The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in association with the Indian embassy in Kabul, Task Force for Business and Stability Operations – US Department of Defense and Global Network, an international trade consulting firm, recently organized a road show in Ahmedabad showcasing investment opportunities offered by Afghanistan.
The event was organized under the aegis of the Trade Commerce and Investment Opportunities Confidence Building Measure envisaged under the Heart of Asia Process for Afghanistan, for which FICCI had been designated as the implementing agency.
The road show witnessed the participation of more than 50 Indian companies including Adani Ports, Electrotherm, Dishman Pharma, Sheth Cements, Maniyar and Company, Rasna Industry and Swiss Pharma.
In addition to providing the participating Indian companies information about business prospects in various sectors in Afghanistan, the event focused on the country’s regulatory environment. The briefing sessions covered construction materials, power generation, agri business, pharmaceuticals, marble and mining, among others. A day after the event, around 25 one-to-one structured meetings were held between interested Indian companies and the organizers during which more specific and detailed information about the investment opportunities was provided.
Some of the Indian projects in Afghanistan include construction of a 218 km. long road from Zaranj to Delaram for movement of goods and services to the Iranian border and onward to the Chabahar Port, laying of 220 KV DC transmission line from Pul-e-Khumri to Kabul, construction of the 42 MW Salma Dam power project in Herat province, construction of the Afghan Parliament building in Kabul, expansion of national television network with uplink from Kabul and downlinks in all 34 provincial capitals and reconstruction of Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health. The 84 ongoing projects relate to agriculture, health, education, vocational training and solar energy in 19 provinces.
The total Indo-Afghan trade amounts to $ 632 million with India’s exports accounting for $ 473 million and imports $ 160 million.
FICCI has been proactively working towards promoting Indo-Afghan economic relations through its various programs and initiatives. As part of the endeavor, it is organizing a three-day India Exhibition in Afghanistan beginning August 20th, 2014, in collaboration with India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the embassy in Kabul.
The TFBSO, constituted by the US Department of Defense with the objective of leveraging American international economic power as a strategic tool for promoting economic stabilization and security, is engaged in creating opportunities for Afghanistan and works with global private sector firms to aid the country in rebuilding its economy, infrastructure and government.
Global Network, based in Ahmedabad, has been working on economic development projects in Afghanistan since 2005. The firm undertook a visit to Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat in February this year and received a very positive response from the country’s government and business community for setting up joint ventures with Indian companies.