visit to Turkmenistan and signed strategic agreement between the two countries.
Haroon Chakhansuri, a spokesperson to President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, in a news conference on Saturday said that recent visit of the country’s President to Turkmenistan had been full of achievement.
Speaking to journalists in the news conference, Chakhansuri said: “During visit of the country’s President to Turkmenistan, seven memorandum of understanding (MoUs) have been signed between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.”
According to presidential spokesperson, the agreements have been signed in the field of extension of electricity to Herat and the country’s north, construction of railway (Aqina, Andkhoy and Torghundi-Herat), gas, establishment of faculty of Turkmen language at Kabul University and creation of faculty of Pashto literature in Turkmenistan.
Currently, both Afghanistan and Turkmenistan are working on key economic projects as TAPI. Meanwhile, Lapis Lazuli Corridor that can provide ground route for Afghanistan’s exports and imports to Turkey and European countries through Turkmenistan.
Shukria Kohistani

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