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Afghan Taliban plan to turn former foreign bases into special economic zones

On Sunday, the acting deputy prime minister for economic affairs declared that the Afghan Taliban administration would move through with plans to transform existing foreign military bases into special economic zones for business.

In December,

The acting trade minister said that his department was working on a plan for the former American outposts and would offer it to the cabinet and the economic committee led by acting deputy prime minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar for approval.

former foreign bases into economic zones

In a statement, Mullah Baradar said:

“Following a thorough discussion, it was decided that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce should progressively take control of the remaining military bases of the foreign forces with the intention of converting them into special economic zones.”

He said that a pilot programme to convert properties in the northern Balkh area and the nation’s capital Kabul will begin soon.

Afghanistan’s economy has apparently been struggling since the Taliban took power in 2021 when Western forces fled after 20 years of war, and aid organisations are now warning of a major humanitarian crisis.

After taking over, the Taliban reduced development finance, froze assets owned by foreign central banks, and imposed fines on the banking sector.

Several aid agencies had to curtail their operations when the Taliban administration forbade the majority of female NGO workers from working last year.

Unfortunately, this has left millions of people still reliant on humanitarian aid.

Although the Taliban leadership has declared their aim to increase economic self-sufficiency by expanding trade and investment, foreign investors have expressed concern due to a series of attacks, including one at a hotel that Chinese businessmen frequent, which the militant Islamic State group claimed.

Despite these challenges:

The World Bank has acknowledged that exports have gone up and the Taliban administration has been successful in maintaining relatively stable revenues in 2022.

Read More: US Imposes Visa Restrictions On Taliban For Ban On Women

Pavan Manzoor
Written By

Pavan Manzoor is an experienced content writer , editor and social media handler along with a track record of youth-oriented activities in Pakistan and abroad. She was selected as a fully-funded delegate as a leadership fellow in Turkey. She also led a team of 5 volunteers at the week-long Young Professionals Fellowship in Maldives. She is also a member of the Youth Standing Committee on Higher Education.

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