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June 26, 2011
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation in development of Afghanistan natural resources was signed by Afghanistan and Germany at the end of last week’s visit by Wahidullah Shahrani the Minister of Mines to Germany.
According to the MOU, both sides will strive to encourage both the private and public sectors of Germany to invest in Afghanistan’s mining sector and related activities.
Germany is to strengthen its cooperation in technical and financial assistance, provide training programs for Afghan geologists, establish training centers in the fields of hydrocarbons and minerals, provide technical support for preparing strategies, strengthen the extractive sector by improving transparency in revenue transactions, introduction of accepted financial systems and encouraging sustainable use of natural resources.
Mr. Shahrani had a meeting with Michal Steiner the Special Representative of Germany to Afghanistan and Pakistan on 20 and 21 June, and discussed the natural resources of Afghanistan and discussed the comprehensive plan of MoM for sustainable development of Afghanistan, the business plan of the Ministry for next five years, the status of mining exploitation, reforms for transparency in mining management, contract mining, revenue collection, contact with civil communities and reporting to national and international media.
During the trip, Mr. Shahrani had a meeting with Gudrun Kopp State Minister for Economic Cooperation of Germany, and while talking about Afghanistan’s natural resources mentioned the readiness of the Afghan Government for development of some mines that had completed their exploration and research.
The Minister of Mines also talked on the revenue of the Government from mining and said by implementation of the programs this revenue will increase up to more than one billion dollars per year during the next five years, and according to the framework prepared by Ministry of Mines the government income will increase up to 3.5 billion dollar in next 15 years.
Mr. Shahrani described the opportunities for investing in Afghanistan to investors and owners of major industries in a meeting and encouraged them to take advantage of the current facilities provided by the Afghan Government.
The Afghan Minister of Mines participated in the Eschborn Dialogue held on June 22 to discuss the situation of mines in the world, and talked on transparency, using increasing government revenue, creation of employment, development of infrastructure, protecting the environment, and facilities for secure and sustainable development of the world’s natural resources.