Agreement signed to boost Afghanistan-Kazakhstan cooperation in communication sector

Photo: Kazakh Prime Minister’s press office.

An agreement was signed between Kazakhstan’s national telecommunication provider Kazakhtelecom and the Taliban-run Afghan Telecom to strengthen cooperation in the sector between the two countries.

According to Kazakh media reports, the agreement, which was debated in Kabul in April, marks a milestone in their bilateral relations. The agreement was welcomed, during the Kazakhstan-Afghanistan Business Forum in Astana, by Serik Zhumangarin, Deputy Prime Minister and Trade and Integration Minister of Kazakhstan on Thursday.

The forum that kicked off on Thursday will continue until August 5.

Kazakh officials have said that the partnership agreement holds immense potential for both nations, as it aims to consolidate technological capacities and facilitate cooperation to a new level. One of the key aspects of this collaboration involves using Afghanistan as a transit route to connect Kazakhstan with other countries, including Pakistan and beyond, and further enhancing regional connectivity, said officials as quoted by Kazakh media.

Kazakhstan also expressed its keen interest in preserving and strengthening trade and economic ties, as well as transport, logistics, and energy links with Afghanistan. Over the past six months, the two nations have achieved a joint trade value of $343.6 million, local media reported.

The Kazakh deputy prime minister said that in addition to bolstering economic ties, Kazakhstan has also been supporting Afghanistan in the education and humanitarian sectors.

He said that more than 450 students from Afghanistan are pursuing degrees at various Kazak universities. He added that Kazakhstan is committed to supporting Afghanistan students further by offering 30 educational grants.

The Kazakh deputy prime minister said that over the past two years, Kazakhstan has provided significant humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, including 10,000 tons of flour, other food staples, and pharmaceuticals.

The country remains dedicated to continuing its humanitarian efforts and maintaining the established trade and economic, transport, logistics, and energy relations with Afghanistan, he stated.

According to reports, a Taliban delegation is in Kazakhstan to attend the forum with Kazakh officials.