AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Following President Ghani’s trip to Beijing where he demanded direct trade relations with China through the Silk Road—which connects China’s Shenyang city with Wakhan district in Badakhshan, the Ministry of Public Works (MoPW) said Monday that work on reconstruction of the trade route will kick off in near future.
The MoPW technical deputy, Noor Gul Mangal, said a Chinese delegation will visit Kabul in upcoming days which will discuss reconstruction of the Silk Road with Afghan officials.
Radio Azadi quoted Mangal, as saying that China was ready to reconstruct the Silk Road, and Afghanistan is also struggling to rebuild trade and transit roads.
He said the project needs huge budget, and talks are underway with Chinese officials about technical and economic issues of the route. “We are more focusing on contraction of a railway. Once the Silk Road was built, it will change Afghanistan into one of the biggest trade partner of Asian and the world countries,” he added.
According to the MoPW, work on construction 44 kilometers of the route is underway, funded by the World Bank, and the remaining 108 kilometers of the Silk Road will be built by financial support of the bank with worth $36.2 million. However, the ministry said complete construction of the route will cost millions of dollars for which the MoPW will need support of the international community.
Experts in economic affairs believe that the route can connect Afghanistan with China, India, central Asia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and even a number of European countries. The experts also said the Silk Road will change Afghanistan into one of the major trade partners of the world countries.
“I hope it will be a good start for Afghanistan. Involvement of China and its interest in rebuilding the Silk Road will encourage other countries to invest in the country, and this can result in economic and commerce improvement in Afghanistan,” Mohammad Amin Farhang, the former commerce minister said as quoted by Radio Azadi.
Afghan experts say that the Silk Road project can be completed in a short time if it was fully supported by China because it has access to modern technology.