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India, Australia train Afghan bureaucrats

India, Australia train Afghan bureaucrats

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On
Jul 17, 2019 - 10:23

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): India has joined hands with Australia to train Afghan bureaucrats as it continues to help in capacity-building efforts in the war-torn country amid a peace deal by big powers with the Talibaninfo-icon, a media report said on Wednesday.

The trilateral cooperation was launched this week with training sessions for Afghan mining ministry officials in Kolkata.

“Very pleased to open the training in Kolkata for officials from Afghanistaninfo-icon’s Ministry of Mines and Petroleum - great cooperation between Australia, India and Afghanistan,” tweeted Andrew Ford, Australia’s Consul General in Kolkata.

This is India’s first such project with Australia for a third country. Earlier this year, Australia earmarked a sum for assisting projects in South Asia. A $ 25 million programme over four years, which will begin this year and focus on improving the quality of infrastructure and investment particularly in transport and energy sectors.

Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade  (DFAT) has supported a short course on mining governance for Afghan civil servants in India the first phase of which took place from 14-24 January 2019 and the second phase which is taking place this week in Kolkata and Dhanbad.

Following India’s endorsement of the trilateral training proposal, which supports a priority recommendation of Australia’s India Economic Strategy to 2035, the course was delivered by the Indian School of Mines (ISM) and a consortium of Australian academic insti itutions. The training successfully provided Afghan officials with best practice in mining governance and showcased Australian and Indian expertise.

 In the past, India and the US have assisted Afghan businesses to promote their products. Russia has expressed interest in collaborating with India for joint projects in Afghanistan. While India has no intentions to put boots on the ground in Afghanistan, its soft power and development aid, including support for cricket, has earned huge goodwill.

Mining in Afghanistan remains largely untapped in the absence of transport corridors and infrastructure and the threat of terrorism. The few ma major deals that have been signed, including the vast Mes Aynak copper project with China’s state-run China Metallurgical Group Corp., have so far remained largely inactive.

In April, Afghanistan launched tenders for natural resource projects as part of a global initiative to attract investments to its mineral sector, which has assets estimated to be worth $1 trillion. The tenders cover a wide range of commodities including oil and gas, gemstones, copper, gold and marble.

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