Union reports ‘significant increase’ in exports from Herat

The Union of Exporters in Western Zone on Monday said there was a significant increase in exports from the province over the past year compared to previous years as dried fruits and agricultural products worth at least $110 million were sent out of the country in the last solar year (March 2022 to March 2023).

The union added that during this period, over 80,000 tons of dry fruits and other agricultural products were sent abroad.

Mahdi Akrami, deputy of the Western Afghanistan Exporters Union, highlighted that Afghanistan’s export balance has been steadily increasing since 2000, with Herat province playing a major role.

“This year alone [1401 Solar Calendar, from 21 March 2022 to 20 March 2013], we have exported $110 million worth of goods to countries in the Persian Gulf, Europe, Canada, and the USA,” Akrami said.

Meanwhile, Afghan businessmen have noted a rise in exports compared to the previous year. They attribute this growth to increased foreign flights and streamlined administrative procedures for customs documents, which have facilitated trade.

Abdulwahid Akrami, deputy head of Mumtaz Akrami Company, said that the packaging process is done in Herat while goods are exported via Torghundi, Qadis, Jawand, and Maimana to foreign countries.

“Our key export items cumin, watermelon seeds, almond nuts, pistachio nuts, and various fruits were mostly exported to Germany, Jordan, and Syria,” he said.

Haji Abdul Ahad Nazarian, a dry fruit exporter, said that his company had shipped 40 containers valued at $2 million to the UAE and Turkey in the 1401 Solar Calendar (starting from 21 March 2022 to 20 March 2013).

Based on statistics, the western region’s exports primarily consist of agricultural products such as saffron, sunflower seeds, raisins, cumin seeds, watermelon seeds, and pine nuts, as well as carpet, and wool.

Economic experts emphasize the vital role of trade, especially exports, in job creation and economic development. They believe that foreign trade should be a priority for Afghanistan and warrant special attention.

Najib Mohammadi, a businessman and economic expert, highlighted the significance of companies engaged in the export sector, particularly those dealing with dried fruits and agricultural products in bolstering the country’s economy.

“Such businesses create employment opportunities for both men and women, as processing and packaging export products necessitate cartons and bags and that would create more jobs,” Mohammadi said.

Mohammadi further emphasized that dry fruit export plays a crucial role in Afghanistan’s economy.

Currently, a significant part of Afghanistan’s export being carried out via land routes to the Persian Gulf countries, including Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, as well as European countries and the United States, are routed through Herat province.

Meanwhile, the Taliban in its annual economic report also said that Afghanistan made export volume worth nearly $2 billion last year.