New Delhi: The Delhi Investment Summit of Afghanistan is a testimony to the commitment of India and the global community in supporting the economic transformation of Afghanistan.
Stating this in his special address at the Delhi Investment Summit on Afghanistan, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi, Mr Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce, Industry & Textiles, Government of India, said that India will extend every support to Afghanistan in creating productive projects and assets for the long-term development of the country.
Mr Sharma said that India does not view Afghanistan from a narrow prism of regional proximity, strategic location, rich natural and mineral reserves or trade and investments alone. Rather, India takes an integrated approach toward Afghanistan looking at all these critical factors that aid the reconstruction of the country and the rehabilitation of its people who have been affected by the political events in the past. Mr Sharma added that the economic development should lead to effective distribution of wealth for the well-being of the people of Afghanistan, which he described as the "only way forward".
He urged CII to identify the key sectors for business engagements and plan a delegation visit to Afghanistan. He said that India will do whatever it takes for Afghanistan "as a friend and brother". Dr Anwar-ul-Haq Ahady, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, said in his address that the Government of Afghanistan will consider all recommendations made by the global business community in creating a favourable investment climate for private investments.
He underlined the importance of providing adequate protection to private investments and said that due initiatives are being taken to ensure this. Dr Ahady said that over the years, the Afghanistan economy has seen an imbalance with services sector far outweighing the other sectors. He therefore called for the creation of productive assets, which will come through industrialisation. He said that Afghanistan now has specific projects for investments, which got discussed at the Summit.
Earlier, Mr Hari S Bhartia, Past President, CII presented the key recommendations made at the Summit, which will feed into the Tokyo Conference that will take place on July 8. Among the recommendations, he referred to the need for Government of India to put in place a mechanism to strengthen the risk mitigation and investment protection for Indian investments in Afghanistan. A 'focus market' approach to Afghanistan' was also mooted, wherein Indian investments in Afghanistan would attract special incentives. Among other key recommendations, it was suggested that India should enter into a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement with Afghanistan, offering advisory services to Afghanistan on regulatory best practices, particularly in sectors like banking, financial services and telecom, and promotion of Indian rupee-based trade with Afghanistan.
Mr Haseen Fahim, President, Afghan Chamber of Commerce & Industries (ACCI) proposed the vote of thanks. Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, set the session in motion with his opening remarks. He said that investors need to look beyond the exploitation of natural and mineral resources in Afghanistan and contribute to the development of agriculture and manufacturing sectors.