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Concerns grow over economic situation as Kabul banks remain closed



(Last Updated On: August 24, 2021)

Afghans on Tuesday warned the ongoing closure of banks will lead to an economic crisis in the country and appealed to the Taliban to get the banks to reopen as soon as possible.

This comes after the Ministry of Finance issued a statement Sunday saying that the banks would reopen on Tuesday.

Members of the public said if banks do not open soon they will start demonstrating.

Banks have been closed for more than a week, following the takeover of the country by the Taliban.

Residents said they kept their money in banks as a safety precaution but are now facing extreme difficulties.

“We put our money in the bank because of thieves, but now that the security is maintained, we cannot withdraw our money,” said Yasmin, one Kabul resident.

“We call on the Taliban to open the banks as soon as possible,” said Abdul Wali Noor, another resident.

“I come every day, unfortunately the banks do not open and it has made us more worried. If the banks do not open, we will hold demonstrations,” said Mohammadi, another Kabul resident.

Another resident said: “I have several months worth of salaries in the bank, but the banks have been closed for 10 days. We are starving to death,” said Abdullah, another resident.
Economists also say that the closure of banks has had a negative impact on food prices.

“They (bank employees) say there is no money, and the cash we had is now finished. Shopkeepers also will not let you borrow money,” said Ahmad Shah, another resident.

However, the Ministry of Finance issued a statement Sunday saying that the banks would reopen on Tuesday, but this has not happened.
This comes after the Taliban appointed an acting director for the Central Bank.


Acting commerce minister meets Russian deputy PM



(Last Updated On: May 17, 2024)

Nooruddin Azizi, Acting Minister of Industry and Commerce, met with Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk to discuss trade and investment, it was announced on Friday.

Sergey Pavlov, General Director of Russian Railways, and Dmitry Zverev, Deputy Minister of Transport of Russia, were also present in the meeting, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said in a statement.

According to the statement, the two sides discussed increasing the volume of trade, preferential tariff for Afghan goods, Russian investment in mines and water dams in Afghanistan, and Afghanistan’s role in the International North–South Transport Corridor.

They also discussed about reducing the cost of transportation through the Russian railway, removing the export tax on basic materials, arranging the trip of the delegation to the ports of Astrakhan and Makhachkala, and holding a trade connectivity conference and an expo of Afghan products in Moscow.

Azizi met with the Russian deputy PM on the sidelines of the Kazan Forum – the 15th International Economic Forum of Russia and the Islamic World.

He also met with representatives of a number of Tatarstan and Russia companies and encouraged them to invest in Afghanistan.

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Azizi meets with head of Tatarstan on sidelines of Kazan Forum



(Last Updated On: May 16, 2024)

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry said Thursday acting minister Nooruddin Azizi met with the leader of Russia’s autonomous republic of Tatarstan, Rustam Nurgaliyevich Minnikhanov, on the sidelines of a meeting in Kazan.

According to the ministry, Azizi met with Minnikhanov on the sidelines of the Kazan Forum – the 15th International Economic Forum of Russia and the Islamic World.

The two officials discussed bilateral trade relations, the establishment of the Russian Trade House in Afghanistan, the visit of Minnikhanov to Kabul, investment in electricity production, water transfer, mining, cultural and economic cooperation and other matters.

This annual meeting is held by Russia and the 14th round of this meeting was also held in the same country last year.

The main goal of the forum is to strengthen trade and economic, scientific and technical, social and cultural ties between Russian regions and the countries of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), as well as to promote the development of the Islamic financial system institutions in Russia.

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Afghanistan’s imports and exports totaled $10.3 billion last year



(Last Updated On: May 15, 2024)

The National Statistics and Information Authority (NSIA) said on Wednesday that last year, the value of exports totaled $1.79 billion while imports totaled $8.57 billion.

According to NSIA, fruits accounted for the largest share of export items last year, totaling over $645 million.

Medicinal plants, minerals and vegetables were the next top three items respectively to be exported.

Meanwhile, petroleum and oil accounted for the largest portion of imported goods, totaling over $1.37 billion.

Another large portion of the total amount imported went to machinery, vehicles and parts. This totaled over $1.15 billion, followed by textiles, metals and metal products.

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