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