At a meeting in the Samarkand province on Friday, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev spoke about the importance of the Mazar-i-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railway project, which is being implemented by Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“Had we built railway to China or another Asian country in 27 years, the cost of our exported products would be 60-70% lower,” he said.
According to him, Uzbekistan still has to export through Russia or Kazakhstan. The President expects that after the start of the construction of the Trans-Afghan Railway, Uzbekistan will diversify its export markets, and neighboring countries will reduce tariffs for the transit of Uzbek products.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev said that after several talks with the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, he managed to convince them of joint implementation of the project.
“It will be beneficial, but who can ensure the safety on the railroad. Only Pakistan, which has a population of 200 million. If we can enter this market, we will be able to enter other markets through seaports,” he said.
On February 2, following the results of the Uzbek-Afghan-Pakistani negotiations, a joint action plan ("Road Map") was adopted for the Mazar-i-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railway project, which will become the "shortest and cheapest way" for Uzbekistan to enter other markets, said the head of state.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev said that the Russian leadership also expressed its readiness to participate in this project. Neighboring countries are also showing interest, he said.
On April 14, the President of Uzbekistan held an online summit with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, during which the two leaders discussed the resumption of air service between the countries, the adoption of an agreement on preferential trade, visa facilitation, transport and transit and other issues.
Transport Minister Ilhom Makhkamov added that the countries also discussed expediting the implementation of the 600 km Mazar-i-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railway project. According to him, it is planned to organize an expeditionary survey of construction sites located in Afghanistan in May. In addition, the parties have developed a draft agreement on transit trade.