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Ghani opens cotton-processing plant in Herat City

Ghani opens cotton-processing plant in Herat City

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Aug 19, 2017 - 18:02

HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday opened a $7 million cotton-processing plant in industrial park in western Herat province.

Ghani, who arrived in the provincial capital in the afternoon to participate in an Independence Day function, also visited the industrial park.

Haider Hameed, a representative of the plant White Afghan Gold, told the opening ceremony: “We purchase 20 tonnes of cotton from growers on a daily basis.

“Our daily production, qualitatively comparable with what is produced by regional countries, is six tonnes,” Hameed said, hoping the factory would offer jobs to local growers.

Hameedullah Khadim, head of Herat mines and industrial chamber, thanked the president for helping promote industrial development in Afghanistaninfo-icon, particularly Herat.

He acknowledged Ghani’s economic initiatives had led to the establishment of 30 new factories in the Herat industrial park. The new units would play a key role in the the country’s economic development, he hoped.

Governor Mohammad Asif Rahimi urged the president to approve a special police unit for the industrial park’s security to encourage further investments.  

“Visits to Herat by cabinet ministers and diplomats from friendly countries have been helpful in implementing the provincial development plan,” the governor said.

Speaking on the occasion, Ghani greeted all Afghans on the independence anniversary. He highlighted the symbiotic link between political and economic freedoms.

“If our national hero Ghazi Amanullah Khan has won us political liberty, we will have to work for economic freedom by opening new factories in industrial parks,” he remarked.

He commended contributions from Herat’s people to the struggle for independence under the leadership of Waziryar Mohammad Khan Alkozai and Ghazi Ayub Khan.

Similarly, he said, the investors and entrepreneurs of Herat had played a significant part in the development and progress of the country.  He particularly extolled Majeed Zabuli’s vision for the economic prosperity of the country.

He argued progress had then become possible due to collaboration between the government and the private sector. The Afghans had money but lacked investments, he recalled.

During that period of time, the president explained, Afghanistan produced electricity for the first time and karakul became its major export item.

“Our primary goal is to make Herat our future development and transit hub. Herat City will link Iran, China and Central Asian states…A railroad will be inaugurated within weeks, with cement transportation in focus.”

He thanked the Herat businesspeople for investing in the province despite a number of challenges. He said it was time the government extended them solid support and honoured its pledges.

Ghani underlined the need for a curriculum change to ensure Afghanistan’s economic progress. He asked the private sector to share its suggestions with the government in this regard.

The president also proposed an exclusive industrial park for marbles. “In the first step, China will purchase from us marbles worth $5 million. We hope marbles will become our significant export.

“The train coming here from China returns empty. From now on, the train will return from Herat full of marbles,” he observed, acknowledging custom-related irritants for traders.

Unhappy with the performance of Islam Qala, Zaranj, Aqina and Hairatan ports, he said: “This injustice is acceptable neither to the people nor me.” He promised the Presidential Palace would oversee the ports till they were reformed, he promised.

About unemployment, Ghani said the people should realise the importance of the private sector role. The government alone could not offer jobs to tens of millions of individuals, he concluded.

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