Afghanistan beckons India's business leaders to invest

MUMBAI Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:41pm IST

1 of 3. Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai (C) shakes hands with Trade Minister Anand Sharma (L) and Chairman of the Godrej Group Adi Godrej during a business conference in Mumbai November 10, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Vivek Prakash

Stocks

   

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Afghanistan is "ripe and ready" for Indian investments in mining and other sectors, President Hamid Karzai told business leaders in Mumbai on Saturday at the start of a trip to woo investors for his war-ravaged country.

"We'd like to welcome you with a red carpet, but you need to arrive at the red carpet," he told delegates at an industry event in the financial capital.

"What I'd like to emphasise in particular is that Indian businesses need not be shy when thinking about Afghanistan. The Chinese businesses were there long before you came, five or six years before."

India has invested billions of dollars in Afghanistan since the Taliban regime's ouster in 2001 and has urged private firms to invest there, though many have misgivings about the security climate after 2014, when most foreign troops will leave. China is also looking to tap into Afghanistan's mineral reserves.

A consortium led by state-firm Steel Authority of India last year won the rights to develop a huge iron ore deposit in central Afghanistan and a nearby 6 million tonne steel plant at a cost of around $11 billion.

China won a huge copper concession not far from Kabul, as well as oil blocks in the north.

However, both Asian giants have been held back in Afghanistan by security concerns as well as poor infrastructure in the landlocked, mountainous country.

India also has to tread carefully in Afghanistan because of the suspicions of arch-rival Pakistan, which sees New Delhi's expanding role in its neighbour as a move to encircle it.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma told the meeting with Karzai that New Delhi would look at engaging with Kabul to develop infrastructure such as highways, power projects, Chahbahar port and energy security.

(Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Ron Popeski)

Economic Pulse

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Banking Sector

Banking Sector

India's laggard state lenders face tough sell on capital raising plan  Full Article 

Trade Deal

Trade Deal

WTO postpones trade deal by a day after last-minute objection.  Full Article 

Falling Oil Prices

Falling Oil Prices

Saudis signal no push for oil cut as market to "stabilise itself"  Full Article 

Raising Stake

Raising Stake

Nippon Life to raise stake in Reliance Capital fund unit  Full Article 

Sterilisation Camps

Sterilisation Camps

Sterilisation targets remain in all but name, critics say  Full Article 

Share Buyback

Share Buyback

Samsung Electronics to buy back $2 billion in shares  Full Article 

Bird Flu Scare

Bird Flu Scare

India orders culling after bird flu outbreaks in Kerala.  Full Article 

Microsoft in China

Microsoft in China

Microsoft to pay China $140 million for 'tax evasion'   Full Article 

Flashback: 26/11

Flashback: 26/11

The three-day attack in November 2008 left 166 dead.  Slideshow 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage