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    Negative media reports lead to investment cut

    KABUL (PAN): Instability and negative reports about Afghanistan by international media have led to a cut in foreign investment from $37 million (1.7 trillion afghanis) to $23 million in the first six months of 2011, officials said Saturday.

    Total investment in the first six months of the current year was $258 million, including $23 million foreign investment, compared to $266 during the corresponding period of 2010, the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) official said.

    Abdullah Ahmadzai told Pajhwok Afghan News although insecurity had a role in the falling levels of foreign investment, the main cause was negative reporting on the situation by international media outlets.

    Previously, foreigners invested in agriculture, public services, reconstruction and industries, but this year they have evinced an interest in public services alone. Investment in other sectors had declined, he said.

    Foreign investment in public services increased to $83 million in the first half of 2011 from $72 million, he said, adding in agriculture sector investment fell from $7 million in 2010 to $2 million this year.

    In the industrial sector, the investment reduced from $80 million to $50 million. Only id="mce_marker"22 million was put in reconstruction, compared to id="mce_marker"37 million during the period last year, he added.

    Last year's total investment in Afghanistan was $500 million. From 2003 to date, $5.6 billion investment has come from13,000 domestic and 6,000 international companies.