In China, Ghani Discusses Needs, Expectations of Afghan Businessmen
Socioeconomic Development
Monday, 17 August 2015
Last Updated on Monday, 17 August 2015
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Ghani in China | TOLOnews

While on his tour of China, President Ashraf Ghani met with Afghan and Chinese businessmen, and attempted to attract investments to Afghanistan.

There are said to be over 4,000 Afghan businessmen doing trade with China and many of them have invested in Chinese markets. When Ghani called on the Afghans to redirect their investments toward Afghanistan, they told him security issues were the biggest obstacle.

So the president sought to assure the businessmen that the new government in Kabul would be taking a firm stance on protecting commercial interests from common criminal as well as more uncommon insurgent security threats.

"I would like to assure you that whoever kidnaps Afghan businessmen will be sentenced to either 50 years of prison or will be hanged," Ghani said. "I just rejected a judicial pardon for a few kidnapers; we will never allow it to happen - maintaining security for businessman is one of our major goals."

Staying consistent with the strong anti-corruption stance he has taken since assuming office, Ghani also demanded that the business community respect the laws of Afghanistan.

"We would like to make sure that none of our businessman are causing security threats or are doing illegal activities in China," Ghani said. "Whoever gets involved in illegal activities, they will be banned from trade in Afghanistan."

Ghani called for better cooperation between private sector and government institutions. "We encourage our national economic council to be a facilitator between private and government sectors," Ghani said. "Making strategies that can turn our businessmen into industrialist is a key issue...we would like to make sure that our private sector is not forced to pay money to corrupt officials."

President Ghani reported a delegation of Chinese economic experts traveled to Kabul to help the Afghan government make plans for major national infrastructure projects.