Afghan American Chambers Of Commerce Interested In Mines Of Panjshir, Says Taliban

Wednesday, 02/28/2024

On Tuesday, Hafiz Mohammad Agha, the Taliban’s governor in Panjshir, claimed that members of the Afghan American Chambers of Commerce expressed interest in investing in Panjshir's mining sector.

While not providing specific details, he mentioned that a collaborative meeting between this chamber and Afghan businessmen is scheduled to take place in Kabul in the coming days.

According to the report of Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA), under the control of the Taliban, the governor of the group in Panjshir announced the investment of the companies that are members of the Afghan American Chambers of Commerce during the meeting of the 14th round of emerald bidding. He did not provide further details about the meeting.

On September 6, 2023, a conference titled "Afghanistan's Commercial and Economic Relations" took place in Kabul between the Taliban and members of the Afghan American Chambers of Commerce. Jeffrey Grieco, the head of the Afghan American Chamber of Commerce, made his first visit to Kabul since the Taliban took over the control of Afghanistan. During this visit, he met Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and several private sector representatives in Kabul.

His visit and the subsequent meeting with Taliban officials faced significant criticism from women's rights activists. In a statement, female activists expressed concern, interpreting the US citizen's trip as an endorsement of Taliban policies and viewed it as lobbying for the group.

In the 14th round of Panjshir emerald bidding, the Taliban sold about 6,887 carats of emerald worth USD 217,250 to Afghan traders.

The extraction and sale of Panjshir emerald by the Taliban has increased significantly in the two and a half years of their rule. Previously, the Taliban’s Ministry of Mines and Petroleum announced in that in the last two years, it has sold more than 40,000 carats of emeralds worth more than USD 3 million in thirteen auction sessions.

The group claims that the Taliban administration has received only a 10% share of the overall sales of Panjshir emeralds. According to the Taliban administration, approximately 750 emerald mines have been officially registered in Panjshir, with 500 of them currently in operation.

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