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TIR conference in Kabul focuses on turning Afghanistan into transit hub

in Afghan Business

TIR conference in Kabul focuses on turning Afghanistan into transit hub

Turning Afghanistan into a transit hub in the heart of Asia was the main topic for representatives from the Afghan government, private sector and donor community who met today during the Transports International Routiers (TIR) National Conference to discuss the future plan of transportation in the country.

The event was organized by Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation and Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries with the support of USAID’s Afghanistan Trade and Revenue (ATAR) Project.

TIR is the world’s only universal transit system, allowing truck drivers to safely move goods across borders with minimal delay while saving much-needed time and money for customs authorities. Afghanistan became a member of the TIR Convention in 1975, but after decades of conflict, the country only reactivated TIR in 2013 and is now beginning to implement its procedures. Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has made the country’s potential transit operations a national priority for the government.  During the conference, representatives from Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation and the Afghanistan Customs Department spoke on efforts to leverage the country’s transit potential to boost trade and government revenue.

“Activating and implementing the TIR Convention in Afghanistan is a national priority that will help facilitate acceleration in trade and transit,” said Afghanistan’s Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Dr. Mohammaddullah Batash. “With the use the TIR carnet, goods will no longer need to undergo complex customs procedures or be held up at the border.”

Atiqullah Nusrat, Chief Executive of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries, said Afghan trucks will experience fewer transit delays and costs as result of minimum customs interference, as well as simplified and standardized controls and documentation under the TIR system.

“Afghanistan’s use of the TIR system is an excellent vehicle to further integrate the region, ensuring regional powers in Asia have a peaceful stake in Afghanistan’s future,” said USAID Mission Director Herbie Smith.  “TIR also reflects the country’s commitment to global rules of the road. This was confirmed by the hard work that led to the country’s World Trade Organization accession in 2017.”

With almost USD17 billion spent on development programs in Afghanistan since 2002, USAID provides the largest bilateral civilian assistance program to Afghanistan. USAID partners with the government and people of Afghanistan to ensure economic growth led by the country’s private sector, to establish a democratic and capable state governed by the rule of law, and to provide basic health and education services for all Afghans.

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