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Islamic world can be vehicle of global growth: Karzai

Islamic world can be vehicle of global growth: Karzai

Oct 29, 2013 - 22:28

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday urged Muslim countries to invest in Afghanistaninfo-icon and reap the benefits of fast-expanding domestic and regional markets.

Addressing the 9thWorldinfo-icon Islamic Economic Forum in London, Karzai called Muslim countries a common house of 1.6 billion people, including more than 835 million talented youth.

Given its bountiful resources and population size, the Islamic world could be a major vehicle of global growth and prosperity, he observed, sating the potential could be unlocked through economic cooperation and fair sharing of modern technology.

“Our vast and diversified reserves of mineral resources, in addition to our fertile terrain and strategic trade routes, can bring us and our future generations unprecedented wealth and prosperity,” he said in a statement from his office in Kabul.

But low literacy rates, especially among womeninfo-icon, and underinvestment in educationinfo-icon had inhibited the development of Muslim countries in almost all walks of life, the president added.

He regretted terrorism and violence in recent years had also caused insecurity and robbed Muslim nations of the opportunity to continue on a normal path of development.

While calling pro-entrepreneur policies and the free movement of goods and ideas, he stressed investment human capital. He also made a pitch for stronger state institutions that were more accountable and responsive to people’s expectations and needs. 

The president, highlighting the need to harness the power of globalisation in eliminating poverty, suggested a system of global economic and financial governance that promoted the values of fair play and equity.

After three decades of turmoil and strife, he said, Afghanistan had made considerable progress emerging as a forward-looking young democracy with functioning state institutions, backed up by a vibrant civil societyinfo-icon and a free Press.

He characterised as remarkable improvements in healthinfo-icon, education and infrastructure sectors.” In the security area, where we have serious deficiencies, our national army and police are taking more and more responsibility.”

His government was focused on the development of agricultureinfo-icon and agribusiness and exploiting natural resources worth trillions of dollars, including minerals and hydrocarbons.

“We already have several state-owned and private companies from China, India, the UK, Canada, Turkey, the UAE and other countries in addition to Afghan companies investing billions of dollars in copper, iron ore, gold, oil and gas in our country.

He said Afghanistan offered exciting investment and business development opportunities, with its government ready to do its part for fostering global security and contributing to the wellbeing of the Muslim world.

Karzai concluded: “I invite you all to come to Afghanistan, invest in our country and reap the benefits of our expanding domestic and regional market. We will provide you with the best and strongest incentives possible…”

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the launch of a new Islamic Market Index in London, saying the UK planned to be the first non-Muslim country to issue an Islamic bond.

"I don't just want London to be a great capital of Islamic finance in the Western world. I want London to stand alongside Dubai as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the World," he remarked.


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