Afghanistan opens doors to Iranian tradesmen, investors
Tehran, May 28, 2006 (IRNA) - The visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai said here Sunday that his country has opened its doors to Iranian investors and tradesmen, stressing the doors will remain open.
The Afghan president, who arrived in Tehran Saturday at the head of a high-ranking political delegation, made the remark while addressing Iranian businessmen at Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines.
He stressed the importance of boosting bilateral trade ties and investment.
He said he regarded his visit to Iran as a visit to his own country, adding that Iran, which is a neighboring state to Afghanistan, shares common literature, culture and religion with his country.
Karzai assessed the Iranian people as a great and historical nation and praised Iran's hosting of Afghan refugees.
He said Afghanistan's production value increased from four billion dollars in 2002 to 16 billion dollars in 2005.
Pointing to Afghanistan's economic growth, he predicted the figures for his country's economic growth would stand at 10-15 percent this year.
He said ratification of new regulations for investment has facilitated activities of investors in Afghanistan, adding the trend of law-making in his country attaches special significance to attraction of foreign investment.
Karzai noted the value of Iran's export to Afghanistan has jumped from 50 million dollar to 500 million dollars during the past four years while Afghanistan exported just two million dollars worth of goods to Iran.
He pointed to an eyecatching increase in Tehran-Kabul trade ties and said the two sides should further boost their relations with respect to deep cultural commonalties between their nations.
The Afghan president expressed his country's readiness to remove obstacles in the way of Iranian investors and encouraged them to invest in Afghanistan.
He praised establishment of Iran-Afghanistan joint chamber of commerce in Iran.
At the end of Karzai's speech, Head of Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines, Ali-Naqi Khamoushi, handed over a plaque of honor to the president.