AT News Report
KABUL: The government of Afghanistan has inaugurated for the first time-ever a pine nut processing factory in Kabul on Thursday, where President Ashraf Ghani and over 200 Afghan politicians including Chinese Ambassador Liu Jinsong were present.
During the inauguration, President Ghani vowed to transform Afghanistan, which boasts an advantageous geographic location and abundant resources, from a net importer of industrial materials to a net exporter. He spoke of learning from the Chinese experience to accelerate the industrialization of Afghanistan, Chinese Embassy in Afghanistan said in a tweet message.
President Ghani regards the founding of a pine nut processing factory as a major step forward for the country’s economic development. Pine nuts, a major cash crop in Afghanistan, are being exported to China, the world’s largest market, and are popular among Chinese consumers, Ghani said.
President Ghani also thanked China for its long-term assistance in Afghanistan’s peace, reconciliation, and postwar reconstruction.
Pine nuts will stimulate the growth of China-Afghanistan trade; Afghanistan will ensure product quality and improve processing techniques so as to satisfy Chinese consumers, Ghani added.
Chinese ambassador Liu talked about the program “charted cargo fight for Afghan pine nuts exporting to China”, which was launched last November by the leadership of both countries and has created more than $15 million in trade volume over the past four months.
He believes the program is a reflection of “Chinese efficiency” and Sino-Afghan friendship. Although a pine nut is quite small and the trade volume is not large, it affects the livelihood of thousands of Afghan people and benefits from bilateral cooperation, Liu said.
“Economic and trade cooperation between the two countries will keep expanding after the arrival of peace in Afghanistan,” the ambassador added.
Officials on site included Eng. Nasir Ahmad Durani, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and livestock, Mr. Yama Yari, Minister of Public Works, Mr. Mohammad Jawad Peikar, Acting Minister of Urban Development and Land, Mr. Ajmal Ahmadi, Acting Minister of Industry and Commerce, and Ms. Nargis Nehan, Acting Minister of Mines and Petroleum. Mr. Yahya Khan Zadran, President of the Afghanistan Pine Nuts Union, and Mr. Mohammad Yonus Momand, Vice-Chairman of ACCI, were also present.
Nasir Ahmad Durani said the direct exportation of pine nuts to China not only benefits Afghan agricultural sectors but also boosts the country’s export capabilities. “Afghan farmers and businesses are no longer confined to limited profit margins in transit trade.”