Afghanistan exported $1.8b goods in past 7 months

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The office of the first deputy prime minister, Mullah Abdullah Ghani Baradar, said that Afghanistan’s exports abroad have reached $1.85 billion over the past seven months.

According to Baradar’s office, exported goods went to Pakistan, India, Iran, China, UAE, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Iraq.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Akhundzada Abdul Salam Jawad, said that most of the exports went to Pakistan, India, Tajikistan and China.

“We are trying to increase our exports this year from the previous years,” he said.

According to the ministry’s statistics, nearly $744 million worth of goods have been exported just to Pakistan.

The Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that the exports with Pakistan have doubled.

“Compared to last year, exports have doubled, especially coal and fruits,” said the head of the joint chamber, Naqibullah Safi.

Meanwhile, some traders believe that the use of air-corridors will pave the way for an increase of Afghanistan’s exports.

“It has been one year since the air-corridors have closed. Prior to that, we had exports via air-corridor to China, UAE, Tajikistan and Central Asia,” said Zalmai Azimi, a trader.

“Our carpets have not yet been exported in a proper way. The reason for this is that regular advertising and marketing have not been done so that the carpets can find a market in China,” said Salma Reha, an Afghanistan trader in China.

Carpets, dried and fresh fruits, vegetables, coal, medicinal plants and semi-precious stones are the main exported goods.

The National Statistics and Information Authority (NSIA) said that more than 8.2 million citizens have received Electronic Identity Cards (IDs).

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday to share details of the one-year activity of the NSIA, the head of the authority, Faqeer Mohammad Ziar, said that the process of printing electronic IDs have resumed inside the country.

“You know that the process of distributing and printing (electronic identity cards) has been slowed down recently because some of the equipment broke down and we faced a shortage of some materials for printing the electronic identity cards,” said Faqir Mohammad Ziar, head of the NSIA.

“2.17 million electronic identity cards have been distributed across the country,” said Mohammad Sabir Khan Stanikzai, deputy chief of the NSIA.

According to the head of the NSIA, 23 individuals have been dismissed on charges of corruption over the past 12 months.

“23 people have been dismissed on charges of corruption. Two cases have been referred to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO),” he said.

Meanwhile, Stanikzai said there has been a 7 percent increase in Afghanistan’s export abroad compared to the previous year. The imports have dropped by 22 percent compared to the previous year, he said.—Tolonews

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