The first Afghanistan-Saudi Arabia air cargo route linking Kabul to Jeddah city was officially launched on Tuesday. Officials from both nations said they hope to improve Afghan exports to Saudi Arabia.
More than 500 kilograms of saffron and one ton of almond were the first Afghan products to be sent to Jeddah through the air cargo.
Sameer Rasa, head of Public Relations Office of the Senior Advisor to President Ashraf Ghani in Banking and Finance, said a similar agreement will be signed between Kabul and Dubai in the near future.
“We are also trying to sign a similar accord with Dubai to launch Kabul-Dubai air corridor in the next few days. You will witness the launching of air corridor between Afghanistan and the European Union. In the view of air corridor which was launched with Turkey, our businessmen can transfer products to Europe via Turkey,” he said.
Meanwhile, officials from Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) suggested a joint meeting of business community from Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan to boost economic interactions between the two countries.
The current value of trade between Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia is around $15 million, said ACCI chief Atiqullah Nusrat.
“We hope to have two or three flights to Jeddah as we have it with Turkey and have access to other gulf countries through Jeddah,” he said.
Saudi ambassador to Afghanistan Jasim Mohammad Al-Khaledi meanwhile stressed the need for expansion of trade and commerce ties between Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.
Al-Khaledi said that with the launching of the air corridor, the volume of trade between Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia will increase.
Based on government statistics, since the start of air corridors with India, Turkey and Kazakhstan, 2,600 tons of Afghan products have been exported abroad.