Uzbekistan, Afghanistan may create new border free trade zone
Baku, Azerbaijan, July 13
By Fikret Dolukhanov – Trend:
Uzbekistan and Afghanistan are planning to create a border trade zone on the basis of Termez Cargo Center specifically for Afghan consumers with possibility of introducing simplified currency control, visa, tax and customs regimes on its territory, the Foreign Trade Ministry of Uzbekistan reported.
“The parties are currently studying a draft of this intergovernmental agreement. This document provides for exemption from customs payments of Afghan goods, as well as pre-emption of other restrictions in trade,” the Foreign Trade Ministry noted.
In recent years, there has been a positive trend in mutual trade with Afghanistan. For the first six months of 2018 the turnover has grown by 18 percent. Today, 110 enterprises with participation of Afghan capital are operating successfully in Uzbekistan. At the same time, 8 enterprises with participation of residents of Uzbekistan have been established in Afghanistan.
Uzbekistan has also been supplying electricity to Afghanistan since 2002 in line with annual direct contracts, taking into account the needs of the Afghan side. In 2002, the supply volume was only 62 million kilowatt-hours. The figure has increased to 200 million kilowatt-hours in 2017. A new contract on supply of roughly 2 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity was signed in 2018.
One of the main tasks of Uzbekistan is to join Afghanistan in the future to the unified energy ring in Central Asia. This will be done through construction of a new power transmission line Surkhan-Puli-Khumri.
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