Investing in the future of Afghanistan


There are 100 major investors in Afghanistan presently with about 100 million USD investments, and despite the cloud of uncertainty looming overhead, the mood of foreign investors looks upbeat
After years of war, despondency and uneasy calm; Afghanistan is blazing past a highway to become a vibrant nation with growing industrial and financial clout. All the prime stakeholders, including the government of Afghanistan and many non-governmental institutions, are striving hard to ensure the economic growth is inclusive and rapid, which creates a sea of excellence, prosperity and possibilities in place of mediocrity, deprivation and discontent. It may not be hailed as the great success story of globalization, one of the main protagonists of new economy and international policy, but Afghanistan is on course to outstrip many developed nations in the future.
A large number of foreign companies have expressed their desire and willingness to invest in Afghanistan and many of them have procured licenses for same. According to the information provided by AISA (Afghanistan Investment Support Agency), about 3,000 small and medium, local and international companies have invested 518,864,320 million USD and work opportunities have been provided to 809,950 individuals.
However, as the time of proposed withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan inches closer, there are reports suggesting that some of the investors are also finding ways to leave the country. Despite these rumours flying thick and fast, about 5407 new companies have asked for activity licenses from the Afghan government and invested a total of 639,470,724 million USD in different fields.
Of the total number of companies who have invested in the country so far, 4703 are local and 270 are foreign. The total investment made by the local and international companies in 2012 was staggering 639,470,724 million USD. A big portion of it, 577,553,63 million USD, was invested by the local companies and 61,917,661 million USD was pumped in by foreign investors.
Considering that the huge chunks of investment is made by the Afghan based companies, it would be safe to suggest that Afghans have an important role to play in the future economic development of Afghanistan and they realise it well.
As per the information provided by AISA, foreign investments in Afghanistan saw a 26 per cent increase in 2012, compared to the previous year.
Wafiullah Iftikhar, AISA Director, says there have been investments to the tune of 9 billion USD in the last ten years, mostly in service field. “Most of these investments were in the areas like construction, communication, air and logistic companies and banks,” says Mr. Iftikhar, flipping through the pile of files on his table.

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