China and Afghanistan ramping up cooperation in agriculture and mining, 1 yr after US troop pullout

An Afghan farmer harvests figs in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, July 21, 2022. Picture:Xinhua

China and Afghanistan can strengthen cooperation in agriculture and mining, the place they’re complementary when it comes to technical benefits and sources, consultants mentioned, extending prospects for deepened cooperation on the one-year anniversary of the Taliban authorities.

One yr since US troop withdrawal in August 2021, forsaking a war-torn nation with many issues but to be developed, Afghanistan has seen new momentum for development, with neighboring nations together with China taking part in an more and more necessary position in serving to the nation to develop its financial system and enhance Afghans’ livelihood, consultants mentioned.

From the “pine nut air hall,” established collectively by China and Afghanistan, which resumed commerce flows benefiting Afghan farmers, to offering humanitarian support equivalent to meals and winter provides to assist Afghanistan’s homeless folks, in addition to different funding and cooperative tasks provided by Chinese language enterprise teams, the frequent and fruitful connectivity between the 2 governments and peoples all year long exemplified how pragmatic and non-conditional cooperation has led to tangible outcomes for the peaceable rebuilding of a war-ravaged nation, consultants mentioned.

Yan Wei, professor with the Institute of Center Jap Research of Northeast College, advised the International Occasions on Tuesday that commerce and mining are the 2 main sectors which have potential to unleash commerce between the 2 neighboring nations.

One important milestone of financial and commerce relations between China and Afghanistan was the opening of the “pine nut air hall,” which displays an necessary bond of friendship between the 2 nations as Wang Yu, Chinese language Ambassador to Afghanistan, mentioned.

Pine nuts are the one supply of earnings for a lot of Afghan farmers, and the sector impacts the livelihoods of hundreds of Afghans. As of December final yr, 1,170 tons of pine nuts had come to China on 26 chartered pine nut planes, producing greater than 100 million yuan ($16 million) for the Afghan folks.

“There’s a chance for extra Afghan items to come back to China…items equivalent to meat and fruit from Afghanistan all have nice potential in boosting commerce flows between the 2 nations,” Yan mentioned.

Talks over mining venture cooperation are additionally happening. Only a month in the past, an Afghan authorities official from the mining sector met with the consultant of Chinese language mining firm Metallurgical Group Corp, the corporate that owns the Aynak copper venture, throughout which either side talked in regards to the newest developments, and technical, monetary and land acquisition points relating to the Aynak venture, in response to the ministry.

Whereas the venture was placed on maintain as a result of regional instability and another points, consultants consider that there’s nice potential that the cooperation may supply as soon as the situations met, on condition that “Afghanistan is wealthy in high-quality copper ore and different uncooked supplies whereas China’s expertise and infrastructure functionality allows these supplies to be effectively exploited,” Yan mentioned. These uncooked supplies are additionally necessary sources for business provide chains.

The mine, which is believed to be the world’s second-largest, has an estimated deposit of 5.5 million metric tons of high-quality copper ore, media reported.

August is a particular month not just for the Afghan folks but additionally for Li Xijing, deputy basic supervisor of Chinatown in Kabul.

In a memorandum to mark the one-year anniversary because the Taliban authorities got here to workplace that Li wrote and despatched to the International Occasions on Tuesday, he reviewed the brand new alternatives that the nation and its connectivity with China can supply to native companies and enhancing livelihood.

With nice expectations for the nation’s future growth, the Chinatown signed in April a take care of the brand new Afghan authorities about constructing an business park in Kabul.

“This venture must be the primary infrastructure building venture signed by the brand new Afghan authorities and a Chinese language firm, making a mannequin for Chinese language corporations to enter Afghanistan and take part within the reconstruction course of,” Li mentioned.

The commercial park is predicted to price $216 million and can embrace 150 factories, offering everlasting employment for 13,600 Afghans and oblique employment for an additional 30,000, in response to Li.

The fruitful cooperation got here after the frequent high-level conferences and interactions which have laid a political basis and belief between the 2 sides, consultants mentioned.

From August 9 to 11, Yue Xiaoyong, particular envoy for Afghanistan Affairs of the Ministry of International Affairs, visited Afghanistan, stressing that China will proceed to work with Afghanistan’s neighbors, regional nations and the worldwide neighborhood to help Afghanistan in addressing humanitarian challenges, assist the Afghan folks overcome difficulties, and help the nation’s peace reconstruction course of.

The 2 sides agreed that the US ought to bear the principle duty for the present dilemma in Afghanistan whereas urging the US to instantly return all property belonging to the Afghan folks, elevate unilateral sanctions and unreasonable restrictions on Afghanistan, and earnestly fulfill its major duty for the peaceable reconstruction of Afghanistan.

Yue’s go to additional implements the outcomes of State Councilor and International Minister Wang Yi’s go to to the nation in March and the third International Ministers’ Assembly among the many Neighboring Nations of Afghanistan held in Tunxi, Anhui Province in March, as a part of the Chinese language authorities’s efforts to immediate the worldwide neighborhood to proceed to take care of a excessive diploma of consideration to Afghanistan.

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