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Economic development stressed for peace in Afghanistan

Economic development stressed for peace in Afghanistan

Aug 08, 2017 - 14:02

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Economic development is central to peace and stability in Afghanistaninfo-icon and the Heart of Asia Region, agreed participants of a meeting in New Delhi.

Representatives from 17 countries, including Afghanistan, India and Pakistaninfo-icon, on Monday discussed ways of developing the war-torn nation into a regional economic hub.

The participants exchanged views on a several issues, including the need for making existing trade and transit pacts more inclusive, a statement from the Ministry of Externalinfo-icon Affairs in Delhi said.

Monday’s meeting was hosted by Delhi under the Heart of Asia process. “There was consensus that economic development was an important factor in ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan and the Heart of Asia Region.”

 “In this context, the participants shared views on various measures and steps to promote transit and trade and realizing reliable and robust connectivity, with Afghanistan as the hub,” the ministry said.

This included the recognition of the need to make the existing transit and trade agreements more inclusive and comprehensive by expanding them both northwards and southwards to connect South Asia with Central Asia.

Speeding up the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and involvement of womeninfo-icon in economic development, including through women entrepreneurship, and simplifying customs procedures were also agreed.

India offered to develop a web portal with the help of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) for exchanging information on regional markets, trade and investment opportunities and to facilitate networking for businesses in participating countries.

Developing transit and transport through Chabahar Port involving India, Afghanistan and Iran, CASA-1000 and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway project, among others, also figured at the meeting.

All sides agreed on the value of connectivity and economic integration projects to bring overall growth, stability, and prosperity in Afghanistan, according to the statement.

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud

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