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Afghan wares on display in Dushanbe Nigina Sharipova

By: Nigina Sharipova Posted: August-19-2009 in
Nigina Sharipova

DUSHANBE — “Afghanistan’s Economic Development” trade fair held on Aug. 5 at the Borbad complex in Dushanbe featured wares from more than 120 Afghan firms. Afghan Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal said that the wares of more than 120 companies were featured in the display, including agricultural produce, jewellery, rugs and other consumer goods from companies in Kabul and the provinces of Balkh, Kunduz, Kandahar, Herat, Jalalabad and Bamiyan.

The volume of trade between the two countries has more than doubled over the past few years, amounting to approximately US$40 million for the first half of this year. The Afghan Embassy’s Commercial Attaché Najibullah Rahimi said that the goals of the trade fair were to stimulate the consumer market, show off the products of Afghan companies and attract Afghan investors to the Tajik market.

The fair played host to a business forum at which Tajik and Afghan businessmen discussed issues concerning the development of trade and expanding entrepreneurship. The event was organised by the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of both countries, with assistance from the Tajik and Afghan governments.

Rahimi said that the strategic Panj River Bridge completed in 2007 plays an important role in the development of economic cooperation between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. It links the Afghan port of Sherhan Bandar and the Tajik Lower Panj. Between 80 and 90 lorries laden with goods from Afghanistan and Pakistan enter Tajikistan across the bridge every day. Financed by the U.S. government, the bridge has almost halved the journey time from Dushanbe to the sea port of Karachi, stimulating the commercial and economic development of the entire region.

Tajikistan’s main exports to Afghanistan are aluminium, food and leather, while Afghanistan’s main exports to Tajikistan are agricultural produce and handicrafts. The Tajik districts of Darvoz and Ishkoshim and the city of Khorugh are home to small border markets and also three centres providing support for cross-border trade that were opened with OSCE assistance.

Source: Central Asia Online

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