Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban signed their first international agreement with a Chinese petroleum company Thursday to extract and develop oil reserves in the country’s north.
Senior Taliban officials and China’s ambassador to Kabul, Wang Yu, witnessed the televised signing ceremony in the Afghan capital, marking the first major foreign investment deal in Afghanistan since the Islamist group seized power in August 2021.
Taliban mining minister Shahabuddin Dilawar told the event the contract with the Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum and Gas Co (CAPEIC) would bring $150 million a year in Chinese investment for the extraction of oil in the Amu river basin.
The deal covers an area of 4,500 square kilometers collectively in northern Saripol, Jowzjan and Faryab provinces, creating job opportunities for around 3,000 Afghans, he said.
Dilawar stated that the Chinese investment is expected to increase to $540 million in three years for the 25-year contract. He added the Taliban administration will have a 20% partnership in the project, with a provision to increase it to 75%.