Afghan nationals accounted for half of Iran’s foreign investment in 2022 alone, stated Hassan Kazemi Qomi, the Iranian president’s special envoy for Afghanistan on Thursday.
Qomi added that Afghan nationals play a pivotal role in Iran’s economy, as half of Iran’s foreign investment comes from them, therefore the high capacity of Afghan citizens should be utilized when the country is facing difficulties in attracting foreign investment,” Khama Press News Agency reported.
The Iranian official noted that last year, the UAE expelled 700 Afghan businessmen from that country, whose capital was estimated at $30 million.
"Unfortunately, we failed to attract this capital and encourage Afghan traders to invest in Iran,” he added.
Currently, Iran is plagued with a major challenge in attracting foreign investment. To address the issue, the Iranian government needs to come up with a comprehensive policy to ensure that Afghan business owners can legally run their businesses and other economic activities without facing hurdles. In the past, the bank accounts of Afghan citizens were blocked for vague reasons, which was a big blow to foreign investment, the news agency wrote.
The assets of Afghan businessmen and companies operating in Khorasan Razavi Province are estimated to be around $1 billion, according to an announcement of the Association of Afghan Economic Activists in the northeastern Iranian province.
To capitalize on the existing opportunity by providing work permits, visas and license to Afghan citizens, Iran can attract more foreign investors from Afghanistan, the region and beyond, the report concluded.
It added that Iran is the home of thousands of Afghan citizens, including businesspeople, students and refugees. Besides the increasing problems Afghan refugees are currently faced with, they have lived in peace and harmony for many years in Iran.