Business executives from Kazakhstan and Afghanistan signed 15 agreements, including nine for the supply of oil, worth $190.8 million at the Kazakh – Afghan business forum on Aug. 3.
The dialogue platform laid the ground for new projects, trade and economic cooperation, bringing together over 300 participants, including officials, business leaders, and manufacturers from both countries.
Welcoming the participants, Serik Zhumangarin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Integration, reaffirmed that Kazakhstan stands for the development of Afghanistan as an independent, neutral, united, peaceful, democratic, and prosperous state and is interested in maintaining the existing trade, economic, transport, logistics and energy ties with the country.
The trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Afghanistan in 2022 reached almost $1 billion ($987.9 million), doubling the figures for 2021. Around 90% of the turnover falls on Kazakhstan’s exports, mainly processed products.
Trade between the countries for the first five months of this year hit $316.6 million, of which $310 million falls on Kazakhstan’s exports. Zhumangarin highlighted that the two countries could increase mutual trade to $3 billion soon.
“Afghanistan is the largest consumer of Kazakh flour, which accounts for 1.3 million tons or 70% of the total flour exports. According to calculations, Kazakhstan has an export potential of deliveries to Afghanistan worth $500 million. This includes food, petrochemical, chemical, metallurgical, light, and machine-building industries,” he said.
Since 2005, Afghan businesses have invested $11.7 million into the Kazakh economy. Nearly 52 joint trade ventures operate in Kazakhstan.
Zhumangarin outlined prospective areas that both countries should focus on, including the preservation and increase in the traditional supply of Kazakh flour, implementation of economic projects, development of transport and logistics capabilities, and cooperation in the social sphere.
“Afghanistan is the transport corridor of Central Asia leading to Pakistan and India, which are currently of high interest for Kazakhstan in trade. Kazakhstan appreciates the initiative to build the Mazar-i-Sharif–Kabul–Peshawar railway trans-Afghan transport corridor, which will ensure uninterrupted interregional cooperation between the countries of Central Asia and the countries of South Asia and the Middle East,” he said.