Largest smelting plant and first-ever pine nut processing factory inaugurated in Kabul

President Ashraf Ghani has inaugurated the largest smelting plant and the first-ever pine nut processing plant in the Afghanistan capital Kabul on 28 March 2019. Along with the Ambassador for People’s Republic of China in Afghanistan, Liu Jinsong , the Maihan Steel plant and pine nut processing factory were opened for business in Kabul Industrial Park.

At least USD 50 million was reported to be invested into the steel plant and pine nut processing factory.  “I am grateful to the investors that they trust at a time that others think that the situation is complex. Investment attracts the trust of the world and brings employment,” Ghani said.

President Ghani also vowed to transform Afghanistan from a consumer market to an industrialist exporter nation. “Our desire is to transform Afghanistan from an importer of industrial materials to an exporter. Industrialisation of Afghanistan is a desire as well as action,” he said, adding that the country has the capacity to export over USD 4 billion in agricultural products.

“Bamiyan’s potatoes have good markets in Azerbaijan. I don’t want it to be sent to Pakistan anymore and sent back to us (from there),” he said.

The Chinese Ambassador said at the event that China will be looking to import more products from Afghanistan in the future. He added that the country will also help Afghanistan in areas of industry and processing food and other products.

“In the future, China will import more Afghan featured products,” Liu Jinsong said. “We are also contributing more towards the peace, reconciliation and economic reconstruction of Afghanistan.”  

Last year, 1,350 tonnes of pine nuts were exported to China, according to figures released by Government of Afghanistan. Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, Nasir Ahmad Durrani, said, “With consideration of economic importance of pine nuts, Mr. President this year, we will plant more than 8.2 million pine nut saplings.”

TMP – 10/04/2019

Photo: TOLOnews. The inauguration ceremony of Maihan Steel Plant by President Ghani in Kabul