The Taliban government in Afghanistan has announced plans to convert former foreign military bases into economic zones for businesses.
The announcement comes amid a deepening economic and humanitarian crisis in the country, with much of its natural resources remaining untapped due to decades of conflict. The move is aimed at boosting the Taliban’s coffers, while also demonstrating its commitment to economic planning. Afghanistan is estimated to be sitting on natural resources – including natural gas, copper, and rare earth – worth more than $1tn, but its finances have been hit by a number of issues, including sanctions and the suspension of most foreign aid. The Taliban also plans to sign a 25-year oil drilling deal with a Chinese firm, which highlights China’s economic interests in the country.