A two-day national conference, aimed at identifying the obstacles and hurdles faced by eastern region business community and further exploring potential economic
opportunities and encouraging domestic and foreign Investments, was held at Nangarhar governor's palace in Jalalabad.
The conference had been jointly organized by H.E Sherzai, Governor Nangarhar Province and Afghanistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries, private sector members from different provinces and ministries delegates with active participation of representatives from Da Afghanistan Bank, World bank, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), The UK Department for International Development, Harakat (AICF) and parliament members on 28 – 29 March, 2010.
Mr. Sherzai speaking to the press added, “The main objective behind holding such type of conferences at the eastern region of the country is overseeing and supervising the economic activities and identifying the investment needs in eastern region provinces including Nangarhar, Laghman, Kunar and Nuristan. He appreciated the initiative taken by ACCI to organize events of such kind in the east after the collapse of The Taliban regime in 2001.
Later the first Deputy Speaker of The Upper House Mirwais Yasini stated that the Government had been working hard in order to encourage the economy and boost the volume of economic growth and development in the region.
Minister Ismail Khan promised that The Ministry of Water and Energy would build the Nangarhar dam which would be having the capacity of irrigating 35,000 acres of Agricultural land for which he sought the assistance of Ministry of Finance in supplying electricity to Nangarhar and Nuristan provinces. Relevantly, Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, Minister of Finance, revealed the construction of a railroad route funded by the World bank connecting the Torkham border with Jalalabad Provinve, within two years.
During the course of conference Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, CEO, Afghanistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries addressing the cabinet ministers, supporting agencies and eastern region business community said, “It is indeed a matter of pleasure that the eastern region of the country is one of the leading regions of the country in facilitating investment opportunities and economic activities development as compared to other provinces. Security and suitable environment for Agricultural cultivation in the region has further facilitated economic growth in the region, therefore, the Government has to pay its due attention in overcoming the existing obstacles and challenges to investments.
He further added: it is expected that the amendments given by government agencies in the conference be implemented in near future and the investment doors get open to international investors and entrepreneurs. Taking the opportunity, Ghulam Mohammad Yeelaqi, Acting Minister of Commerce and Industries added that the ministry would be extending much of its activities to eastern and informed about establishment of One Stop Shop, a single window to streamline the export documentation procedure.
Consequently, Khan Jan Alkozay, vice chairman, ACCI urged on improvement of the mining and the trading sector and suggested a 10 years tax exemption policy and incentives given to Afghan traders and entrepreneurs in order to boost the volume of trade and investments in the country.