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Afghanistan, Turkmenistan sign MoUs, seal private sector contracts

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(Last Updated On: October 3, 2020)

Afghanistan and Turkmenistan signed three memoranda of understanding (MoUs) and an economic cooperation agreement in Kabul on Wednesday for electricity and fiber optics.

In a statement issued by the Presidential Palace (ARG), two companies will be responsible for transferring 500 MW of electricity from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan and for connecting a fiber optics network. The companies are Afghanistan’s Bayat Group and Turkmenistan’s Chalak Company.

During the official signing ceremony, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani thanked the two companies for their cooperation and said Turkmenistan and Afghanistan are proving to be good neighbors amid efforts to strengthen diplomatic and economic ties. 

“Thanks to the presence of Bayat Group and Chalak Private Company, it shows that Afghan and international private companies have joined hands to provide electricity,” Ghani was quoted in the statement as having said. 

“Fiber optics is the infrastructure of the 21st century and this infrastructure gives hope to our youth. Innovative work in the 21st century is impossible without a comprehensive understanding of fiber optic networks, connectivity and modern technology,” he stated.

Representing Turkmenistan at the event was Turkmen Ambassador to Afghanistan Ovezov Hoja Sapargeldievich.

The ambassador said talks between the presidents of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan had always been about bilateral cooperation and partnership. He said his country supports all efforts and initiatives for peace and stability in Afghanistan and hoped that Afghanistan would achieve peace as soon as possible.

Ghani in turn thanked the ambassador and the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow and said that with ongoing efforts to strengthen ties new avenues, including the lapus lazuli and silk road routes, were projects that will be delivered on. 

He said the countries were today able to revisit history and make up for the time lost in recent years. 

Ghani also said the TAPI pipeline project would benefit both countries and the people of Afghanistan. 

“Turkmenistan is a good neighbor not only to Afghanistan, but to all of us, and we are going back to our ancient roots,” he said.

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Afghanistan looking to get oil, gas from Russia; hoping to send dry fruits to Moscow

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(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has shown interest in buying oil and gas from Russia and continuing work on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.

Pakistan’s Business Standard reported that this comes after Russian energy giants like Gazprom have been hit by sanctions from the Western countries.

However, Jamal Nasir Garwal, the IEA’s charge d’affaires in Moscow, has reaffirmed Afghanistan’s ambition of developing the energy partnership with Russia.

“Yes, we are negotiating in the sphere of business and finance. We are determined and very much want to develop economic cooperation with Russia so that there is progress in relations.

“As for specific areas, we are interested in purchasing fuel and gas, these are the most important areas at the moment, what our country needs in the first place,” said Garwal in an interview with Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti.

The Afghan charge d’affaires said the IEA government is relying on Russia to restore the infrastructure, build buildings, roads and other necessary facilities because it had helped Afghanistan in the past.

The negotiations, he said, are currently underway through the Ministries of Trade of Russia and Afghanistan as Kabul remains “determined” to sign specific agreements soon, Business Standard reported.

“We also want our dried fruits and other agricultural products to be delivered to Russia, we are interested in developing this direction. While we have not determined the specific details, but we are negotiating for the future. At the same time, we are not talking about some kind of barter,” Garwal said.

He also said the top leadership in Kabul remains keen to continue the work on the TAPI project, which has already seen more lows than highs since the first TAPI summit held in Ashgabat in December 2010.

With a total length of nearly 1814 km — 214 km of which falls in Turkmenistan, 774 km through Afghanistan, and 826 km in the territory of Pakistan before reaching Fazilka in India’s Punjab — the mega gas pipeline project would connect Turkmenistan, one of the largest energy suppliers in the world, with the South Asian countries.

“Negotiations are underway so that our cooperation within the framework of the project continues… Most importantly, we are very pleased with the security situation: the threats that were before are gone,” said Garwal.

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Mining sector records rise in revenue since IEA takeover

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(Last Updated On: May 15, 2022)

Ministry of mines and petroleum officials say that since the August take over by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), the ministry has seen a sharp increase in revenue collected and has earned almost 10 billion Afghanis (AFN).

Officials say that in the past ten days alone, the income has been 800 million AFN.

Ministry of Mines and Petroleum officials say they have received more than 800 million Afghanis in 10 working days since Eid ul-Fitr.

According to these officials, since the IEA’s takeover in August last year, more than 10 billion AFN has been collected and that the revenue is increasing on a daily basis.

“In the last ten days, our revenue has reached nearly 800 million Afghanis and this trend is increasing day by day. We want our mines to have a positive impact on our country’s economy,” said Mufti Esmatullah Burhan, spokesman for the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum.

Economic experts say the increase in mining revenue is important for the growth of the country’s economy and say that if the Islamic Emirate provides more facilities for investment and eradicate corruption, the economic situation will improve.

“The increase in revenue of the Ministry of Mines is very good news. It is natural that investment in the mining sector has increased, and when investment increases, it is clear that revenue will also increase and jobs will be created and we hope efforts for investment increase too,” said Sayed ul-Rahman Imran, an economic analyst.

According to experts, in addition to the mining sector in Afghanistan, investments should be made in other sectors such as agriculture, livestock, and horticulture, banking and energy production in order to help develop the country.

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IEA approves national budget for solar year 1401

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(Last Updated On: May 14, 2022)

Inamullah Samangani, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, said Saturday that this year’s budget has been approved.

He said the budget, unlike in previous years, is entirely made up of domestic revenue and without any foreign financial support.

According to the ministry of finance, the budget was approved by Council of Ministers of the IEA and IEA’s Supreme Leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada.

The budget for fiscal year 1401 is 231 billion Afghanis (AFN), of which 203 billion is the regular budget and 27.9 billion AFN is the development budget.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the IEA’s spokesman, said in a tweet that 1401 budget is made up entirely of domestic revenue.

The ministry of finance meanwhile added that there is a deficit of 44 billion AFN in the budget. However, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will achieve its goals by the end of the year based on a financial plan.

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