Afghanistan: Kabul hotel attack sparks fear among foreign investors

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KABUL (TCA) — Officials from the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) say that the weekend attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul has sparked major concern among foreign investors and the private sector in the country, TOLOnews reported.

The ACCI said that most foreign investors invited for an upcoming plastics expo in Kabul have cancelled their trips to Afghanistan.

The private sector is also very distressed about the rise in threats, said the ACCI.

“Those who we sent invitations to enquired about their accommodation and then cancelled their trip,” said ACCI chief Atiqullah Nusrat.

ACCI warned that the country’s private sector will face a possible shortage of foreign technical staff if the security situation does not improve.

Meanwhile a number of economic commentators have said that attacks on employees at private sector companies in the country will have serious economic consequences.

“Presently most of the big companies have foreign employees; these companies and employees need to be safeguarded by the government, because today one of our fundamental needs is the availability of technical human resources,” said economic expert Fahim Deedar.

Currently hundreds of foreigners work in Afghanistan in various sectors including telecommunications, banking and hotel management.

The U.S. State Department confirmed that four U.S. citizens were killed and two others wounded in the attack on Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel by Taliban militants that left an estimated 30 people dead, RFE/RL reported on January 25.

Afghan officials have said 11 of the 14 foreigners killed were employees of KamAir, a private Afghan airline.

Seven Ukrainian citizens working for KamAir died in the attack.

A citizen from Kazakhstan was also among the dead, according to a spokesman for the Kazakh Foreign Ministry.

Sergey Kwan

TCA