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Kabul optimistic to join China OBOR project: Hakimi

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Finance Minister Eklil Ahmad Hakimi has said that China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) project could provide hope and opportunities for the war-torn Afghanistan.

During an exclusive interview with China’s CGTN broadcaster, Hakimi said: “There is a lot of potential inside Afghanistan. Chinese companies have invested in copper mine projects, and also oil fields in the north. The Chinese government has supported us in many developmental projects, irrigation and also affordable housing.”

The Afghan finance minister accompanied by other government officials has been in Hainan Island of China to represent his country in Boao Forum for Asia (BFA).

The Chinese Development Bank (CDB), the lead financial body for OBOR, would invest $890 billion into over 900 projects.

China has also announced a $40 billion Silk Road Fund to invest in OBOR. This generosity would be spread over 60 countries – including Afghanistan.

“Last year, our GDP growth was close to 2 percent, this year, we anticipate it close to 3 percent,” Hakimi said.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected a 2 percent real GDP growth for Afghanistan in 2016 and 3.4 percent for this year.

The Boao Forum for Asia, initiated in 1998 is a non-profit international organization that hosts high-level forums for leaders from governments, business and academia in Asia and other countries to share their vision on the most pressing issues in this dynamic region and the World at large. The forum has been promoting regional economic integration and bringing Asian countries even to their developmental goals. The BFA has played very important role in development of Asian consensus, advancing Asian cooperation and promoting Asian influence since its establishment.

Recently the conference was held in Hainan Island of China and the theme for this year’s conference was declared as, “Globalization and Free Trade: The Asian Perspective.”

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