17 Indian Companies to Invest in Afghanistan
Afghan officials say that 17 Indian companies have agreed to invest in several sectors of the Afghan economy, Afghan media has reported.
It is likely that the Indian companies will be investing in sectors like mining, Information Technology (IT), agriculture and livestock industries and logistics as these are the fastest growing sectors in Afghanistan.
Experts think that with these new investments, the Indo-Afghan trade will cross the $1 billion mark within the next two years, Tolo Television reported.
Indian Embassy officials at the "2nd Conference of Indian Investors" held in Kabul expressed their enthusiasm over the extension of commercial ties between the two countries. The officials told the media that a group of Afghan investors will soon be invited to India to chalk out a more detailed plan for their investments.
Officials at the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (ASIA) say that the amount of foreign investments in the Afghan economy will increase significantly with the investments coming from the 17 Indian companies.
Speaking about the lead up to the announcement, Wafiullah Iftikhar, the head of the AISA, said, "Officials of several Indian companies visited some provinces in the country and assessed the investment opportunities. After the assessments they agreed to invest in the country."
Meanwhile, Afghan Commerce Minister, Anwar ul-Haq Ahadi, who was also present at the conference, said, "The Indian companies are interested in investing in trade and commerce. This will definitely yield positive results and give a boost to the down-turning Afghan economy."
Amar Sinha, the Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan, in a short interview with TOLOnews, stressed the importance of Indian investments for Afghanistan and the benefits of such investments for the Afghan economy.
"Several officials from small and big companies have showed their interest in investing in Afghanistan. I feel, such investments are extremely important for the Afghan economy," said Mr. Sinha.
The announcement of the 17 Indian companies plans to invest in sectors of the Afghan economy comes less than week after a Kazak-Afghan business conference in which eight Kazak companies signed contracts with Afghan partners.
Additionally, last week Mr. Ahadi made remarks regarding potential for the Afghan economy to suffer with the withdraw of foreign troops at the end of 2014. News of large-scale investments from India provide a promising sign that sustainable economic growth may be possible in Afghanistan despite the transition away from foreign forces-based employment and commercial activity.