The government of Afghanistan officially launched on 19 February a new visa processing unit at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA), Kabul in a bid to lure more foreign investment.
The Afghan ministry of commerce and industries said the new visa centre will hereafter allow business people to apply at the airport for visas on arrival. The first foreign national to avail the service was a businessman from America, Bret Dalton, who landed in Kabul on 19 February. Dalton was quoted by Tolo News as saying that this was a major step for Afghanistan. He viewed this as a positive move.
The setting up of this visa processing unit will mean that overseas investors will not need to search for an Afghan embassy to process documents because the unit’s staff will mail their documents to the foreign affairs ministry. Following this, these investors will then be able to obtain visas, with a validity of up to three years, when they arrive.
Feroz Khan Masjidi, Afghan deputy minister of commerce and industries for investments, was quoted as saying that the objective of the visa processing unit for investors was to encourage foreign investment and offering essential facilities to investors.
Samir Rasa, head of the media office for the senior advisor to the president, said that no such privileges or facilities were earlier extended for overseas visitors. He said that they were facing massive problems as they were finding it tough to get visas to Afghanistan.
Moreover, officials of the ACCI (Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries) said the unveiling of this airport’s visa centre will help to boost the confidence of investors in Afghanistan.
Atiqullah Nusrat, the ACCI CEO, said the volume of foreign investments had unfortunately declined when compared to two or three years ago.
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