British Expertise, Grosvenor Gardens, London
Blending ground realities in Afghanistan and Somalia with the expectations of international Investors
This initiative addressed the dilemma that local businesses hold the key to the future of fragile states and they urgently need investment; but lack of security, an informal money system and endemic corruption are major deterrents for the international community.
Much has already been written and said about these concerns by academics, policymakers and external commentators, but our contention is that potential investors and businesspeople from the worst-affected countries such as Afghanistan and Somalia must collaborate directly to ground these discussions in reality and together chart a practical way forward.
Money dealers and international bankers were engaged in the debate about the intersection between the age-old hawala network and today’s global financial system, perceived by many to be in need of fundamental reform.
Our immediate focus for Afghanistan was on the short-term transition period through 2014, because many local businesses face severe reductions in one of their largest customer bases – the Coalition partners. Hence representatives from Government (host and donor), the military and development sector were also asked to add their perspectives.