Afghanistan a land locked country with transit potential challenges and opportunities
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AFGHANISTAN : A LAND LOCKED COUNTRY WITH TRANSIT POTENTIAL CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES. Presentation by Mr. Ghous Mohammed Baheer President of Department of International Transit and Border Ports, Ministry of Commerce, Afghanistan

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AFGHANISTAN : A LAND LOCKED COUNTRY WITH TRANSIT POTENTIAL CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

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Afghanistan a land locked country with transit potential challenges and opportunities

AFGHANISTAN :A LAND LOCKED COUNTRY WITH TRANSIT POTENTIAL CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

Presentation by Mr. Ghous Mohammed Baheer

President of Department of International Transit and Border Ports, Ministry of Commerce, Afghanistan

Meeting on the Design and Implementation of Transit Transport Arrangements

Geneva, 24 – 26 November 2004


Introduction

Introduction

Afghanistan faces a double challenge:

  • Afghanistan is a land-locked country.

  • Afghanistan has the potential for becoming a land-link country.


Land locked country

LAND LOCKED COUNTRY

Pakistan and Iran are currently the two main countries for access to a sea port:

  • Pakistan : ports of Karachi , Port Qasim and Gawadar;

  •  Iran : ports of Cha Bahar and Bandar Abbas

    Presently, the Pakistan routes handle most of the relief and donor cargo while the Iranian routes handles most of the commercial freight


Challenges

CHALLENGES

As any land locked country, Afghanistan faces 3 main challenges:

  • increased transport costs relative to those incurred by countries with direct access to the sea;

  • dependence on the transit country‘s transport facilities;

  • lack of control over the development of transport management and policy, which are shaped by the transit country according to considerations of its own economic and social interests.


Afghanistan a land locked country with transit potential challenges and opportunities

20ft Container

Bulk Cargo (ton)

Transit Time (days)

Border

Kabul

Border

Kabul

Border

Kabul

Pakistan

Rail + Road

945

1990

27

51

16

20

Road

2030

28

52

10

14

Iran

Rail + Road

1100

1500

80

95

15

20

Road

1300

3000

50

120

7

12

Black Sea

Rail

1350

69

Baltic

Rail

1800

21

TRANSIT COST (in US $) AND TIMES (in days)

Source: World Bank report Trade and Regional Cooperation

between Afghanistan and its neighbours, February 2004


Bilateral trilateral and regional agreements

BILATERAL, TRILATERAL AND REGIONAL AGREEMENTS

  • Afghanistan has bilateral agreements with Iran, Pakistan and Uzbekistan, and is negotiating with Tajikistan.

  • Afghanistan has signed trilateral agreements with Iran-Tajikistan, Iran-Uzbeksitan, India-Iran for using Iranian ports.


Bilateral trilateral and regional agreements con t

BILATERAL, TRILATERAL AND REGIONAL AGREEMENTS (CON’T)

  • Afghanistan is member of ECO, and is going to reactivate the membership to the IRU-TIR.

  • Problems of implementation:

    • support and commitments of countries signatories;

    • lack of monitoring;

      The establishment of Monitoring and Coordinating Authorities is a way to highlight that both countries are willing to cooperate for its full implementation


Land link country

LAND LINK COUNTRY

Afghanistan has a strategic location:

  • for linking Central Asia with South Asia a crucial transport link between Pakistan and Central Asia, and,

  • provides most of Central Asia with its shortest access to the sea, in comparison with routes to the Black sea, Europe and China


Afghanistan a land locked country with transit potential challenges and opportunities

Access to a sea port

BANDAR ABBAS (IRAN)

KARACHI (PAKISTAN)

Through

Turkme-nistan

Afghanistan

Afghanistan

Route

I*

II*

III*

Peshawar

Quetta

Almaty

3,600

4,610

4,020

3,810

4,010

3,380

Tashkent

2,730

3,730

3,175

2,930

3,345

2,720

Dushanbe

2,940

3,370

2,790

2,680

2,660

2,040

Bishkek

3,270

4,330

3,750

3,530

3,730

3,100

Central Asian Republics: Access to the sea by Road (in kilometers)

I. Via Kabul, Kandahar, Herat.

II. Via Kabul, Kandahar, Delaram, Zaranj.

III. Via Meymaneh, Herat Delaram, Zaranj.


Corridors approach

CORRIDORS APPROACH

  • The North-South road Corridor connecting Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the ports of Karachi, Port Qasim and eventually Gawador, to be covered by Afghan - Pakistan Corridor Agreement;

  • The East West Corridor connecting these central Asian States through Afghanistan and Iran to the ports of Bandar Abbas and Chabahar to be covered by the Afghan - Iran Corridor Agreement.


Actions taken by afghanistan

ACTIONS TAKEN BY AFGHANISTAN

  • Constructing new links, or rehabilitating the existing networks

  • Ring Road of 2237 km road will be constructed to connect most of the provinces to each other

    • Kabul –Kandahar 485 km completed

    • Kandahar –Herat : 456 km on going survey

    • Herat – Andikoy 550 km : on going construction

    • Pulikhun –Dushi 43 km planned

    • Dushti –Kabul : on-going construction


Actions taken by afghanistan con t

ACTIONS TAKEN BY AFGHANISTAN (CON’T)

  • Link Road 1100km to link the Ring road with the border posts of surrounding countries:

    • Kabul – Jalalabad - Torkham 224 on going construction

    • Kabul – Gardiz 125 km survey on going

    • Gardiz – Khost 105 km design completed

    • Khost –Ghulam Khan 70 km planned

    • Jalalabad –Asmar 130 km Survey completed

    • Kandahar - Spin Boldak 104 km (funded by ADB) will be completed by end 2004. The first layer was completed by end of Dec 2003;

    • Dileam – Zaranj 212 km survey Completed

    • Haeat –Islamqala :120 km completed

    • Harat Torgundi 119 km planned

    • Pulikhun –Sher Khan Bandar 169 km on going construction

    • Pulilhum –Hairtan 265 km on going construction


Actions taken by afghanistan con t1

ACTIONS TAKEN BY AFGHANISTAN (CON’T)

CRITICAL ISSUE

  • Establishment of an adequate user charge system to cover the incremental roads and bridges costs imposed by the transit traffic.


Actions taken by afghanistan con t2

ACTIONS TAKEN BY AFGHANISTAN (CON’T)

  • Streamlining border crossing formalities to reduce high transit costs at the borders.

  • The objective is to:

    • require a minimum of documentation and formalities;

    • controls not to cause excess slowing down or a prolonged stoppage

    • allow rapid transit without bureaucratic delays;

    • clear the goods with maximum speed and minimum documentation; and,

    • eliminate the cost and uncertainties introduced by numerous checkposts, taxes, fees and informal payments


Actions taken by afghanistan con t3

ACTIONS TAKEN BY AFGHANISTAN (CON’T)

  • Border Control Zones (BCZ)

  • Program of rehabilitation of construction of border ports facilities with present financing from EU and the WB: opportunity to establish an integrated border management (IBM) approach and to clearly specify the role at each border ports of the Customs and Border Police, ministry of transport and MoC.


Actions taken by afghanistan con t4

ACTIONS TAKEN BY AFGHANISTAN (CON’T)

  • Few principles derived from an “Integrated Border Management approach” have been used to design the new border facilities :

    •   Border crossing should be a transit point and not a clearance facility. Stop over at the border be minimized;   

    •   Inbound traffic be segregated from outbound traffic;    

    •   Traffic separation between trucks and cars/buses/pedestrians;

    •   procedures between activities of various control services be harmonized;     

    •  number and duration of all types of control be reduced.


Actions taken by afghanistan con t5

ACTIONS TAKEN BY AFGHANISTAN (CON’T)

  • Establishment of Border Trade Facilitation Committee (BTF) at each border composed by representatives of the ministries involved in trade issues and representatives of the private sector. The BTF will:

    • identify required technical assistance and physical investments to ensure effective cross border operations;

    • strengthen the public–private dialogue and cooperation for improving cross border operations;

    • identify difficulties and to make recommendations on issues related to trade and transport in transit at each border.


Actions to be taken by transit countries

ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN BY TRANSIT COUNTRIES

  • Full implementation of the transit agreements.

  • Minimizing custom inspections along the transit routes and the transhipment stations.

  • No opening of the cargos carried by sealed containers.

  • Allowing the cargos to be transported from the sea ports to final destination by Afghan trucks as well as trucks from transit countries.

  • Creating multinational transport companies for carrying transit cargos.


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