Lapis Lazuli Seen Positively
Uzbek experts believe that the construction of the Lapis Lazuli Corridor in the future will not create any serious problems or serious challenges for Uzbekistan.
The agreement on the project Lapis Lazuli Corridor is the main result of the Ashgabat Regional Conference RECCA-VII. Along with representatives of 30 nations, officials from the countries of the Central Asian region took part in it.
Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia signed an agreement on the creation of the Lapis Lazuli Corridor, which will allow Afghanistan to get the shortest access to the Black and Mediterranean Seas. The Corridor is a continuation of the idea of the Great Silk Road, connecting the countries of South and Central Asia with Europe.
Experts quite highly assess the effectiveness of this project. Firstly, a significant part of the infrastructure along the way of the Lapis Lazuli Corridor is already ready. The investments required for the implementation of the project will mainly be used to improve the infrastructure and optimize customs procedures. The project profitability standard and its net present value have yet to be determined, but experts estimate the total profitability as positive.
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani repeatedly stressed the importance of this project, which will allow Afghan goods to gain access to new markets.
The importance of regional interaction for adressing the problems facing the country was noted at the conference by the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Salahuddin Rabbani. Afghanistan needs stability more than anything, and the conference can be a positive response to this problem, we can more effectively carry out our tasks and gradually develop regional cooperation, the foreign minister suggested.
As for the economic strategy, at the current stage, according to the Minister of Trade and Industry of Afghanistan, Rasaw Humayon, it envisages a transition to its own model. In this regard, he informed the guests about the key vectors of government policy in the areas of trade, investment, taxes and industry. Much attention is paid to the development of small and medium-sized business in the country, in particular, the creation of conditions for the participation of women in various sectors of the economy, which is especially important in the light of the high level of unemployment in the nation.
The name Lapis Lazuli Corridor comes the fact that for many centuries the Afghans carried lapis lazuli and other semiprecious stones to the Caucasus, Russia, Europe and North Africa. And then on the Great Silk Road there was a site called lapis lazuli.