Afghanistan intends to create more opportunities for Iranian tradesmen to make investment in Afghanistan, Afghan Trade Minister Mostafa Kazemi said in Chabahar, Sistan and Baluchestan province on Monday, IRNA reported.
Addressing a gathering on Iran-Afghanistan Economic Prospects, Kazemi stressed that there is no difference between domestic and foreign investors in the country.
He added that Afghanistan`s new regulations recognize foreign investors and exempt them from taxes for eight years. "The implementation of 5,000 development projects worth 4.2 billion dollars, has been commenced in the country," he said. Thanks to the European Unions` cooperation, Afghanistan has had more opportunities for economic relations.
The minister also called on Iranian investors to invest in different sectors of his country`s economy, including cement, agriculture, industries and mines in a bid to expand mutual ties between the two neighbors.
Referring to the two nations` religious and cultural commonalities, Kazemi stressed on the need for more enhancement of relations.
Meanwhile in an address to the inaugural ceremony of the First International Trade Fair here on Monday, Iranian Commerce Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari announced that the country`s imports have been raised by over 53 percent during the first five months of the current Iranian year, started March 21, 2003.
However, he added that Iran`s exports in the first four months of the same year have been up by some 20 percent.
He predicted that the country`s non-oil exports will increase by 50 percent in the current Iranian year compared to the figures in the previous year.
As to the reforms made in the country`s tax and customs regulations, the minister expressed the hope that such developments will help facilitate Iran`s trade with other countries including Afghanistan.
In another development, Mostafa Kazemi addressed the ceremony, adding that the Islamic Republic transited some two billion dollars worth of goods to Afghanistan last year.
He hoped that more grounds will be paved for transit of goods from Chabahar to Afghanistan through Iran`s close cooperation.
Chabahar is the shortest and safest transit route between Iran and Afghanistan, the Afghan minister said, expressing the hope that construction operation of the railroad linking Chabahar to Afghanistan will be finished in two years.
The First International Trade Fair opened here Sunday evening with the participation of a large group of domestic and foreign companies, particularly those of Afghanistan.
Some 110 domestic and foreign companies are attending the six-day exhibition. Companies from Japan, Korea, Italy, Germany, France, Finland, Britain, India and Taiwan are putting on display foodstuff, construction materials, household appliances, agricultural and petrochemical products and detergents in the Chabahar trade fair.
... Payvand News - 9/8/03 ... --