Friday, December 22, 2006

INDO-AFGHAN TIES

Karzai is so eager to invite Indian businessmen that during his recent Delhi visit on November 17, he announced visa on arrival for them and hoped the Indian government will reciprocate the gesture. The Indian Government however, is yet to respond to the proposal. Karzai has visited India five times in as many years, only to invite investment. He recently constituted a semi-autonomous organisation – AISA, for the purpose. Seeking to allay apprehensions on the security situation in Afghanistan, Karzai said that his country was “picking up”. “My government has not done enough to portray a new Afghanistan.

We will have to find a way to do it,” he pointed out. Karzai also promised to cut red tape, “I am trying to have single-window clearance for investors”. He was quick to add that Tata Motors had principally agreed to enter the Afghan market; presently dominated by Toyota. Also, India’s Punjab National Bank has already started its operations in Afghanistan. And what could a better place for investment opportunities than a country that’s trying to rebuild itself? It’s a country with abundance of raw material but hardly any finished products to woo potential investors. Of course, recent events in Afghanistan clearly indicate that quelling violence and making the nation safe and stable for foreign investors is going to be a big challenge for Karzai and his team. Indian investors will be watching him carefully

TIME TO DIG UP FURTHER....
Indian children have grown up to the sound of Kabuliwalahs, selling dry fruits and woollens. Kabuliwalah used to be vendors from Afghan capital Kabul and were known to love children and lend money to the needy. Afghanistan produces one of the best watermelons, peaches, grapes, almonds, pistachios and pomegrenates. Indian businessmen trading in Afghan dry fruits have to transport their goods through UAE, Uzbekistan, Iran or Turkmenistan. This hikes their prices and they can’t compete with the dry fruits produced indigenously in Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal. With Indo-Afghan trade on the upswing, hopes of getting cheaper Afghan dry fruits have been revived. Besides, Indians can put up food processing plants and cold storages to preserve juicy fruits in Afghanistan. They can also install power plants, leather processing units and woollen garment factories. Kabul will then, be not very far from Delhi!

For Complete IIPM - Article, Click on IIPM-Editorial Link

Source:- IIPM-Business and Economy, 2006

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1 comment:

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