Karzai asks India Inc not to shy away from Afghanistan, cites earlybird China

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SummaryAfghanistan President Hamid Karzai today told India Inc not to be "shy" when it comes to investing in his mineral-rich country and pointed out to them of the gains reaped by the Chinese who invested early in the war-ravaged country.

telecom company which invested USD 5 million in 2002 and is now commanding a valuation of USD 700 million.

"Indeed, Afghanistan today is ripe and ready for Indian investments," he said.

Referring to the Steel Authority of India-led consortium's plans of mining in Afghanistan, Karzai said a conglomeration of Indian firms is in the final stages of investing and hoped the necessary contracts are signed soon.

Speaking at the event, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said India is committed to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan.

India, which shares close bonds with Afghanistan dating back to centuries, is helping the country both as a friend and as a partner in its progress, Sharma said.

He specifically touched on the Chahbahar Port that New Delhi plans to help build in Iran, which will help evacuate Afghani cargo and also hoped for traction on the USD 7.6-billion, 1,040-mile-long Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline, which will help address India's energy security.

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