Projects Undertaken

At the request of the Afghan delegates of the India-Pakistan-Afghanistan (IPA) Conference, the research team of CYRUS Institute of Knowledge prepared a concise, as well as comprehensive proposal and submitted it to the Afghan delegation on May 1, 2013. The proposal was entitled “Concept Paper on Regional Economic Development: Afghanistan’s Perspective” and consisted of several major areas of development including: Energy, Transport Infrastructure, Extractive Industries, Technical and Managerial Know-How, Trade and Transit, Potentials for Pak-Afghan Economic Cooperation, Potentials for Indo-Afghan Economic Cooperation, and Rules, Procedures and Policies. Most sections had an introduction, a background, some perspective, and areas for further studies. The proposal was well received and will serve as a guideline to the purpose.

1. Energy

Abstract: The region possesses huge energy reserves and significant potential for energy production. At the same time, there is a high demand for energy in the region outside API. This paper first provides, to the extent possible, a reliable account of existing sources and potential for energy production in Afghanistan. Second, it covers the bridging role that Afghanistan can play in the energy transfer from the energy rich Central Asian countries to energy deficient countries of Pakistan and India. Third, areas of investment for the development of energy sources in Afghanistan are addressed.

2. Transport Infrastructure

Abstract: Transport infrastructure (TI) is the backbone of regional economic development. This paper will identify the areas of cooperation in the development of regional TI among Afghanistan, India and Pakistan by addressing existing physical, legal and political impediments. These barriers have blocked the three countries from establishing functional and economically beneficial TI. The need for investment, either at regional or bilateral levels, should be explored as much as possible.

3. Extractive Industries

Abstract: Untapped underground resources in Afghanistan present an opportunity for economic cooperation among the three countries in terms of investment for extraction, processing and consumption of these resources. This paper explores areas of regional or bilateral cooperation for investment and development of this sector in Afghanistan that is beneficial for the region.

4. Technical and Managerial Know-How

Abstract: India and Pakistan have technical and managerial expertise in the area of economic development. This paper will identify the technical and managerial deficiencies in Afghanistan as well as areas of cooperation both in terms of developing the required human resources in Afghanistan and softening the visa requirements, and work permit rules and procedures.

5. Trade and Transit

Abstract: Both trade and transit are major stumbling blocks for regional cooperation and economic development. The Pak-Afghan transit and trade agreement has not been adequately implemented. This paper will address an accurate account of the barriers in this regard and present recommendations as to how these barriers can be removed or overcome.

6. Rules, Procedures, and Policies

Abstract: Inflexibilities and incompatibilities among existing rules, customs, procedures, and trade policies of the three countries is one of the main impediments to the regional / bilateral cooperation and economic development. This concept paper will identify and explore the existing problems and will recommend solutions.

7. Potentials for Pak-Afghan Economic Cooperation

Abstract: This paper will explore the methodologies and areas for promotion of expanded economic cooperation between the two countries. Besides geographic closeness, the two countries share a number of cultural, ethnic, and religious ties. While these connections alone may not be a firm basic for a close economic relationship, they are assets to build upon. On the other hand, those who favor such an economic intertwining should not assume that success will be inevitable because of historic ties and grievances..

8. Potentials for Indo-Afghan Economic Cooperation

Abstract: This paper will explore methodologies and areas for the promotion of expanded economic cooperation between Afghanistan and India. There are significant positive gains from economic cooperation between India and Afghanistan. Beside significant political interests, there are gains from trade. Afghanistan will gain by selling raw materials such as minerals and agricultural products to India. India has human resources expertise and industrial products that can be exported as final or semi-final products to Afghanistan. There are many areas where they can cooperate. However, internal security and political stability in Afghanistan and region are major challenges ahead.

 

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