17 November 2019

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Kabul (BNA) U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan John R. Bass joined representatives of the Indian and Afghan governments and private sector in launching the third annual Passage to Prosperity:  India-Afghanistan International Trade and Investment Show, September 24-26, 2019.  The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsors the annual exhibition of premier Afghan products to stimulate India--Afghanistan trade and facilitate economic development in Afghanistan.  The three-day event is open to businesspeople September 24-26 and the general public September 25-26.
The exhibition features fine carpets, exquisite embroidery, gems and jewelry, fruits, spices, pharmaceuticals, and more, showcasing the best that Afghanistan has to offer the export market.  More than 100 Afghan businesses and more than 10,000 Indian private sector representatives have registered to attend.
At the opening ceremony at the J.W. Marriott Hotel Aerocity, Ambassador Bass noted that the trade show builds on the success of prior events.
“This year’s event is devoted entirely to developing closer relationships between the private sectors of Afghanistan and India,” Bass said.  “The U.S. government is committed to supporting Passage to Prosperity because it not only benefits regional economic development, but also promotes private sector development and exports.  These factors are key to realizing a larger goal a stable, prosperous, and self-reliant Afghanistan,” he added.  Other dignitaries at the ribbon-cutting included Edgard Kagan, Charge d’ Affaires, Embassy of Afghanistan, India , and T.S. Tirumurti, Secretary, Economic Relations, Indian Ministry of External Relations.
The 2018 Passage to Prosperity event, held in Mumbai, yielded more than USD $71 million in signed contracts between Indian buyers and Afghan vendors.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Kabul (BNA) On 20 September 2019, 15 Tajik and ten Afghan border officials successfully completed a four-week training course on field of operational capacities in Dushanbe. 
It was conducted in the framework of the project Patrol Field Capacity Building of the Tajik Border Troops through Promotion of Regional Co-operation, a statement from Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe said yesterday.
The training covered topics on map reading, mountaineering, and provision of first aid in the field.  The participants also enhanced their knowledge on planning and conducting border patrolling with the use of topographical maps, satellite imagery, developing patrol planning and management techniques and mountaineering.
The course also featured session on gender mainstreaming and human rights provided by human dimension experts from the OSCE Program Office in Dushanbe, as well as demining awareness lessons delivered by experts from the Office’s Demining Unit.
Colonel Shalrifov Zafar, Head of the International Department of the Tajik Border Troops, stressed that: “The OSCE training course on sustained Field operational capacities with the aim of enhancing the capacities of Tajik and Afghan border staff in detection and interdiction of illegal cross border movements provides an opportunity for officers of both countries to find mutual understanding in the protection of state borders.”
Colonel Muhammad Mustafo Nuristani, Military Attaché from Afghan Embassy in Dushanbe, said: “Afghan security and defense forces are on the front line against international terrorism.  I believe that safe borders can play an important role in preventing or reducing the threats which are caused by terrorism.”  This is the seventh training course since the project started in 2018.  The previous six training courses were conducted in regional border troops training centers in Khatlon, Suged and GBAO regions.  The overall number of trained border officials is 174: 164 Tajik and ten Afghan border officers.

Monday September 23, 2019
Kabul (BNA) The National Procurement Commission (NPC) has approved 54 contracts worth up to 11 billion Afghanis, a statement from presidential placed reported BNA yesterday.
The statement said that the NPC meeting chaired by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, approved a total of 54 of the 58 suggested contracts costing up to 11 billion Afghanis. The approved contracts including the Afghanistan Breshna Shirkat’s presentation on the purchase and procure of diesel oil for the thermos power plants and the generators and needed in other fields. The presentation of the Ministry of National Defense (MoND) has also been discussed and approved at the meeting. The suggestion of the MoND was about the procurement of the coal, fuel and firewood of the ministry, which was spoken on at the meeting, the statement added. Other contracts have also been discussed at the meeting with the participants speaking about, the statement further added. But the commission assessed the suggestion of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and the Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) and returned them for further discussions and presenting in the next meeting of the commission, the statement concluded.

Monday, September 23, 2019
Kabul (BNA) Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) has signed a deal with Uzbekistan to import electricity from the Central Asian Country for another 10 years.
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of CAREC Energy Ministers’ Dialogue in Tashkent, capital city of Uzbekistan.
Based on the agreement, Uzbekistan is required to export 4.2 billion kilowatt hours initially and up to 6 billion in the next phase.
Wahidullah Tawhidi a spokesman for the utility Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat, said that the contracted electricity will transmit through 500kv line, which is under construction.
He said that the price of the electricity will be determined in separate contracts.
Separately, DABS said that it signed an agreement with Turkmenistan on synchronization of electricity grids.
The agreement will see Afghanistan save $600 million and private sector will be free to transmit and sell power.
Afghanistan has the potential to produce up to 23,000 MW from its hydro, solar, wind, gas and thermal resources, but the country is too reliant on imports.
Many big projects that could light up all of Afghanistan still remain on the drawing board, have faced cost over runs or have been delayed due to security concerns.

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