Taliban and new investment consortium: Iran, Pakistan, and Russia
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The Afghanistan government announced that it set up a consortium of companies with firms from Iran, Pakistan, and the Russian Federation. This notably concerns energy, infrastructure, and mining.
China and the nations of Central Asia – despite existing tensions with Tajikistan – all seek positive relations with the Taliban related to trade, security, and regional development.
India also hopes to witness stability in Afghanistan. Therefore, irrespective of the size of each new economic venture, it is essential for this nation to attract investments.
The acting Afghan minister of commerce and industry, Nooruddin Azizi, stipulated that foreign companies are looking into projects up to $1 billion in value.
Azizi also stated that business plans include special economic zones. Indeed, Afghanistan is blessed with many resources and it is situated in a geopolitically important area. Therefore, if the Taliban can keep ISIS (Islamic State) at bay and other Islamist groups opposed to the Taliban, it is hoped that regional nations will invest in Afghanistan and help to develop the infrastructure.
Azizi said, “The Islamic Emirate will ensure security and will support the private sector in the security field.”
It is hoped that regional nations will seek dialogue with the Taliban and help this nation to recover from decades of war.
Nations are naturally concerned about the treatment of women. However, without investments, trade, and new business ventures, the country will suffer economically and openness will be further away.
Reuters reports, “…the consortium was eyeing the possibility of building a second tunnel through the Salang pass that connects Afghanistan’s north to the rest of the country, and a project to divert water from northern Panjshir province to the capital as well as rebuilding the main highway connecting Kabul to western Herat province.”
Economic development is the best hope for building bridges between different ethnic groups. Also, it should advance the role of women in society and provide hope for the younger generation.
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