Beeline Of Bigwigs For ‘Made In India’ In Kabul In Sept

New Delhi, July 26: | Updated: Jul 27 2002, 05:30am hrs
India Inc is targeting business deals worth $500 million in Afghanistan with over 100 companies including the Tatas, Hero group, Godrej, Phillips India, Bajaj and Kirloskar set to firm up plans of entering that coutry.

Plans to set up shop there may be finalised during ‘Made in India’ show in Kabul scheduled to be held from September 26-29 this year.

The international community has already pledged an assistance up to $4.5 billion for reconstruction of Afghanistan. Once the financial system is in place in Afghanistan, these funds will be set in motion.

“The Made In India show is the first business exhibition in Afghanistan. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is taking a business delegation to Kabul, and CII is the first and only trade body to establish its office there post-Taliban regime. Our industry certainly has the first mover advantage,” CII International head Piyush Bahl told FE.

CII had made a presentation to the Afghan businessmen from across the globe gathered in Kabul to attend a workshop on business and industrial development of that country.

There are immense potential for business partnership with the Afghan entrepreneurs as they have expressed a desire to forge alliances and joint ventures, he said.

“A large number of non-resident and resident Afghan businessmen, who are committed to the reconstruction process, and are looking for business partnerships, are being invited to attend the Made in India show,” Mr Bahl said.

The Indian industry is planning to set up offices in Kabul to explore trading options. The identified sectors for business include agricultural commodities, automobiles and automobiles parts, bicycles, construction equipment, education & training, healthcare, hotel equipment, textiles, pharmaceuticals, machine tools, packing material, consumer durable, refrigerators and fast moving consumer goods. The show is organised from September 26-29 at New Exhibition Centre, Kabul.

The Indian companies are interested mainly in trade. Most of them are going to Kabul to explore exports market while some are interested in imports.

Ariana Afghan Airlines is the official airline for the show. Due to lack of accommodation Indian businessmen are likely to share rooms, a CII official said.

Stating that the Afghans are evolving a long-term strategy to invite investments in the country, Mr Bahl said, “In the recently held meeting in Kabul, the Afghan government and businessmen have reviewed the politico-economic conditions of the country and identified priority sectors.”

Priority sectors identified by Afghans include food items, transport, energy, garments, telecommunication, pharmaceutical and hospitality.