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Afghanistan must tackle corruption to entice investors

in Afghan Business

Afghanistan must tackle corruption to entice investors

A senior American official, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake, urged the Afghan government to open up its economies to woo foreign-direct investments from the US by ensuring good governance devoid of corruption.

As the US is pulling out its troops from Afghanistan, there are concerns about the country’s economy post-2014.

In order to ensure a healthy economy, the US is focusing on assisting Afghanistan with building a private sector -led and trade-led economy.

Robert Blake said at a gathering in Mazar-e-Sharif that efforts are being made to drive not only a security transition but also an economic and trade transition.

“We are looking at the transition in Afghanistan. We are looking at how we can support not only security and political transition, but also economic transition that is going to occur in this country.

In a bid to connect Afghanistan to central Asia, the US is focusing on building infrastructure such as railway and implementing electricity projects.

The US officials revealed plans of investing USD 300mn in a power plant and Sheberghan gas sources in the northern Jawzjan province.

Blake confirmed Washington’s interest to develop the ancient Silk Road. He said that was part of the American agenda to help stabilize Afghanistan’s economy. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had also reflected on reviving the ancient Silk Road earlier.

With regards to the economic downfall of Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO forces in 2014, Blake said that the US and the international community would stand by Afghanistan to help the country stand on its feet.

There are rising concerns about Pakistan’s easiness towards India’s active participation in Afghanistan. Blake responded to this by saying that there should be no reason for Pakistan to be concerned over its neighbor’s role.

“My main message to all Afghan is that US has strong commitment to Afghan’s future, we want a stable and prosperous future for Afghanistan,” said Blake.

There are concerns that Americans are holding back themselves from investing in Afghanistan, while Asian economy leaders, China and India, are increasing their active participation in Afghanistan.

China is presently involved in the extraction of one of the major copper mines in Logar province and has recently won the extraction contract of oil in Amu River, while India has undertaken investment in the Hajigak iron ore mining.



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