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Afghan air corridor for cargo to resume next week

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(Last Updated On: October 7, 2021)

The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) deputy head said Thursday that Afghanistan’s international air corridor for cargo will resume next week.

Mohammad Younis Mohmand told Ariana News the first flight will carry pine nuts.

The ACCI however continues to criticize Pakistan over its treatment of Afghan businessmen and called for issues to be resolved at the Torkham and Spin Boldak land ports.

Mohmand also blasted the United States for holding Afghanistan’s foreign reserves “hostage”.

He said this was a matter of grave concern as it directly affected the country’s economy.

Mostly all economic activity in the country came to a grinding halt almost two months ago when the former government collapsed.

Now however, with a vastly improved security situation, the export of Afghan produce via air corridors will resume, he said.

“Flights are ready, InshAllah (God Willing), maybe in four or five days the first cargo flight abroad will take place,” said Mohmand.

On the issue of treatment of Afghan businessmen by Pakistan, Mohmand called for good relations between both sides.

“Relations are not good. We call for mutual respect in all economic sectors with all our friends and neighbors in order to improve the economic situation,” Mohmand added.

Mohmand meanwhile said the freezing of Afghan assets by the US was an extremely serious situation and that the continuation of this will exacerbate the economic crisis in the country.

“We demand the release of Afghan money. Our banking system is in trouble because of this money and all major projects have stopped,” Mohmand added.

He also called for the banking system to be normalized and said the process of trade and investment was dependent on reliable banking activities.

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Afghanistan’s exports total $2 billion for last solar year

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(Last Updated On: March 29, 2023)

The deputy minister of trade and industry said on Tuesday at a press conference that Afghanistan’s exports totaled $2 billion for the past solar year.

Presenting his financial report for the 1401 solar year, Mawlavi Qadratullah Jamal said: “For the first time, Afghanistan’s exports have reached about two billion dollars, which shows an increase of 135 percent compared to [solar year] 1400 and 166 percent compared to 1399.”

According to the deputy minister, the recent actions of the Islamic Emirate’s administrations on improving the trade balance, maintaining monetary stability, creating work opportunities and providing transparency in revenue collection are among the reasons for the growth in Afghanistan’s trade and export revenue.

“During the last year, with a total value of $925.5 million, coal, cotton, hemp, pomegranate, raisins, figs, grapes, Roman eggplant, black pine nuts and onions to Pakistan, India, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates, China, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Kazakhstan have been exported,” Jamal said.

Officials add that in order to standardize and increase the country’s exports, the ministry plans to establish export processing centers in five zones around the country.

Officials have also said that the necessary facilities have been provided for importing goods and that the private sector can import their goods without any problems.

The deputy minister added that in order to strengthen trade, facilitate exports and imports and expand cooperation between countries, necessary arrangements have been made with neighboring countries such as Iran, Pakistan, Russia, China, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.

The officials of the ministry say that in terms of development and improvement of the industry in Afghanistan, fundamental steps have been taken, which includes growth in 50 sectors – including the iron smelting and skewer production sector, the spice sector, the soft drink production sector, the carpet sector and the printing sector.

According to the ministry, there are 51 industrial parks in the country, of which 14 industrial parks have been kept active during the last year, and efforts are underway to attract investment and reactivate all industrial parks.

According to the officials, in terms of attracting domestic and foreign investments, by providing the necessary facilities, the barriers to the investors have been removed.

Recently, a service center was established at the Kabul airport, and so far, 100 investors have received visas through this center. In addition, the ministry has created a legal and regulatory framework so that domestic and foreign investors can invest in the country with full confidence.

Also, the complex and time-consuming processes have been modified and now the private sector and entrepreneurs can receive, renew or cancel their licenses in the shortest possible time, officials said.

According to the ministry, during the last year, 5,100 licenses were distributed, 7,228 licenses were renewed and 333 licenses were canceled and 7,000 business passports were also distributed.

According to officials, during the year 1401, the amount of 341.6 million afghanis was allocated to this ministry and the amount of 15.5 million afghanis was allocated to this ministry, of which 83.3 percent of this amount was used.

Also, in 1401, a total amount of 704.48 million afghanis was collected, which shows a 43.37 percent increase compared to last year.

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Five countries eager to invest in lithium mines in Nuristan: officials

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(Last Updated On: March 24, 2023)

The Islamic Emirate officials say five countries are interested in investing in the “lithium” mining sector in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province.

Mohammad Yunus Rashid, the deputy of youth in the Ministry of Information and Culture, said that Japan, the US, China, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are among the countries that are interested in investing in the mining sector of lithium mines in Nuristan province.

“There is a lot of interest in lithium mining at the global level, five countries have made contact with the Islamic Emirate and said that they are ready to invest in this sector,” said Rashid.

According to officials, there are high capacities for economic self-sufficiency in the country and positive changes will be made in the economic development of the country in the near future.

Economic experts meanwhile believe that if the extraction and processing of the country’s minerals are done in Afghanistan, the country can get out of the economic crisis very quickly.

“There are trillions of dollars of capacity in Afghanistan’s mines, which should be invested, the statistics should be accurate, the regions should be determined, in which areas we have what kind of mines,” said Kamaluddin Kakar, an economic expert.

In addition, members of the private sector say they are trying to invest jointly and individually with foreign investors in the mining sector. They call on the Islamic Emirate to hand over mining contracts to companies that have the ability to process in the country.

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Customs duties on essential food items drops by up to 70%

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(Last Updated On: March 20, 2023)

The Ministry of Finance said that based on the decision of the leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, customs duties on basic food items have dropped by between 50 and 70 percent in the last solar year.

As a result of this decision customs duties have been reduced to the value of 6.7 million afghanis this year, the ministry said.

The decision to decrease customs duties on the food items that include flour, wheat, cooking oil, rice, and sugar, was to keep the prices down on local markets.

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