Column: How will Taliban run Afghanistan’s economy | Columnists
Beijing and Moscow have plenty of security concerns about Afghanistan that will motivate them to engage closely with any Taliban-led government in Kabul, but serious investment is another matter altogether.
Chinese banks and companies are less risk-averse than their Western counterparts, but they tend to be leery of unstable economies. The experience of Venezuela, where Chinese loans are having to be renewed simply to avoid huge writedowns, is a cautionary tale for investors.
Although Beijing has talked a good game about investing in Afghanistan for some years now, very little money has materialized. The showpiece Chinese venture, a $2.8 billion copper project funded by the state-owned Metallurgical Corporation of China at Mes Aynak, near Kabul, has long since stalled.
The infrastructure requirements for extracting Afghanistan’s mineral wealth are huge: The country is severely lacking…