Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 17 / Trend E. Ostapenko /
The representatives of the Caspian, Central Asian countries and UN specialists will discuss the possibility of expanding investments, trade and transport development in the region in Geneva in late October. According to the UN, the sides will meet at the SPECA Economic Forum on October 18-19. They will also discuss the development of Afghanistan.
Besides the issues of attracting investments, the SPECA countries - Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan plan to discuss water management, border crossing, to determine opportunities of realizing trans-boundary projects enabling to achieve stability in Afghanistan.
"The delegates will discuss ways to implement trans-boundary projects that promote stability in the region. Special attention will be paid to the joint management of general natural resources," the UN pres-center said.
SPECA, established in 1998, is the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia.
The Western investors' interest in Afghanistan has recently increased after the U.S experts said that the undeveloped resources of this country exceed $1 trillion.
The Western media reported in June that Afghanistan has significant reserves of lithium, cobalt and iron. The information about the quality of raw materials and the amount of stocks has not been provided.
The export of metals from Afghanistan to the Western markets will require the appropriate infrastructure and transit routes. They may stretch through Central Asia, Caspian Sea and Caucasus.
The return term of investments to mine valuable metals of Afghanistan, as well as to create transportation routes, is short enough due to a high cost of the raw materials on world markets. As of October 14, the cost of a ton of cobalt (with a minimum cobalt content of 99.3 percent) on the London Metal Exchange (LME) is about $38,000.
The world price for lithium in different compounds used in optics, electronics, pyrotechnics and nuclear power now exceeds $60,000 per ton.