India set to be largest foreign investor in Afghanistan

May 18, 2012 12:00 AM

With the US pulling out of Afghanistan, India is poised to become the nation’s largest investor.
When NATO withdraws troops by 2014, the Indian government is keen to take up the mantle of helping redevelop the country.

US research has suggested some $ 1 tn of minerals and deposits exist in Afghanistan, with Indian investors looking to secure contracts to obtain mining and processing rights. India’s Geological Survey Department and the National Mineral Development Corporation are already involved with the country.
Delhi is also hosting a Global Investors Afghanistan Conference in autumn 2012, among several that have started to be announced recently, including recent events that have taken place in Dubai and the Middle East.

India already supplies helicopters to the Afghan military, and the Afghan police force has been undergoing training in camps in Hyderabad for some time.
India has invested some $ 1.5 bn over the past decade in Afghanistan, mainly in the form of infrastructure development such as roads, schools, power supplies and so on. Delhi also funded the building of the new Afghani Parliament Building.

Afghanistan has indicated to India it would welcome Indian investment into agriculture, health, infrastructure and industry.
US President Barack Obama meanwhile has committed the United States to 10 years of aid to Afghanistan following the pull back of NATO troops and this, coupled with Indian commercial investment, may yet see peace arise in this most traumatized of nations.

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