Expo in Kabul seeks to promote Afghanistan’s mining industry

A three-day “mining and metals international expo” was opened in Kabul on Tuesday with the hope to bring in foreign investment in the sector and promote the mining industry in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s mineral resources are estimated more than $9 trillion in value but they are not developed.

At least 50 booths have been installed at the exhibition, including 20 for women where they have displayed handicrafts and products of other businesses run by women.

Local companies and some foreign firms have been investing millions in the industry but they have fallen short to use modern machinery for mining.

“After agriculture, the mining sector plays a major role in the country’s economy,” said Khanjan Alkozi, the deputy head of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment.

“In this exhibition, investors from Iran, Kazakhstan and China have participated and we invite investors from other countries to also attend the exhibition,” he told a ceremony on Wednesday.

Such exhibitions were often held under the previous government, but it is the first time it is held under Taliban rule over the past year.

The deputy head of the chamber of mines and industries, Rahimullah Samandar, said the idea is to attract national and foreign investments in Afghanistan’s mining sector.

He said that at least 75% of the country’s needs for metals are provided by local companies.

Taliban said called the exhibition a good opportunity for investment in Afghanistan’s mining sector.

“By easing the laws and regulations, we are trying to provide more opportunities for investment in Afghanistan,” said Sebghatullah Akhundzada, head of the Taliban for development programs in the ministry of industry and commerce.

Recently, eight major mining projects were put on bidding for which 250 national and international companies have sent their proposals, according to figures from the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum.

Figures by the mines and petroleum ministry indicate that 158 small mineral resources have been identified in the country, some of which are under extraction.

The statistics also show that 16 mining projects have been contracted with various companies, providing hundreds of jobs in the country.