Saturday, 4 March 2017

Not a single cargo train has arrived from China after the railway line between Afghanistan and China was inaugurated on September 7, 2016

Not a single cargo train has arrived from China at the Hairatan dry port in northern Afghanistan since September 2016 when the railroad was inaugurated. The same day, the first-ever cargo train from China, after some two weeks of journey, arrived at Hairatan port of northern Balkh province. Traders in Balkh say they need an active export and import process on the railway track for being cost-effective. A trader at Hairatan port, Abdullah Rahman, told Pajhwok Afghan News that only one cargo train from China had arrived in Afghanistan since the railway was inaugurated. He said if Afghan traders were provided export facility through Hairatan port, it would help them avoid using Karachi port of Pakistan for the same purpose. On the other hand, Balkh chamber of commerce and industry head Nasir Qasimi said the Afghan government had spent millions of dollars on the railroad. He said Afghan traders had to go through many hardships in tax clearance after their goods arrived for the first time through Hairatan port from China. He said goods were only allowed to be imported not exported through the port on the railroad. “Afghan traders now have to export their goods first to Uzbekistan and then to China by trains,” he said. Local government officials said Kabul officials should be consulted on the issue.

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