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Sino-Afghan economic commission meets: Three accords inked

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AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The Afghanistan-China Economic and Trade Commission’s third meeting held in Beijing, in which both officials discussed greater cooperation between the two countries, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday.

Monday’s meeting was co-chaired by Minister of Finance, Eklil Hakimi, and Gao Yan, China’s vice-minister of commerce, the ministry said in a statement.

Agreements were signed on new facilities of Char Chenar Palace, equipment for the Jamhuriat Hospital and China Aid Office supplies for the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, the statement added.

Strengthening economic and transit cooperation, Afghanistan’s membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and its position in the Silk Road Economic Belt came under discussion.

Encouraging investment by Chinese entrepreneurs and companies in Afghanistan’s infrastructure and development projects, creation of an air and boosting Afghan exports were also discussed.

The two sides deliberated on reducing customs tariffs on Afghan exports to China and the exchange of customs information and railway line among five Afghanistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China.

China’s cooperation in renewable energy sectors, transport and water resource management, visa problems of Afghan traders, Kabul’s participation in next year’s Chinese export exhibition also figured at the meeting.

Regional cooperation, gas transport from Turkmenistan to China through Afghanistan, fiber optic connection through Wakhan corridor, a railroad institute and affordable housing schemes were also on the agenda.

Aynak Copper and Amu Darya projects, marble, pine nuts and pomegranate exports to China were also considered.