Afghanistan Review: 01 May 2012
This document provides a weekly overview of developments in Afghanistan from 24 - 30 April 2012, with hyper-links to source material highlighted in blue and underlined in the text. For more information on the topics below or other issues pertaining to events in Afghanistan, contact the members of the Afghanistan Team, or visit our website at www.cimicweb.org.
Steven A. Zyck email@example.com
Khan Jan Alokozai, the Deputy Head of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and I n- dustri es (ACCI), told Pajhwok Afghan News that Afghan traders are facing severe diffi-culties in exporting produce via Pakistan to India under the terms of the 2011 Afghani-stan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA). Under the agreement, Pakistan should per-mit Afghan traders to export goods to the Indo-Pakistani border crossing point at Wagah. However, Pakistani officials have reportedly failed to implement the agreement, and Alokozai says that 55% of India-bound Afghan produce either spoils or has to be sold cheaply in Paki-stan because officials will not allow it to proceed to India Problems with the A PTTA reported-ly cost Afghan traders AFN 5 billion (USD 104 million) over the past 12 months, according to the ACC!. Afghan busi nesspeople indicated that they were considering selling their goods, in-cluding fruits and vegetthles, to countries other than Pakistan and India given that the A PTTA has not been implemented. For background information on the APTTA, see the CFC report on "Transit Trade in Transition", November 2011.
The International Business Times reports four state-owned Indian companies and two private Indian companies are among the 25 bidders invited by the Ministry of Mines (MoM) to bid on gold and copper deposits. These 25 companies were chosen from among 41 firms from India, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Australia and Afghanistan that had submitted expressions of interest to the MoM. The country's Minister of Mines, Wahidullah Shahrani, says that the short-listed firms will be able to visit the deposits to conduct assessments in May before submitting their full proposals in July. The winning firm or firms will be announced later in 2012 so they can start technical surveys and groundwork for the mining operations before the end of the year.
In related news, Global Witness, an international NGO promoting the accountthle management of natural resources in conflict zones and elsewhere, says that Afghanistan's extractive indus-tries are currently being managed in an opaque manner, according to United Press Internation-al. Negotiations and contracting processes have not been made public, and communities in are-as where mining will take place have not been involved, says Global Witness. "Afghanistan's mineral sector will be critical in generating much needed income to fill the f undi ng-gth post-transition but only if managed properly," according to a Global Witness representative.