Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) on Tuesday said Afghanistan and Uzbekistan will hold a meeting on June 20 in Uzbekistan in which they will discuss trade and transit matters and Uzbekistan’s possible investment in Afghanistan.
The meeting will be held under the theme of Discourse between the Private and Public Sectors.
MoCI spokesman Musafir Quqandi said government officials from the two countries, representatives of the private sector and investors will attend the meeting.
Quqandi said in the last year a number of agreements have been signed between the two countries which has paved the way for an increase of trade volume and stronger transit ties.
“The main focus is on the private sector on how we can bring them closer. Our trade ties with Uzbekistan increased after President (Ashraf) Ghani’s visit to Uzbekistan and in this meeting we will discuss how to strengthen the ties. We will discuss how to export more goods from Afghanistan through Uzbekistan to other countries and to Uzbekistan and also import the necessary goods from Uzbekistan,” said Quqandi.
Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) meanwhile said delegates would also discuss issues with Uzbek investors interested in investing in Afghanistan industries and mines.
According to ACCI officials, they will also talk about the use of cold storage facilities, and process and packaging centers in Uzbekistan’s Termez city. This would be for Afghan exporters sending their goods to Central Asian countries and Russia.
“Cold storage units and processing centers are being established in Termez city on the border of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan and we agreed with Uzbekistan to transfer our goods there to keep them there and after processing export to other countries,” Seyam Pesarlay, ACCI spokesman said.
ACCI statistics show that the trade value between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan last year was $600 million of which $200 million was of Afghanistan exports to Uzbekistan.