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Afghanistan registers trade surplus with Pakistan: SIGAR

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(Last Updated On: November 3, 2022)

Afghanistan registered a trade surplus of $79 million with Pakistan from July 2021 to June 2022, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) stated in its latest report.

The report — prepared for the US Congress — noted that Afghanistan’s currency, the Afghani, appreciated by 11.6 per cent against the Pakistani rupee.

SIGAR noted that despite economic and political problems, the Afghan currency remained relatively steady this quarter, appreciating by 6.1pc against the euro and 0.2pc against the Indian rupee.

Data issued by Afghanistan’s central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), however, showed that between the end of June and mid-September, the Afghani depreciated 0.6pc against the US dollar and 1.9pc against the Chinese yuan.

Citing World Bank data, SIGAR reported that Afghanistan’s main imports from Pakistan this year remained food items, followed by pharmaceutical products and wood.

“Afghanistan is exporting about 10,000 tons of coal a day to Pakistan,” SIGAR stated adding that the IEA was benefiting from rising oil prices.

“Between June and July 2022, the Taliban (IEA) tripled prices on coal exports to raise revenue from its mining sector amid booming coal exports to Pakistan,” the report said.

The report noted that the United States remains the largest donor to Afghanistan, providing more than $1.1 billion to Afghanistan since the IEA takeover.

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World Bank report finds Afghan revenue collection strong

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(Last Updated On: January 27, 2023)

The World Bank on Wednesday published its latest report on Afghanistan’s economy and painted a slightly positive picture – stating that in the first nine months of the fiscal year 2022, exports were good, the exchange rate was stable and the Islamic Emirate’s revenue collection had been strong.

The World Bank stated that inflationary pressure in Afghanistan has eased since July of last year, decelerating by half to 9.1 % in November, while most basic food and non-food items are still widely available. The report stated the decline in inflation was due to lower global oil and food prices, along with a stable exchange rate.

The bank stated that Afghanistan exported $1.7 billion worth of goods during this time, an increase of approximately 90% compared to the full year 2021.

The report noted that January to June 2022 data shows the country imported $2.9 billion of goods.

In addition, the report stated that revenue collection had remained strong, reaching $1.54 billion between March and December 2022, in line with 2020 results.

A major chunk of the revenues came from taxes collected at borders and non-tax sources while a rise in coal mining royalties and fees were likely the drivers of the increase in revenue, the report found.

The report also noted that most government workers in Afghanistan have received salaries regularly and that their main problem was the lack of cash in banks when withdrawing their salaries.

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New labor minister promises to provide job opportunities to curb migration

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(Last Updated On: January 27, 2023)

Abdul Manan Omari, the new minister of labor and social affairs, says the ministry will try to provide job opportunities for people inside the country so as to stop Afghans from seeking work outside the country.

In an introductory ceremony on Thursday in Kabul, the new minister said the ministry will also try to defend the rights of Afghans working in other countries, as well as create job opportunities in order to curb migration.

Meanwhile, Noorul Haq Anwar, the head of the Administrative Office, said at the event that the Islamic Emirate is a national system and is committed to providing balanced services throughout the country.

“The rights of all citizens will be addressed,” said Anwar.

According to him, many attempts have been made to weaken the country’s economy, but they have managed to control this.

He said they will not allow anyone “to lead the country to an economic crisis” and expressed hope that with the changes in the leadership of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, services will improve.

Currently, the country’s unemployment rate is estimated to be at above 90% as hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs following the withdrawal of foreign troops and the collapse of the former government.

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Uzbekistan to resume electricity exports to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: January 24, 2023)

Uzbekistan will resume electricity exports to Afghanistan from Wednesday after a 10 day stoppage.

Tashkent suspended supplies on January 14 due to the extreme cold, which led to a fuel shortage at their power plants.

The Ministry of Energy in Uzbekistan said that supplies to Afghanistan were temporarily stopped as a result of fuel shortages and various technical problems, as well as to ensure a stable energy supply to consumers in Uzbekistan.

The Ministry said it had warned the energy company Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) about the situation.

Bakhtar news agency reported that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan on Tuesday assured the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan that within the next 24 hours, 250 megawatts of electricity will be provided to Afghanistan.

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