Govt looking at project cooperation opportunities in Afghanistan's reconstruction

Govt looking at project cooperation opportunities in Afghanistan's reconstruction
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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 21): The Government is looking at cooperation opportunities with some countries including in infrastructure development and capacity building in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar told the Dewan Negara that Malaysia would be offering its experience and expertise in the economic digital sector, halal industry, education, airport development and management, city planning and development, and services (Islamic banking and takaful/insurance).

“Malaysia will give appropriate consideration to being involved in Afghanistan’s reconstruction when the situation permits. Such efforts can be implemented directly in that country or through cooperation with parties in that country or with third countries.

“For example, a Malaysian company is having discussions on managing the Hamid Kazai International Airport in Kabul,” he said when winding up the debate for his Ministry on the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) at the Dewan Negara sitting today.

On capacity building, Kamarudin said the assistance would continue even after the situation in Afghanistan is safe and stable.

He said Malaysia had been providing aid and support to Afghanistan’s reconstruction through the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP), Malaysia Defence Cooperation Programme (MDCP) and Third Country Training Programme (TCTP).

He noted that since 2002, 616 officers from Afghanistan had been trained under the MTCP in banking, public administration, diplomacy, engineering, customs excise administration and judicial fields.

“Through the TCTP programme under the MTCP, Malaysia has been implementing the Malaysia-Australia Education Project for Afghanistan (MAEPA) since 2008 in collaboration with the Australian Agency for  International Development (AusAID) and Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education.

“The MAEPA programme has managed to raise the quality of education and access to it for female children through a series of skills development workshop for Afghanistan’s trainee teachers,” he added.

On the proposed development of a transportation infrastructure connecting Malaysia and Indonesia, Kamarudin said that such a project would require an analysis of its cost effectiveness and a comprehensive study on various aspects before it could be implemented.

“Such a project will also have its own challenges from the safety, socio-economic and environmental aspects,” he added.