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UAE pledges $100m for trade port in border town

27 September, 2012

JALALABAD: The United Arabic Emirates has pledged $100 million for building a trade port in the Torkham border town in eastern Nangarhar province, an official said on Wednesday.

Nangarhar Customs Director Ihsanullah Kamawal told Pajhwok Afghan News the UAE was also planning to finance similar facilities at the Islam Qala dry port in western Herat and the Spin Buldak border town in southern Kandahar.

He said a 32.5-acre of land belonging to the Ministry of Commerce and Industries near the Torkham port had been allotted to the UAE-funded project after a survey. He said talks between officials of the two countries were ongoing on the dry port's development. However, he said a date for launching practical work on the trade port was yet to be announced.

Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries head for Nangarhar, Eng. Mohammad Qasim Yousafi said that Pakistan had also pledged constructing free zone trade ports in Afghanistan, but Afghan traders opposed the offer.

He believed free zone trade centres would have negative impacts on domestic revenue, products and eventually leading to reduced custom income and exports.

However, he said the trade port would help resolve problems facing Afghan traders and result into increased trade activity and reduced reliance on Karachi and other ports.

Governor's spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai confirmed a UAE delegation had a meeting with Governor Gul Agha Sherzai sometime ago. Sherzai had asked the visiting officials- to encourage their companies into investing capital at the Torkham dry port.

End.

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