India FM: Security in Numbers for Investors in Afghanistan

Posted June 28th, 2012 at 9:45 am (UTC-5)
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Top Indian officials are encouraging private business owners to invest in Afghanistan and help stabilize the war- torn country as NATO combat troops continue their withdrawal.

At a conference in New Delhi Thursday, Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna told representatives of more than 200 Indian and foreign companies that there would be security in numbers for investing in Afghanistan.

Senior Afghan ministers attending the conference also sought to assure investors that security risks do not extend to doing business in their country. They promoted Afghanistan as a low-tariff, business-friendly destination with the possibility of a high return on investments.

The Confederation of Indian Industry helped organize the Delhi Investment Summit on Afghanistan, which hosted companies from more than 30 countries, including the United States, China and Pakistan.

Potential investors say they are interested in Afghanistan because of its mineral reserves estimated to be worth trillions of dollars and its proximity to energy resources in Iran, Central Asia and the Gulf.

India has invested more than $2 billion in Afghanistan since the toppling of the Taliban-led government there in 2001.

But as NATO combat troops prepare to withdraw from the country in 2014, there are concerns that the corruption-plagued country could fall into a civil war.