India-Iran-Afghanistan connectivity via Chabahar port, Pak-China economic corridor via Gawadar port, KASA 1000, Afghanistan-Central Asia and Europe connectivity via a railway line are some of the significant economic regional projects to be discussed in the conference
Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi
KABUL: The Sixth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan—themed “The Silk Road through Afghanistan,” was held on Thursday here in Kabul organized by the Strategic Studies Center a branch of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan (MoFA).
Delegates from 70 nations and international organizations attended the conference. Transit, energy, trade, investment, telecommunication, agriculture and oil pipeline are the main multinational projects to be discussed in this two-day conference.
Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai speaking on the occasion said that the RECCA was a good opportunity to talk regional projects.
Karzai mentioned four new regional economic projects as a top priority. “Work on these four projects has already been going on by nations of the region. They are going to be discussed in the RECCA VI,” he said.
Karzai also said that all of them know the political issues that have arrested the development, transit, trade, transportation initiatives for moving forward in recent years.
Karzai said the RECCA VI was very different from those held in the past as this time they were going to assess not only technical issues but also the political issues which have caused too many damages to the region. Khalil Karzai said the region has the potential to become a unique model of trade and development ties as India has been constructing a corridor from the port of Chahbahar to Afghanistan, China is building an economic corridor from its Xinxiang region to Gawadar port in Balochistan, which will cover the Middle East and will reach to Europe, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Georgia are also moving forward to be linked by a railway line, therefore Afghanistan, Tajikistan, China and Kyrgyzstan are going to be the connecting routes.
The Minister of Economy Abdul Satar Murad said that the future of Afghanistan and other regional countries is dependent on improved transit, trade, ties and extraction of mine and strengthening of privates sectors.
He also mentioned corridors like Chabahar port, Gawadar port, and KASA 1000 are the significant economic regional projects. Murad said that currently Afghanistan needs more regional support as there has been decline in international aid and assistance after the drawdown of coalition troops. He also said that donor nations have been facing their own problem therefore regional support was essential. “In such a time, RECCA VI looks to be the only promising opportunity to help augment Afghanistan’s national economy as well the economies of the countries in the region as this is a multi-national project that touch upon transit, infrastructure , and investment in public and the private sectors,” Murad said.
The chief of Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) Qurban Haqjo said that RECCA VI has been a big initiative by the MoFA as it focuses on regional investment and big infrastructure projects, which will connect the regional countries.