Afghanistan China corridor agreement

ASIA: Representatives of the railways of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and China have agreed to trial a rail and road ‘economic corridor’ linking the four countries.

An agreement for the three-month trial was signed on September 9 at the end of a two-day meeting in Toshkent.

Containerised goods from China will be delivered to Kyrgyzstan by road, and then by rail through Uzbekistan to Afghanistan’s Balkh province, which includes the Hairatan freight terminal and the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. 

‘With the implementation of this economic corridor, the commercial commodities that previously took two months to reach the country by road from China will now reach the country in two weeks’, said the Afghanistan Railway Authority.

‘Also, along with the increase in governmental revenue, the prices of commercial goods will be reduced and employment opportunities will be provided to some citizens. And, according to the agreement, a significant discount is implemented on the tariff of commercial goods.’

Afghan exports will also be able to reach China via the transit route; while China and Afghanistan do share a short border, it is in a remote and inaccessible mountainous region.