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Afghanistan to 2014 and beyond – Ask and Task

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After decades of war, and especially after the removal of the fundamentalist Taliban regime in 2001, the Country has undertaken in this last decade an important process of political and economic stabilization, especially thanks to the support of the international community, of foreign aid, and particularly of the Nato’s ISAF mission which has been playing an important role in terms of enabling the Afghan authorities to provide effective security across the country (in order to free it from terrorists’ hands).

Although being one of the poorest countries in the world – with per capita income estimated at about $ 613 in 2012, the Country has also very interesting economic potentials, first and foremost as for its mining sector. Moreover, noteworthy is also the fact that according to most recent estimates, the Country’s GDP is forecast to grow for 2013 at an average of 6.2%, after having reached the peak of 9% in 2012. In this regard, the Government has understandably recently accelerated efforts to bring foreign investors into this sector.  All these considerations must not be undervalued by foreign investors. Nevertheless, recent and past experiences have taught us that political risk matters more than ever when planning to invest in a foreign Country, despite its great economic potentials. It is enough to think, looking back at the past, to the Yugoslavian example when, in May 1990, a leading U.S. newspaper reported Yugoslavia as a very stable Country and the right place to invest even though, exactly one year after, the country, for reasons related to underestimated political and social developments, fell into the bloodiest war that modern Europe ever lived.  Afghanistan’s political and security situation remains extremely volatile. Certainly, the withdrawal of international combat forces from the Country by 2014 does not bode very well in this regard, especially in security terms, with the risk of slowing down the normalization process undertaken so far by the Country. 

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