Officials in Afghanistan say the coronavirus outbreak in China has affected trade relations between the two countries, which share a small border stretch in northeastern Afghanistan, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reports.
Air corridors are the most direct route for Afghanistan to send its exports to China, and statistics by the Chamber of Commerce and Investment reveal that more than 20 (metric) tons of Afghan dry fruit and saffron are sent to China every week by Turkish Airlines flights, but the flights have stopped since the coronavirus outbreak.
The virus has killed more than 300 people and has infected thousands of others.
“The issue that has been explained to us so far is that Turkish Airlines, which transfers Afghan goods through the air corridor to China, has delayed its flights for one week,” said Sayed Zaman Hashemi, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce and Investment.
The imports of fruits and vegetables from China have also stopped over the coronavirus outbreak, according to local investors.
Afghanistan imports 250 types of goods from China, investors said.
“The prices are on the rise… because the imports from China are zero,” Gada Mohammad Kohdamani, an Afghan investor, told TOLOnews.
According to the Afghan National Statistics and Information Authority, Afghanistan’s imports from China were worth $1.2 billion last year. China is the second biggest exporter of goods to Afghanistan after Iran.
Source: Times of Central Asia