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ED: Investment hurdles

Attracting foreign investments is very important to push Afghanistan toward development and bolstering up the fragile economy situation.  Encouraging and facilitating investors to invest in the war-hit country has to be a top priority of the National Unity Government, aimed at elevating economy. The government should take all steps to improve cooperation among relevant government agencies, businessmen, investors and industrialists. However, major barrier ahead of local and foreign investors to kick out investment is insecurity and corruption. Improved security is the prime factor needed for boosting investment and promoting and economic growth led by government and private sectors. Development of a vibrant private sector is crucial to the reconstruction of an economy ravaged by decades of conflict and mismanagement, but at the same time creating a peaceful environment for investors to do business without any fear is imperative. It is true that the incumbent and previous governments had maintained great steps toward fostering a business-friendly environment for both domestic and foreign investments, but security threat limited investor’s opportunities to development business in the capital and in some provinces. Domestic and foreign inventors also rank endemic corruption high on the list of impediments. If security is not maintained and the need of foreign and domestic investors is not met, it would be hard for the government to encourage investors to float money into the economy. As a whole, threat to traders at large. Last year, Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) informed that 35 businessmen were kidnapped in five provinces. Despite, widespread corruption and insecurity which is a big hurdle to the private sector’s development, trader are also concerns of their own safety. Not only traders, but their children were also kidnapped, later released after ransom. It is like light of the day that government could not achieve economic prosperity sans participation of the private sectors. To emerge as an independent economy, the government has to make easy laws governing trade. Despite these miseries, the glad tiding is that a renewed businessman from the royal family of Saudi Arabia has evinced a keen interest in investing in the country. During a meeting with President Asrhaf Ghani, Walid bin Talal, a business tycoon from the Saudi ruling family, discussed investment opportunities in infrastructure projects in Afghanistan. Bin Talal conferred on investment opportunities with finance minister, and assured would implement his investment pledges. Economic development is a vital tool to get the country out of uncertainty, and it’s possible when government provides security for traders and development projects. Economically dependent on the foreign presence, the country needs to work hard to succeed on its own, and at somehow the willingness of Saudi business tycoon to invest would help us in this regard. We have to make use of this opportunity completely.

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