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The Silk Road Through Afghanistan?


In August and September 2015 my company was contacted by the UK Government and Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to lead the technical work on the Regional Economic Cooperation Framework in Central and South Asia.  The Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) - which was established in 2004 - aims to support the New Silk Road initiative which we have been championing for over a decade, with limited success.

While RECCA does not seek to duplicate efforts under the Istanbul Heart of Asia Process, we pushed for a strong focus on new economic modalities and a far clearer track towards mobilizing private equity. This included clear models of public private partnerships and hybrid modalities for fragile states, including sovereign wealth funds.

While RECCA does not provide an authorizing environment for significant investments, it did bring together the Foreign Minister's and Ministers of International Cooperation and Development together, and the discussion and various commitments went a long way to countering the ongoing negatively as a result of insecurity.  Wahid Weiss, the DG for Economic Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs played a critical role in making RECCA VI happen at all.

With the proposed China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the so-called Garland Highway of India and Iran through Cahaba, and with both TAPI and CASA 1000 poised to move forward, soling the political critical once again remains the single obstacle to long term progress.

You can read our report here: