Russian investors seek investment in Afghanistan

Russian investors have expressed interest in investing in Afghanistan’s agriculture sector, particularly in areas surrounding the Qoshtepa canal.

The development follows a statement by the Taliban’s Minister of Industry and Commerce during his meeting with the President of the Federative Mordovia. The minister called for Russian involvement in Afghanistan’s agriculture and wood industry along the Qoshtepa canal.

The construction of the Qoshtepa canal began during the republican period. Russian investors are now looking to invest in projects along the canal. Rustam Habibullin, head of the Russian Business Center, said Russia aims to create jobs in Afghanistan and invest in local agriculture and manufacturing projects.

Several Russian companies have rented land plots near the canal for agricultural purposes, according to the AKI Press.

Economists believe the canal could significantly improve Afghanistan’s economy if utilized for the country’s benefit. “Northern Afghanistan holds particular geopolitical and geo-economic importance for the Russians. Additionally, Russia, facing global economic isolation, sees investing in agriculture on over 70,000 hectares of land around the canal as a way to enhance food security in the region and the Middle East,” said economist Sayed Haroon Amini.

The Qoshtepa canal is 285 kilometers long, 100 meters wide, and 8.5 meters deep. It originates from the Amu Darya River in Kaldar district, Balkh province, with a capacity of 650 cubic meters per second. The first section of the canal’s first phase was completed on May 9, 2023.

Russia is fostering good relations with the Taliban and is leveraging this for its benefits.