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MDHI secures $43.9m in contracts to support Afghan Air Force

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(Last Updated On: June 16, 2021)

American MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) has confirmed it has been awarded two separate contracts worth $43.9 million from Army Contracting Command-Redstone supporting the Afghan Air Force’s MD 530F Cayuse Warrior light attack helicopters.

In a statement issued by the company, MDHI stated the first contract, a six-month extension worth $14.5 million, continues MDHI’s longstanding efforts to provide program management, and contractor logistics support services, material, and remote operations to support the Afghan fleet.

Work will take place in Mesa, Arizona in the US; Kabul, Afghanistan; and Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates. The contract was awarded on May 28, 2021, MDHI stated.

The second contract, worth $29.4 million, modifies MDHI’s original maintenance capabilities support contract.

Under this six-month contract, MD Helicopters will provide continued maintenance, repairs, updates, and overhauls of the Afghan Air Force’s MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters in Mesa, Kabul, and Al-Ain. The contract was awarded on June 10, 2021.

“While U.S. forces begin the drawdown process in Afghanistan, these contracts allow us to help Afghanistan’s Air Force maintain stability on their own through the continued support of their aircraft,” said Nick Nenadovic, MD Helicopters Vice President, Aftermarket and Customer Support.

“This further highlights the value our government and the Afghan Air Force put on the MD 530F. It is with tremendous pride we can continue providing the highest level of support for both our government and allies.”

The enhanced MD 530F Cayuse Warrior is a light armed attack helicopter respected for its power, safety, speed, agility, and unparalleled confined area capabilities.

The aircraft supports a wide range of training and operational missions, providing safe, efficient multi-mission support with an increased performance profile.

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US, Afghanistan, Pakistan Uzbekistan form platform for regional cooperation

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(Last Updated On: July 16, 2021)

The United States, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan have agreed in principle to form a new diplomatic platform focused on enhancing regional connectivity, the US State Department said on Friday.

“The parties consider long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan critical to regional connectivity and agree that peace and regional connectivity are mutually reinforcing,” the Department said in a statement.

“Recognizing the historic opportunity to open flourishing interregional trade routes, the parties intend to cooperate to expand trade, build transit links, and strengthen business-to-business ties,” the statement read.

The parties agreed to meet in the coming months to determine the modalities of this cooperation with mutual consensus, the US said.

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Border crossings seized by Taliban impact customs revenue

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(Last Updated On: July 10, 2021)

The Afghan government said Saturday that the fall of key dry ports has disrupted exports and imports, imposing negative impacts on the country’s economic activities.

The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) stated that the Taliban militants have captured seven key dry ports – the Islam Qala border and the Torghundi border towns, two trade gateways to Iran and Turkmenistan; Abu Nasr Farahi port, bordering with Iran, in Farah; Sher Khan Port in Kunduz and Ay Khanom port in Takhar, two trade gateways to Tajikistan; Aqina port in Faryab, a trade gateway to Turkmenistan; and Dand-e-Patan crossing to Pakistan in Paktia.

Khan Jan Alokozay, Deputy Chairman of ACCI, has raised concerns about the collapse of the ports, stating the traders can not pay taxes to both the government and the Taliban.

“Now, if we pay taxes in two places, it will directly impact the market, and rates will climb up to two hundred times higher than now,” Alokozay said.

Meanwhile, the price of food and raw materials have been increased in markets after the closure of these customs.

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APTTA extended for six months: Pakistan’s envoy

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(Last Updated On: July 8, 2021)

Afghanistan and Pakistan on Thursday extended the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) for another six months, said Mansoor Ahmad Khan, Pakistan ambassador to Kabul.

According to the Pakistan envoy, the agreement was signed by Pakistan Commerce Minister Razzak Dawood and the Afghan Minister of Commerce and Industry Nisar Ghoriani.

“The two Ministers appreciated the increase in trade and exports from both sides. They lauded the excellent work of technical teams noting significant progress in negotiations on the new APTTA. Pakistan side welcomed Afghanistan’s offer to host the 9th APTTCA in Kabul in August,” tweeted Khan.

Khan added that “Pakistan’s Commerce Minister Abdul Razzak Dawood conveyed that he will lead Pakistan delegation to Kabul along with a large delegation of business persons and investors” in order for them to network with their Afghan counterparts on the sidelines of 9th APTTA meeting.

In February, Pakistan approved a three-month extension in its transit trade agreement with Afghanistan.

The arrangement allows Afghanistan access to Pakistani seaports, as well as land routes, to conduct international trade and export Afghan goods to India, Pakistan’s arch-rival. In return, Islamabad gets access through Afghanistan to markets in Central Asian states.

The Pakistani Commerce Ministry told Cabinet members in February that more than 832,000 containers of Afghan transit trade, carrying goods worth $33 billion, had passed through Pakistan during the last 10 years.

It is estimated that 30% of Afghan Transit Trade passes through Pakistan, the ministry noted at the time.

The APTTA was concluded in 2010 after years of effort, with the United States playing the facilitating role at the time, and replaced an outdated agreement dating from 1965.

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