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)

Religion and Politics

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Fund Raising

Fund Raising

Flipkart raises $700 million in fresh funding.   Full Article 

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

India looks to sway Americans with nuclear power insurance plan  Full Article 

To Boost Growth

To Boost Growth

Crank up public spending to revive growth - chief economic adviser.   Full Article 

Bold Steps

Bold Steps

SpiceJet rescue plan marks bold bet on Indian aviation recovery.   Full Article 

New Airline

New Airline

Tata, Singapore Air venture Vistara to take off on Jan 9.  Full Article 

Online Sales

Online Sales

Knock knock. Who's there? Amazon's best-selling holiday author.  Full Article 

Hacking Attack

Hacking Attack

N.Korea says did not hack Sony, wants joint probe with U.S.  Full Article 

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

BSE Sensex to hit 32,980 by December 2015  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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