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Embassy Row: Afghanistan Inc.
James Morrison
Washington Times
06/19/2006

The ambassador from Afghanistan traveled to America's heartland to promote his war-torn country as the "heart of Asia" and a good place to do business.

Although his homeland is struggling to rebuild after decades of conflict and neglect and U.S.-led troops are fighting a resurgent Taliban militia, Afghanistan is growing at double-digit rates and laying the legal groundwork to attract and retain foreign investment.

"Since the days of the Silk Road, Afghanistan's unique location in the heart of Asia has made it a natural trade hub," Ambassador Said T. Jawad said on a visit to universities in Illinois earlier this month.

"Our two most important assets are our location and our people. Afghanistan is a land bridge connecting emerging markets with energy sources in Central Asia."

In his region, "all roads lead to Afghanistan," he said on a visit to the state capital, Springfield.

Mr. Jawad said Afghanistan is growing at a rate of more than 10 percent a year and is recognized by the World Bank as the 16th easiest country in the world in which to open a business.

 

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