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Afghanistan: Private Sector

Volume 686: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Bearing in mind that the World Bank’s drug replacement strategy in Afghanistan includes support for the growth of a formal, modern and competitive private sector, what action they have taken through their aid programme and their co-operation with international partners to assist the Afghan private sector.[HL8089]

DfID provides £3.9 million in technical assistance to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. This aims to help the Government of Afghanistan (GoA) identify and remove barriers to private sector development, and create an investment climate conducive to economic growth. DfID also provides £3.85 million to the Ministry of Mines to help the GoA manage its natural resources and attract foreign investment. This will tap into resources such as coal, gas and minerals and generate jobs and enterprise wealth and government revenues over the long term.

In collaboration with international partners such as the Asian Development Bank and Germany, DfID has contributed £1 million towards an innovative World Bank trust fund—the Afghanistan Investment Guarantee Fund (AIGF)—which attracts foreign investments. In 2006, this catalysed $18 million of foreign investment for the cotton sector in northern Afghanistan.