At Davos forum, Afghanistan’s CEO lures investors to war-torn country

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KABUL (TCA) — The chief executive of Afghanistan’s government, Abdullah Abdullah, at one of the world’s leading economic forums in Davos, Switzerland, attempted to persuade foreign investors to pour money into his war-torn country, RFE/RL reported.

Abdullah, the de facto prime minister of Afghanistan, said in separate interviews on January 23 with Reuters and AFP that potential investors should look past the current unstable security situation and focus on Afghanistan’s rich supply of natural resources.

“For the business community…of course security is an impediment,” he said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. “But you cannot wait until security is perfect and then come in and invest,” he said.

“Afghanistan’s riches, natural resources, commodities which are today more precious than gold, these are all opportunities,” he said.

Abdullah said reports in December that U.S. President Donald Trump was considering a plan to withdraw some 5,000 of the 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan had caused concern within the government in Kabul.

U.S.-led NATO and coalition forces have been aiding the government in its fight against resurgent Taliban militants, who control much of the Afghan countryside outside the major cities.

He said, though, that U.S. officials have told Kabul that no final decision has been made and that Washington is committed to supporting Afghan security and development.

Abdullah is considered a leading challenger to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for the upcoming presidential election, set for July 20.

Ghani defeated Abdullah in the 2014 vote that Abdullah claimed was marred by fraud. The two later agreed to form a national unity government, with Ghani as president and Abdullah in the position labeled “chief executive officer.”

Sergey Kwan

TCA