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Taliban Plans To Create Special Economic Zones On Former Foreign Bases




(CTN NEWS) – TALIBAN – The Afghan government claims to convert a few former foreign military outposts into business-friendly economic zones.

Since the Taliban reclaimed control of the nation in August 2021, Afghanistan has seen a worsening economic and humanitarian disaster.

Foreign military forces had occupied the nation for 20 years.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the acting deputy prime minister for economic affairs, announced on Sunday.

According to Mullah Baradar, “it was decided that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce should gradually seize control of the remaining foreign military outposts to transform them into special economic zones.”

Without providing any other information, he stated that the project would start with locations in the northern Balkh province and the capital city of Kabul.

Parked vehicles are seen in Bagram U.S. air base after American troops vacated it, in Parwan province, Afghanistan, July 5, 2021. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

Taliban Must Show Their Dedication To Economic Planning

“Suppose it wants to improve its administration and gain internal legitimacy. In that case, the Taliban “devastatingly needs to bolster its coffers,” Muhammad Faizal Bin Abdul Rahman of the S Rajaratnam Institute of International Affairs in Singapore told the BBC.

“The Taliban must, more importantly, demonstrate their dedication to economic planning. For possible foreign investors, like the Chinese, this entails creating safe zones around the capital and borders.

It also entails reviving regional trade with nearby nations, “Added he. According to estimates, Afghanistan is home to natural resources worth more than $1 trillion (£831.5 billion), including rare earth, copper, and natural gas.

Unfortunately, many such deposits remain untapped because of the country’s protracted instability.

The final US military flight from Afghanistan in August 2021 signaled the conclusion of the country’s 20-year presence there and its longest war.

Tens of thousands of people have died in the fighting, and millions more have been displaced.

Afghan Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar attends a news conference with Wang Yu (not pictured), China’s ambassador in Afghanistan, in Kabul, Afghanistan, January 5, 2023. REUTERS/Ali Khara

Afghan Finances Severely Impacted

Afghanistan’s finances have now been severely impacted by various other significant problems since the withdrawal of foreign military forces.

Government officials have been sanctioned, the central bank’s foreign assets have been blocked, and most foreign aid that has previously boosted the country’s economy has been suspended.

The Taliban announced earlier this year that it intended to work with a Chinese company to dig for oil in northern Afghanistan.

The 25-year agreement highlights China’s economic presence in the area.

Beijing has substantial interests in Afghanistan, which is at the center of a region crucial to China’s Belt and Road Initiative but has not officially recognized the Taliban government there.

The project, started by Xi Jinping in 2013, offers developing nations funding to create infrastructure, including ports, roads, and bridges.


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