Invest In Afghanistan? Washington Is Already Talking About It

By John S. McClenahen Even as the war against terrorism continues in Afghanistan, discussions about private-sector investment in the Middle Eastern country are underway. For example, about 40 business executives and government officials attended a Jan. 8 Washington session co-hosted by the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC), a federal agency that provides risk insurance and financing for U.S. companies investing in developing countries. A dozen Afghan-American business people, including those in fiber-optic communications and cement industries, described investment opportunities. "Post-Taliban Afghanistan will require not only humanitarian assistance, but support as it rebuilds its economy and economic institutions, including the capacity to make use of foreign direct investment in a way that benefits as many Afghans as possible," says Peter Watson, OPIC's president and CEO. "Economic growth generated by investment stands to be the most sustainable and diffuse."

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