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Afghanistan invites Indian investment

business Updated: Jun 28, 2012 18:47 IST
PTI
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Contending that most parts of Afghanistan is stable and secure, the country's Commerce and Industry Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Ahady today invited Indian companies to invest in sectors like mining, infrastructure and agriculture.

"India has been a major partner in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. India has been a major donor, a key advisor and an important investor. I invite you to come to Afghanistan and invest there," he said.

Ahady was addressing the Delhi Investment Summit on Afghanistan jointly organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with Government of India and Afghanistan government.

He said foreign investments can be made in various sectors and these companies can produce goods that could be sold in the domestic market and abroad.

It would also give employment to locals while the companies can make a healthy profit, he said.

The objective of the summit is to attract foreign investments from India to Afghanistan.

Ahady said the level of security is well above that is needed for economic development.

India, which has played a major role in reconstruction of the war-torn country, has invested about USD 25 million in different areas in the region in the last 10 years.

The minister said Afghanistan has created a business-friendly legal regime, and is also building a modern infrastructure.

"Our income tax law emphasises simplicity and our tax rates are the lowest in the region. Our investment law is also very investor-friendly".

The country has expertise in areas like cement, handmade carpets, marbles and fruit processing, he said.

On bilateral trade, he said, the potential areas for exports from Afghanistan to India are agricultural products and carpets, while imports from India include industrial goods.

In 2010-11, the bilateral trade between the two countries stood at a mere $500 million.

To a query, Afghanistan Finance Minister Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal said his country upholds world's best practices.

"We uphold to world's best practices... you should ask the participants of the Indian consortium that won contracts, what their experience in Afghanistan was. They will tell we were probably fairest, corruption free and all that" he told reporters.