The English-language daily 'Tehran Times' on Wednesday quoted the head of the exhibition's executive headquarters, Davoud Kashefi, as saying that with the support of Iran's Ministry of Energy as well as Afghanistan's Ministries of Commerce, Energy, Transportation and Industries the exhibition is being organized by the private sectors of the two countries.
He explained that about 50 Iranian companies have announced their readiness to take part in the exhibition along with companies from Turkey, France, Russia, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Denmark and Afghanistan.
The exhibition is aimed to giving Iran access to Afghan markets for construction materials, he said.
The official said that through the exhibition, Iran's private sector, while assisting in the reconstruction of war-torn Afghanistan, hopes to gain greater access for Iranian products in Afghan markets and consequently in international markets for construction materials.
"Given the 30 million population of Afghanistan, the country requires construction of at least 500,000 residential units per annum, thus the importance of maintaining this market becomes more highlighted," Kashefi was quoted as saying by the daily.
Noting the participation of other countries, including China, in reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, Iran's private sector should launch its activities in the country as soon as possible, he said.
Meanwhile, Abdul-Hadi Farhang, commerce manager of Afghan companies, welcomed the decision of Iranian companies to particpate in the upcoming exhibition, saying the people and officials of his country attach great importance to the construction and roadbuilding needs of the country due to their direct effect on commerce.
Pointing to the presence of European companies in the exhibition, he explained that Afghan officials are more willing to expand cooperation with Iran's private sector since cooperation with European countries in the fields of construction and trade was not economical because of the high transportation cost.
On the sidelines of the exhibition, meetings of technical commissions consisting of experts from Afghanistan and other countries as well as project tenders will be held, he noted.
Jahangir Soltani, managing director of the Iranian Naft Jahan Company which is organizing the exhibition as representative of the Iranian private sector, noted Afghanistan's need to hold exhibitions of this kind.
He predicted that more and more of these exhibitions will be held in the future, and said that the religious and cultural commonalties between the two countries give added impetus to the holding of trade relations with Afghanistan.
... Payvand News - 2/2/05 ... --