In­dia's pri­vate sec­tor is a key part­ner for Afghanistan: Pres­i­dent Ghani

FICCI Business Digest - - Special Features -

On the oc­ca­sion of the first state visit of the Pres­i­dent of the Is­lamic Re­pub­lic of Afghanistan, Dr. Mo­ham­mad Ashraf Ghani, to In­dia, FICCI or­gan­ised a joint Busi­ness Meet­ing with him on April 29, 2015 in New Delhi.

En­cour­ag­ing the In­dian industry to in­vest in Afghanistan, Pres­i­dent Ghani high­lighted that im­mense po­ten­tial ex­ists in Afghanistan, par­tic­u­larly in ar­eas re­lated to in­fras­truc­ture like rail­ways, apart from fi­bre op­tics, power gen­er­a­tion, min­ing and skill de­vel­op­ment. "We see the In­dian pri­vate sec­tor as a key part­ner in chan­nelis­ing flow of funds, ideas and peo­ple to Afghanistan," he urged In­dian com­pa­nies to use Afghanistan as a launch­ing pad to Cen­tral Asian economies. He said that joint ven­tures would en­able In­dian com­pa­nies to avail them­selves of the tar­iff ad­van­tages en­joyed by their Afghan coun­ter­parts.

Dr. Ghani's as­cen­dency takes place at a crit­i­cal time when Afghanistan finds it­self on the cusp of sig­nif­i­cant changes with huge im­pli­ca­tions for the geostrate­gic and eco­nomic land­scape of the re­gion. Notwith­stand­ing the at­ten­tion given to Pak­istan, or even to China and their in­vest­ments in Afghanistan, the role and im­por­tance of In­dia in Afghanistan can't be un­der­es­ti­mated. In­dia is recog­nised as "Afghanistan's first strate­gic part­ner" and it has proved to be a re­li­able and ca­pa­ble one through aid and de­vel­op­ment ef­forts which have greatly ben­e­fit­ted its South Asian neigh­bour. With more than USD 2 bil­lion pledged since 2001, In­dia is to­day by far one of the largest re­gional donors in Afghanistan. And, of course, the sym­bolic last­ing ed­i­fices that speak of our great friend­ship and as­so­ci­a­tion are big in projects like Salma Dam and the Afghan Par­lia­ment.

In­dia is also the lead coun­try for the Trade, Com­merce and In­vest­ment Con­fi­dence Build­ing Mea­sure (CBM) un­der the "Heart of Asia" Process for Re­build­ing Afghanistan. FICCI serves as the nodal agency for this ini­tia­tive.

Dr. Mo­ham­mad Ashraf Ghani, Pres­i­dent of the Is­lamic Re­pub­lic of Afghanistan with Dr. Jy­ot­sna Suri, Pres­i­dent, FICCI.

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