Russia unveils heavy investment in Afghanistan

Russia unveils heavy investment in Afghanistan

MOSCOW - Russian businessmen who visited Afghanistan on Monday said they want to invest in the agricultural, transportation and manufacturing sectors in the country.

A delegation of twenty Russian businessmen attended the third meeting of its kind between Afghanistan and Russia, where they discussed investment opportunities.

Officials from the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said despite the current problems and insecurity in Afghanistan, Russian businessmen are ready to invest in the country.

“This time a large number of Russian businessmen visited Kabul to investigate opportunities to start companies in this country and most of the businessmen are interested in transport, agriculture and manufacturing plants in this country,” said Dmitry Antonov, the chairman of Russia’s chamber of commerce and industry.

In addition, Antonov said Russians have already invested in the field of construction and manufacturing in Afghanistan, but they also want to invest in the areas of electricity production, railways, and road construction among others.

“Establishing a home trade for Afghanistan and Russia will provide a platform for the development of trade and investment between the two countries and we are trying to increase our efforts in this regard,” said Atiqullah Nasrat, the Chief Executive Officer of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Meanwhile at a meeting with Transcapitalbank representatives (Russian commercial bank), an agreement was signed with Azizi Bank for banking services. 

A number of economic analysts said however that in light of strengthening Russian business relations with Afghanistan, Russia is attempting to highlight its role in the economic sector as well as its presence in the political arena in Afghanistan.

They said government should provide the necessary resources for Russian investment in the country.

“At the moment, the expansion of Afghanistan's trade relations with Russia, including other countries in the world, is important and government should work in this section to provide better opportunities for the Russians to invest in Afghanistan,” said Sayed Qeyas Sayedi a Kabul university lecturer.

Currently Russia's investment is the country is nominal but the trade volume between Afghanistan and Russia is around $200 million USD a year.

Officials at ACCI said trade between Afghanistan and Russia will increase as trade and transit relations improve between Central Asian countries and Russia.