SOURCE / COMPANIES
Chinese industrial park project wins approval in Afghanistan: source
Published: Apr 28, 2022 12:31 AM
File photo shows an Afghan vendor prepares food ahead of Eid-al-Fitr festival in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan.Photo: Xinhua

File photo shows an Afghan vendor prepares food ahead of Eid-al-Fitr festival in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan.Photo: Xinhua


 
Chinatown in Kabul, a Chinese business group in Afghanistan, is expected to see considerable expansion after the “Chinatown industrial park project” won government approval recently, a source with the group told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The Chinatown industrial park project, which is expected to be located in the country’s capital, was recently approved by the Afghan government three years after it was first proposed, Li Xijing, deputy general manager of Chinatown in Kabul, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

While the new area is still being planned and specific details have not been disclosed, the project will enable business cooperation in areas ranging from mining development to urban area construction and production of building materials, according to Li.

Since the Taliban government came to power, interest in Afghanistan's mining sector has been growing among Chinese firms, including projects involving copper and lithium, given the massive deposits in the country that are estimated to be worth as much as $1 trillion.

Apart from the five Chinese companies that currently have operations in Afghanistan, at least 20 Chinese state-owned and private companies have also made inquiries about lithium projects, Gao Susu, a staffer at the China-Arab Economic and Trade Promotion Committee, told the Global Times in a previous interview.

However, despite the growing interest and on-site inspections, major hurdles and risks remain for any potential project and many companies will likely adopt a wait-and-see attitude until conditions improve.

Li said that the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the “Chinatown industrial park project” is due to take place on Thursday with representatives from the Afghan government and Chinatown set to participate in the event.

The country will have a “special zone,” Li said, referring to the project. He noted that mining and processing of mineral deposits, urban construction and production of building materials should be “unimpeded.”

Afghanistan will soon embrace new opportunities in economic development as the situation in the country becomes stable, Li said, expressing his hope that Chinatown can further play the role of a bridge for Chinese companies that are interested in doing business in Afghanistan.