Afghan Officials Are Begging For Corporate Investment

Afghanistan mountain sky field

Photo: Peretz Partensky

An Afghan government delegation is courting companies from the US, Europe, India and China in a conference today in New Delhi, the AP reports.Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul told hundreds of company representatives that Afghanistan plans “to gradually reduce our reliance on international assistance through private sector-led growth.”

The move is in part prompted by the worrying fact 90% of Afghanistan’s 2011 budget was funded by donations.

Despite the somewhat fragile political situation in much of the country, corporations may have good reason to get involved. It’s estimated that the country has around mineral deposits worth around $1 trillion to $3 trillion, and companies such as JPMorgan have been in the country to investigate.

Right now the largest foreign investment in Afghanistan is a China’s National Petroleum Corp, who have a $3.5 billion stake in a copper mine.

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