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Iran, China and Russia investing in agriculture and energy sectors

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Kabul: Afghanistan Ministry of Industry and Trade announced that foreign investors from countries, including Iran, Russia and China were interested to invest in Agricultural and electricity sectors in Afghanistan.

The acting commerce minister said his government will launch a new “self-sufficiency programme to stabilize the country’s economy and boost trade and foreign investment, saying countries including Iran, Russia and China were interested parties.

Speaking on existing trade agreements, Mr Azizi said the supply of gas, oil and wheat from Russia as part of a major contract signed in September is expected to arrive in Afghanistan in the coming days.

He said some of the projects under discussion were Chinese industrial parks and thermal power plants, with involvement from Russia and Iran.

He laid out a plan to develop industry by creating special economic zones on land previously used for US military bases, and claimed foreign investors were showing interest in Afghanistan’s mining sector, which has been valued at more than $1trn.

He said 40 companies took part in an auction over an iron mine in western Herat province and a lead mine in central Ghor province, and that the results would be announced soon.

“Those who were importing items to Afghanistan from abroad, they are asking us to provide opportunities for investing in Afghanistan and they want to invest here instead of importing from abroad,” he said.

However, attacks on foreign targets in Kabul have spooked investors who are becoming more concerned with the growing security threats.

Last month, armed men opened fire at a city centre hotel that had served a wave of visiting Chinese businessmen. Five people were severely wounded in the attack that was claimed by the ISIS terrorist group.

Yu Minghui, who leads the China-Afghanistan trade committee and founded a Chinese residential development outside Kabul, said he was determined to stay and keep building his manufacturing plant outside the Afghan capital.

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