Protecting foreign investments key objective: Afghanistan CEO

Calling for deepening trade and investment relations in the South Asian region, Afghanistan's chief executive officer Abdullah Abdullah Wednesday said providing a secured environment and protecting foreign investments are the key objectives of his government.

He also said that Afghanistan wants to recapture its domestic market, increase productivity resulting in volume of exports.

"Unfortunately for reasons beyond our control, South Asia remains one of the less integrated regions as intra-regional trade hovers around six per cent.. this calls for deepening trade and investment in the region," said Abdullah.

He was addressing the second India-Afghanistan International Trade and Investment show here. The four-day event, which kick started Wednesday, is aimed at bolstering trade besides showcasing business and investment opportunities in Afghanistan.

Stating that the show will open up opportunities for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) and women entrepreneurs, he said certain range of reforms is being undertaken in the banking sector and access to finance and facilities and initiatives that can boost facilitate SME activities.

"With the help from partners, especially the World Bank, the country is implementing a set of reforms," he said adding providing more secured environments and protecting foreign investments are the key objectives.

Under the national export strategy, Abdullah said the country is strengthening the value chains and expanding the bilateral trade of transport corridors.

Referring to the India-Afghanistan air corridor, he said, "This will certainly benefit the exports market."

The bilateral trade between India and Afghanistan currently stands at USD 900 million. With opening of air corridor, the country is targeting to take it to USD 2 billion by 2020, according to him.

The two nations have opened up two direct air cargo routes - New Delhi-Kabul and Mumbai-Kabul. Since there launch, more than 100 Flights have been conducted between the two countries and transported 2,500 tonnes of goods.

According to Abdullah, new laws in mining are on top of the government's agenda.

As a strategic priority, Afghanistan is focusing on enhancing regional connectivity, transport, infrastructure building and drawing investments in various priority sectors, he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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