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Kandahar-Spin Boldak highway project nearing completion 

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(Last Updated On: January 19, 2021)
The new and improved Kandahar to Spin Boldak Road project is nearing completion and will be a welcome development for motorists using this popular route to the border crossing with Pakistan.
 
According to the ministry of public works, construction to widen the road, making it a double lane highway, cost one billion Afghanis and covers a distance of 40km. 
 
This has been a key development project for government and it will connect the southwestern provinces with the border post in Chaman area. 
 
This route plays an important role in the trade and transit sector and also connects remote areas to the key artery. 
 
The project was broken down into two phases – the first of which extends 39.6km and has already been opened. 
 
This latest development coincides with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s announcement on Monday that he had directed authorities to set up border markets along the country’s borders with Afghanistan and Iran to boost employment opportunities and help curb smuggling.
 
The decision to establish border markets was taken in September last year with the objective to provide jobs and promote peace.
 
“The establishment of these markets is critical for the prosperity of the population living in border areas of Balochistan and merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” Khan said.

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Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to sign marble export agreement

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(Last Updated On: June 6, 2021)

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Haneef Atmar and Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov, have discussed Afghanistan exporting marble to Turkmenistan.

In a statement issued by the Afghan foreign ministry, MoFA said the Afghan delegation provided comprehensive information to their Turkmen counterparts on the various natural resources and rare stones available in Afghanistan.

The Afghan delegation said the export of the resources would be significant in strengthening and expanding trade between Kabul and Ashgabat.

Highlighting development taking place and the construction around building new cities in Turkmenistan, the Turkmen delegation discussed their requirement for marble and expressed Turkmenistan’s full readiness to procure marble from Afghanistan.

The two sides agreed to sign an agreement on Afghanistan’s marble export to Turkmenistan.

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Parliament ratifies Iran, Afghanistan rail cooperation agreement

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(Last Updated On: May 31, 2021)

Iran’s Parliament on Monday passed Iran-Afghanistan Rail Cooperation Agreement that allows rail connection between the neighboring countries.

Iran and Afghanistan agreed to make direct connection through railroad to transfer passengers and goods.

According to the agreement, the two sides have agreed to provide rail vehicles and services and implement sanitary supervision in accordance with international rules, while domestic rules are valid where an issue occurs outside of international conventions.

The agreement also states that the two sides must treat passengers and goods from the other side the way they treat their own. This applies to free access to destination points, providing space for cargos in terminals, unloading and uploading of cargos, onboarding and offboarding passengers, and using international railroad services.

Islamic Republic of Iran Railways and Afghanistan Railway Authority have been chosen in the agreement as qualified authorities to supervise implementing the agreement and to solve disagreements.

Iran and Afghanistan linked their railway through Iran’s Khaf and Afghanistan’s Herat.

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Chinese consortium meets with Ghani over $400 million power project

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(Last Updated On: May 30, 2021)

A group of Chinese investors met with President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday to discuss the possibility of establishing a coal-fired power plant in the country.

The Presidential Palace (ARG) said in a statement the group plans to invest $400 million in the energy-generating project.

The plan is for the coal power plant to generate 300 megawatts of electricity.

“In the meeting, President Ghani articulated potentials of natural resources as well as investment opportunities in the energy sector in Afghanistan,” the statement read.

The statement noted that Ghani has instructed the Afghanistan Investment Facilitation Unit to assess the plan “in coordination with Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat to facilitate investment opportunities for the group and to share the outcome with the Office of the President.”

Energy in Afghanistan is provided by hydropower followed by fossil fuel and solar power.

According to Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), approximately 35% of Afghanistan’s population has access to electricity.

Currently, Afghanistan generates about 600 megawatts (MW) of electricity from several hydroelectric plants as well as using fossil fuel and solar panels.

However, more than 670 MW more is imported from neighboring Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

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