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Afghanistan, Iran hold business conference

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL:  Aimed at discussing market expansion opportunities and widening commercial ties, Afghan and Iranian investors kicked off a three day business conference here on Monday.

Challenges and opportunities were discussed in the meeting titled “Business Development Strategy Review Meeting between Afghanistan and Iran”.

Addressing the meeting, Ahmad Taqfiq Dawari of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) said that Afghanistan should not be taken as a consumer country for lifetime. He said the country could produce several products as there is no lack of opportunities.

“Afghanistan has a great potential to produce construction material, food items and other products. So, opportunities are available but there is need for attention. Efforts shall be initiated to attract investment,” he said.

Regarding trade volume between the two neighboring countries, Dawari said that bilateral trade between Afghanistan and Iran reached to around $2 billion. The formal exports to Afghanistan stood at $1.7 billion while import at $60 million.

Expressing concerns over imbalance in the bilateral trade, he requested Iran to decrease tariffs on Afghan goods.

The deputy chief of Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) Mohammad Ibrahim Shams said that according to data over 80 countries invested in Afghanistan. Iran is one of the leading countries in direct and joint investment in Afghanistan. He said that Iran has invested in the fields of construction, food and medicines production.

AISA is ready to support investors in the country, he promised.

Head of the Khorasan Razavi Chamber of Commerce, Mr Samadi, voiced his pleaser over the joint meeting and termed it a positive step for enhancement of trade ties between the two countries. He said that 35 percent of Khorasan Razavi Province goods are exported to Afghanistan.

An Iranian business delegation comprised of 16 people is participating in the meeting.

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