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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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Russian PM says Moscow ready to expand transport routes to Afghanistan, South Asia

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(Last Updated On: September 19, 2023)

Russia is ready to intensify the expansion of Eurasian transport routes, including those to Afghanistan and South Asia, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said.

“Further steps towards the development of the North-South international corridor are a priority. As we have said before, this project can compete with the Suez Canal in terms of cargo transportation, and its implementation will boost trade and economic cooperation between all project participants,” Mishustin said at a meeting with Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov, Interfax news agency reported on Monday.

“In this area, we are ready to focus on the expansion of all transport routes on the common Eurasian space, including those to Afghanistan and South Asia,” he said.

Drafting a comprehensive cooperation program to develop rail transport in Uzbekistan was a key objective, Mishustin said while speaking of greater transport connection between Russia and Uzbekistan, as well as the Eurasian space in general. “Russian investors are ready to help upgrade airport infrastructure,” he said.

Uzbekistan’s Aripov said, in turn, that the development of new international transport corridors would allow access to promising markets.

“We support the development of a key transport corridor on the Eurasian continent, the North-South international corridor. We are interested in the joint launch of a new multimodal transport corridor between Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. An important aspect of this initiative is the construction of a railroad in the trans-Afghan corridor,” he said.

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Rawnaq launches business development program for 40 small companies

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(Last Updated On: September 18, 2023)

Cordaid International Organization has launched a trade development training program for 40 small businesses through a project, Rawnaq, to support the private sector and create jobs for internally displaced people (IDPs).

Zalmay Isaar, manager of Rawnaq in Herat, said that the participants have learned basic business skills over a week’s training session.

“The main goal of Rawnaq project is to create jobs and work opportunities for internally displaced people, and in the second step, we are trying to get private companies to help us to achieve this goal,” said Isaar.

This project gives valid documents to the participants so that they can promote their businesses, he added.

A number of businessmen and industrialists meanwhile believe that this project will be effective for the growth of domestic production.

“It has been really effective and useful for the companies whose managers are women because it is the need of every company that they should have the capacity and build capacity,” said Behnaz Seljuqi, deputy director of Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industries in the western zone.

On the sidelines of this program, an exhibition of handicrafts and domestic products has also been held.

It is said that many men and women who have received the necessary training in business have started small businesses for themselves.

“Inshallah, we will implement these equations and programs that we learned during the program in our work and business,” said Nazir Ahmad Noori, a businessman.

Rawnaq project started its activity in 2020 and its aim is to grow businesses so that they can provide employment for IDPs through investment.

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Over 80,000 square meters of Afghan carpets exported monthly: Union

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(Last Updated On: September 17, 2023)

The Union of Carpet Producers and Exporters in the western zone of the country says over 80,000 square meters of carpets are exported to world markets every month, and that the volume of exports has continued to grow.

The union officials, however, say they do not have direct access to the world markets, but Afghan carpets are sent to the markets of European and American countries through Pakistan.

“According to a survey conducted in 1402, it can be said that 80 to 100 thousand square meters of carpets are exported to different countries every month,” said Mohammad Rafi Naderi, head of the union.

Carpets are usually exported through Pakistan to the US, Canada, England, European countries and some Asian countries, he said.

Meanwhile, carpet sellers in Herat city expressed concern saying that although the market for carpets has improved, they cannot send domestic handwoven carpets to global markets directly.

According to them, Afghan carpets are still exported to the world markets as having been woven in neighboring countries, stressing that there was a need to promote Afghan carpets.

“Now traders don’t come, now our goods go to Pakistan, and from Pakistan, our carpets are being exported under the name of Pakistani goods abroad,” said Abdul Khaliq Qaderi, a carpet seller.

Meanwhile, Herat’s Department of Industry and Commerce says the process of exporting carpets abroad has improved recently, so efforts are being made to improve the carpet industry and export it to global markets.

“In each zone, places have been selected for better export, good control and packaging,” said Bashir Mohammad Seerat, head of Herat Industry and Commerce Department

According to him, due to the export of carpets from Herat, a facility is being considered where carpets can be packaged.

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