Iran now 4th largest investor in Afghanistan
If ever you want to trace the paths of influence of a nation, one doesn’t have to look much further than the investment and trade links. While some Western nations believe boots and bombs is the measure of national spirit, others prefer the more subtle reach of money and trade.
NATO has been fighting a hard and bloody war for hearts and minds in Afghanistan, but a strategic-minded Iran has invested, traded and embedded its influence on Kabul in a much more effective manner.
While NATO looks for a way to exit Afghanistan without losing too much face, Tehran patiently waits for them to leave and strengthens the traditional relations between the two countries.
Iran is the fourth largest investor in Afghanistan. Iranian investments have been made on construction of roads and bridges, energy, agriculture and health care.
According to the chairman of Afghanistan chamber of commerce and industries, Iran's exports to Afghanistan, including oil products, cement, construction material, carpets, home appliances, and detergents in 2008 stood at $800 million. Iran imported $4 million worth of products like fresh and dried fruits, minerals, precious stones, and spices from the neighboring country.