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Best Practices voor een duurzame toekomst
28 januari 2006

"Afghanistan safe enough for Dutch investors"

During a seminar at the headquarters of the Dutch employers association VNO-NCW, the Afghan business delegation will have a chance to meet with Dutch entrepreneurs. Ehsan Turabaz, who is also Chairman of the Netherlands-Afghanistan Business Council, has high hopes for Dutch investments in especially agriculture and construction. "Agriculture is important, as the eradication of poppy cultivation is only possible if there are good alternatives, like growing fruits and nuts. Afghanistan needs the Dutch know-how in this field, since much of the indigenous knowledge has been lost during decades of war." The Afghan business delegation contains bankers, lawyers, pharmacists, traders and constructors. Mr. Turabaz: "Of course Afghanistan is in need of almost everything, but construction has a high priority. Some five million returned refugees are in need of housing. And road construction is indispensable to revive the economy. We would like Dutch businesses to enter these fields, because they can create jobs and bring in new technologies. We are also stimulating them to develop technical vocational training in Afghanistan." The Afghanistan Investment Support Agency will be available for Dutch entrepreneurs attending the seminar, to help them start projects with Afghan partners, subsidized by the Dutch government. This agency functions as a 'one-stop-shop' for foreign investors, eliminating red tape. The Afghan consul Turabaz is not worried about the security situation in his country. "Many foreigners have started up businesses already." Some of them, like the Dutch bank ING, will attend the seminar to talk about their experiences. Another proof that the situation in Afghanistan is safe enough, is that according to Turabaz some fifty Afghan refugees in the Netherlands are planning to set up businesses in their home country. "The Dutch organization IntEnt (Internationalization of Entrepreneurship) is assisting them with market research and business plans." P+ Webtip: Dutch Trade Support