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Ghani seeks foreign investments in Geneva Conference

AT-KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani on the first day of Geneva Conference spoke about investment opportunities in Afghanistan particularly on sectors of energy, construction and infrastructure.

The two-day conference on Afghanistan began Tuesday in Switzerland, and the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said that sub-meetings focused on different Afghan subjects, including investment.

President Ghani informed the participants about investment on private sector, challenges and international community’s assistance in this sector.

He cited several air corridors between Afghanistan and some regional countries, saying that Afghan peanuts export to China recently began and 300 tons of the fruit were exported to China to date through the air corridor, encouraging Afghan farmers to work more on peanuts.

“The first direct link to China and then to Europe means changes in the provinces of Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Nangarhar, Laghman and Nooristan,” Ghani said, adding that the product was previously smuggled to Pakistan and then to international markets under Pakistani trade mark. “Now, people know that peanut is exported directly from Afghanistan to international markets.”

He called on the international community to invest on agriculture, natural reservoirs and energy and help Afghanistan to head towards a linking country.

Ghani counted 10 products that he claimed were internationally recognized. “Rapid victory can be achieved by focusing on 10 products that have been earlier recognized by the world community. Investment on these products can help Afghanistan make four billion dollars within four years.”

Afghanistan’s carpets, Karakul, herbal medicines, fresh and dried fruit, and saffron are recognized in the world markets.

The Geneva Ministerial Conference is considered as a chance for Afghanistan to offer comprehensive strategy for self-sufficiency.

“This is a different Afghanistan. We are now ready for trade and I hope you (the participants) be ready for partnership,” said the president.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah spoke on Afghan migrants and internally displaced as a serious issue for the unity government.

“Let’s accept that we are still facing a serious security challenge and more work is needed on security so that migrants can return home,” he said.

Also, the First Lady Rula Ghani spoke on Afghan women’s situation, thanking the international community for helping women’s situation improvement.

“We appreciate the assistances you did in the past and we hope the current discussions lead you to further cooperation,” said the First Lady.

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