Ghani touts investment opportunities in Afghanistan
KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani, during his two-day trip to Istanbul,on Thursday wooed Turkish businessmen to invest in Afghanistan and assured them of foreign investor security in his country.
Ghani addressed the Afghanistan-Turkey Joint Investment Forum and commended civilian and military assistance from the friendly country to Afghanistan in the framework of NATO.
The forum was arranged jointly by the Ministry of Economy and the Turkish Council of Economic and Foreign Affairs. The president termed relations between the two countries strong, saying Afghanistan’s geography, human and natural resources, agriculture and manpower needed Turkish investment to be exploited.
Afghanistan was an agricultural country, but the sector was not given proper attention in the past, the president lamented. But his administration was determined to invest in and develop the agriculture sector on a priority basis, he said.
He said more than 60 percent of the Afghanistan’s population was comprised of youth -- a huge manpower source that could be exported to many countries. “Our infrastructure development has multiple dimensions and we wanted to work on them simultaneously.”
He told participants Afghanistan offered vast investment opportunities, with his government willing to provide every facility and protection for foreign investors. Efforts were being made to covert Afghanistan into a regional connectivity hub that could earn a lot of revenue from transit services.
The president encouraged Turkish traders into investment in Afghanistan, saying his government was working together with World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other international organisations to address concerns about possible threats.
The Turkish minister of economy and head of the council acknowledged Afghanistan was rich in mineral wealth. He also evinced Turkey’s interest in tapping the opportunities.
Calling Ghani’s trip vital to enhanced bilateral cooperation, they said: “We want to improve relations between private companies of the two countries; we are ready for investing in Afghanistan’s energy, natural resources and other sectors.”
The officials admitted Afghanistan, blessed with great natural resources and a capable rising generation, had enormous investment capacity. Turkey was ready to help improve Afghanistan’s security, development and capacity, they assured.
In the morning, Ghani left Istanbul for Ankara to meet his Turkish counterpart Rajab Tayeb Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmed Oglu. He would sign three agreements of cooperation between the two countries.
Ministers of foreign and interior affairs of the two countries will sign accords on promoting political consultations and security cooperation.A third memorandum of understanding (MoU) would be inked on the construction of the Maulana Jalaluddin Balkhi University by Turkey in Kabul.
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