Today, Monday, June the 14th, the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan initiated the Afghan-Czech-Slovak Business and Investment Forum in the Czech Republic.
It is a three-day program which was kick started by the Afghan and Czech officials.
The Deputy Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Minister of Commerce, Industries and Transport Carl Hawlichic welcomed the Afghan delegation addressing the forum by recalling the former Czechoslovakian trade relations with Afghanistan and the Czech Republic’s involvement in the matter.
Hawlichic said that Afghanistan had a strategic geographical location between Central Asia and South Asia, adding that the Czech Republic is eager to identify ways to invest in Afghanistan, a country full of mines. Also, he expressed interest in expanding trade and economic relations with Afghanistan.
Deputy Speaker of the Czech House of Representatives, Tomio Okamura, thanked the Czech-Slovak-Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry for taking the initiative.
The Czech Republic has cooperated with Afghans in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan, Okamura said adding that, now his country wants to work with Afghanistan on trade and investment too.
The Afghan Minister of Commerce and Industries, Nisar Ahmad Ghoryani, acclaiming the efforts of Czech forces allied to NATO in the war against terrorism in Afghanistan in the last 20 years, called on the participants to stand for a few moments in honour of the 13 Czech troopers who have lost their lives to the war.
Afghanistan and the former Czechoslovakia had close ties before the war in Afghanistan; however, the ties were weakened due to the war, Ghoryani said, adding that Afghanistan was open to renew and strengthen the ties with the Czech Republic in terms of trade, industry and investment with as soon as peace is achieved.
Speaking to the forum, the Afghan Minister of Mines and Petroleum, Mohammad Haroon Chakhansori, stated that Afghanistan had mines, precious stones and huge investment opportunities worth some 3 trillion dollars, and that he would like to fascinate investors, including the Czech Republic, to invest in it.
Czechoslovakia had previously built a cement factory in Herat, Afghanistan, Chakhansori stated, adding that the factory was still remembered for its good work, and that therefore, he urged the Czechs to take part in the mining and investment.