The increasing transportation of commercial goods by railways is a good alternative and a promising boost for the economy, stated interim government officials.
According to the Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA), the country’s railway transport reached a total of 109,808 tons of import and export items over the past week. These commercial goods have been transported by the railway via Hairatan, Aqina and Torghundi trail trucks. 10,830 tons were the import, and,1,498 tons of export goods, respectively.
As a landlocked country, Afghanistan has had critical challenges in transporting commercial goods to and from the regional and international markets. Normally, it took weeks and even months for the goods to reach overseas markets. However, with the establishment of new railways linking to the Central Asian countries, the problems have been mitigated to some extent. Besides, the commercial items can reach destinations in a timely manner, it is quite cost-effective.
According to the country’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Afghanistan’s imports include oil, gas, wheat, flour and construction materials, and exports that are heading toward Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and China include dry fruit, rice, potatoes and minerals.
Moreover, the country’s Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) has recently suggested that the formation of railways with Pakistan and India can pave the ground for increasing Afghan exports abroad. Doing so will enable Afghan traders to avoid relying on two conventional routes, Torkham and Chaman land routes. Instead, they can use railways to link to the wider regional market at a lower cost. The establishment of such railways will also link South and Central Asian countries, the positive economic impacts of which will definitely outweigh the drawbacks. Therefore, more economic stability and prosperity will be seen in the economies of the region in the long term.