To invigorate trade and transit route, the Lapis Lazuli project was inaugurated by the Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in Herat on December 13, 2018.  The first shipment of Afghan products including 175 tons of cotton, dried fruit and sesame is exported through the route within the frame of TIR Carnet.

While addressing the inaugural ceremony, President Ghani stated that Lapis Lazuli corridor is an important milestone in creating opportunities for Afghanistan to reaching the global market with array of hope of alternative ways to connect to the regional countries. He also emphasized on the importance of the transit route in boosting exports from Afghanistan.

President Ghani further stated that Lapis Lazuli is derived from the historic trade route which goes back to 2,000 years when Afghanistan’s Lapis Lazuli and other semiprecious stones were exported to the Caucasus, Russia, the Balkans, Europe and North of Africa.

 On the side-lines of Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA- VII), the Lapis Lazuli Agreement was signed in November, 2017 aiming to establish greater connectivity for enhancing trade in the RECCA region. 

The Lapis Lazuli route is a trade and transit cooperation between Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. The corridor connects the mentioned via road, rail and maritime.  Funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) the cost of the project will exceed $2 billion.

 

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