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India has an open arm approach with people of Afghanistan: Khurshid

New Delhi, Mon, 18 Nov 2013 NI Wire

Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid assured Afghanistan that India's pledge for US$ 2 billion as humanitarian aid was just the beginning of a process to reach out to the provinces and districts as the Afghan people move ahead in re-building their nation.

He was addressing the conference on 'Doing Business with Afghanistan' jointly organized by FICCI, India’s Ministry of External Affairs and Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On the occassion Khurshid said, "We have an open arms approach and we hope that your confidence in yourself will reflect the confidence you repose in India." As the lead country in supporting Afghanistan’s nation building process, "We have no exit policy and we will be with you for so long as you desire, in good times and bad times," he added.

Dr. Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, Afghanistan's Minister for Finance, pointed out that the Afghan government was committed to unleashing more and deeper reforms to make the business environment friendlier. "The future of Afghanistan resting on the planks of transit, trade and tourism will positively contribute to internal stability and stability in the region," he said and assured Indian investors that they would be dealt with on a privilege basis and "You will consider your decision as a wise one."

Sidharth Birla, President-elect, FICCI, said that FICCI is designated as the implementing agency of activities under the CBM. "We have a key role in this effort to unlock Afghanistan’s investment and business potential, besides providing an opportunity for Afghanistan and its extended neighbourhood to engage in a sincere dialogue to build confidence and promote economic cooperation," he said.

V. S. Sahney, President, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that it is our fervent wish to pursue the agenda of integrating Afghanistan in the regional economic process under SAARC. "We need to look to an inter-related South Asian future where trade and cross border links flourish and bring prosperity to all our people. As a region blessed with an abundance of natural and human resources, a youthful population and a unique spirit of enterprise, this should surely be an achievable goal,"he said.

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