Afghan Minister urges Indian investor to cash in on opportunities in agro processing, packaging and trading & marketing.
Mr. Abdul Qadeer Jawad, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock of Afghanistan, urged Indian investors to cash in on the opportunities offered by Afghanistan in the areas of agriculture manufacturing and processing, packaging and trading & marketing to boost the Afghan economy and contribute to economic prosperity, peace and stability in the region.
Addressing the Conference & Exhibition on ‘Made in Afghanistan’ under the aegis of Trade, Commerce and Investment Opportunities –CBM of the ‘Heart of Asia’ process for Rebuilding Afghanistan, Mr. Jawad said that developing business to business relationships between Afghan producers and suppliers of high quality fresh and dried fruits and Indian retail and direct wholesale markets for these products would be critical for sustaining private sector business relationships during the years ahead.
He said that in the agriculture manufacturing and processing sector, the Afghan Government was looking for potential investors in areas such as processing of dry fruits and nuts, processing and cotton yarn production, establishment of cold chains and supply chains while in packaging the potential areas were fresh and dry fruit boxes, jars, lids, tins, glass and plastic bottles, tetra pack packaging etc. In trading and marketing, investment opportunities exist in transport and logistics services such as cargo villages inside airports, trade partnership building services, marketing and branding services.
He said that the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture in coordination with the civil aviation authority and the Customs Directorate was working towards establishing a cargo village at Kabul Airport.
The cargo village, he said, would further help in trade facilitation. Of the many features of the cargo village, one is the establishment of a huge cold storage facility with a capacity of over 10,000 metric tons. “This year we have started working on establishing agriculture industrial parks that will give agriculture traders and investors an opportunity to conduct all agriculture related activities such as packaging, sorting, processing and trading under one umbrella.
On the occasion, a MoU was signed between FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) and Afghanistan Women Business Federation. The MoU was signed by the FLO President, Ms. Vinita Bimbhet and Ms. Guljan Zimarai, CEO, Afghanistan Women Business Federation.
Mr. Shaida Mohammad Abdali, Afghan Ambassador to India, in his remarks, said that the ‘Heart of Asia’ processes was a shining example of Indian engagement with the Afghanistan and this will make a significant contribution to rebuilding Afghanistan and bring peace and stability in the entire region. Afghanistan, he said, was committed to play a pivotal role in making regional integration a reality.
Mr. Amar Sinha, Secretary, Economic Relations, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, observed that the time was ripe to shift from aid to trade-based model of cooperation with Afghanistan and reaffirmed India’s commitment to bring about integrated growth of the region that takes along all its neighbours. As a region what we owe is capacity building and integration of Afghan youth in the national-building process.
The inaugural session of the conference was also addressed by Mr. Deepak Amitabh, Chairman, PTC India Ltd.; Mr. V S Sahney, Immediate Past President, SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Chairman, Sun International and Ms. Ambika Sharma, Director General, FICCI.