Invest in Afghan: Krishna to private companies
By Devirupa Mitra|ENS - NEW DELHI
29th June 2012 10:04 AM
India made the hard sell to persuade the private sector to invest in conflict-torn Afghanistan, even as security concerns top the minds of potential investors. “Let the grey suits of company executives take the place of olive green or desert brown fatigues of soldiers; and CEOs, the place of generals,” External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said at the inaugural ceremony of the one-day Delhi Investment Summit on Afghanistan on Thursday. He felt that presence of foreign investment and domestic private sector could plug any political or security vacuum, which could develop after the military draw-down by 2014.
Krishna said holding a major investment meet on Afghanistan when NATO forces draw down by 2014 may appear “counter-intuitive” at first sight. “Afghanistan may not be the easiest destination to sell to an investor. But India has ventured to do so,” he said.
Krishna also said that despite over 11 years of heightened international attention and foreign assistance, Afghanistan continues to remain a special case for development and technical assistance in years to come.
He made a special appeal to private companies based in the region to invest “for mutual benefit to create a virtuous cycle of healthy economic competition in Afghanistan”. Afghanistan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul admitted that security concerns were deterring major foreign investors.
“While it’s true that there are certain areas in Afghanistan where security situation is no ideal, we should remember that these areas represent a small part of the country,” said Rassoul.
The conference drew 500 participants from India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Iran, the UAE and other countries.
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