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No exports via Balkh air corridor in past 6 months

No exports via Balkh air corridor in past 6 months

Mar 23, 2020 - 08:25

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Traders and their representatives in northern Baklh province say no exports departed the province through the air corridor during the past six months.

They say differences over some technical issues among Turkish Airlines, Balkh Air Service and traders have caused the exports to stop.

The Balkh governor’s house also confirmed there had not been no exports from the province through the air corridor since last six months but said technical problems in this regard had been solved.

A year back, exports from Mazar-i-Sharif Airport were officially launched to European countries and some cargo flights carrying products of the northern zone also flew from the airport to Turkey and other countries in the first three months.

Afghan carpets, dried and fresh fruits, Karakul leather were main products exported to European countries through the air corridor.

However, Balkh Chamber of Commerce now says the exports process via the air corridor from the province has stopped since last six months.

Nasir Ahmad Qasemi, executive director of Balkh Chamber of Commerce, told Pajhwok Afghan News that exports through the air corridor came to a halt after some technical issues arose in the process.

He said exports from the province were normal in the first three months after inauguration of the air corridor.

He said technical problems faced by Turkish Airline, Balkh Air Service and traders in exports area caused the process to postpone.

“The problem was between traders and Balkh Air Service, this company had the responsibility to manage and load traders’ products inside the airport but the company wanted $25 cents for loading each kilogram of products, but traders said paying the charges was the responsibility of Turkish Airline,” he said.

He said Turkish Airline refused to pay the loading charges which caused exports to stop.

Qasemi said traders did not pay the loading charges because they paid extra transport fare to Turkish Airline.

Lack of an agreement between the Turkish Airline and Balkh Air Service was the problem that brought the exports to a halt, he added.

He said a number of traders of the northern zone currently exported their products through Kabulinfo-icon Airport.

Qasemi said they had meetings with Turkish Airline, Balkh Air Service and traders for solving the problem, but their efforts were in vain.

Balkh provincial council says delaying exports from Mazar-i-Sharif Air Corridor was affecting economy of the province.

Afzal Hadid, provincial council head, said that opening Mazar-i-Sharif Air Corridor was one of the last government’s important achievements in exporting domestic products.

“Collapse of the air corridor is a bad news for the entire northern region and it would confront traders with more problems,” he said.

He said the government should pay attention to the problem and stop those creating challenges to the country’s economy.

Meanwhile, a number of traders in the north asked the government to pay attention to the problem and help traders resolve it.

Zabihullah Kakar, a trader from Mazar-i-Sharif city, told Pajhwok that air corridors in Afghanistaninfo-icon opened a new door of business besides making a competition with land corridors. He said the air corridors also helped reduce the charges in land transit.

Pine nuts, pistachio and other fruits which hugely produced in north should be exported to European and other countries, he said.

He said northern traders faced many problems and now they exported their products through Kabul Airport.

“The government should resolve these problems and pave the way for exports from Mazar-i-Sharif, we are now second hand exporters, it means that we sell our products on other traders who then export them abroad from Kabul Airport,” he added.

He said northern traders would export their products directly if Mazar-i-Sharif Air Corridor reopened.

Governor’s spokesman, Munir Farhad said the local administration was working for solving the problem and the air corridor would be opened in near future.



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