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World Bank says Afghanistan private sector adversely affected due to economic crisis



(Last Updated On: April 9, 2022)

A World Bank survey has said that Afghanistan’s ongoing economic crisis has adversely affected economic activities in the country with the private sector suffering the most.

The survey was carried out in October and November and was made public on Thursday, April 7, 2022.

The survey indicates that most Afghan traders complain about the lack of demand in markets, which has reduced economic activities and investment in the country.

One in three respondents of the survey has said that they have suspended their businesses after August 2021.

Based on the findings of the survey, 38 percent of small firms have suspended their operations, 35 of medium firms have been closed, and 25 percent of big firms have stopped their activities.

In the meantime, the existing economic situation has also impacted women-run businesses, and 42 percent of these businesses have been suspended.

Private sector members also approved the findings of the survey.

“We believe that some post-transformation economic problems have arisen, but the cause is the World Bank itself. Had they not stimulated Afghanistan’s economic systems, Afghanistan’s economy would not have been in trouble,” said Sherbaz Kaminzada, CEO of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

The Afghan Ministry of Finance rejected the report and questioned its accuracy. Its officials said that economic activities in the country have increased over the past few months and that Afghanistan is still developing economically.

“First of all, we have to see how accurate this report is. The other thing is that the World Bank itself is to blame for the economic crisis in Afghanistan. Our assets have been blocked and sanctions have been imposed. These are all the problems,” said Ahmad Wali Haqmal, the finance ministry’s spokesman.

The World Bank survey also points to unemployment after the 15th of August 2021 and says that companies in Afghanistan have laid off more than half of their employees, majority of them being women.


MTN receives $35 million offer for Afghanistan operation



(Last Updated On: August 12, 2022)

South Africa’s MTN Group has received a binding offer for 100% of its shares in MTN Afghanistan for a consideration of approximately $35 million, the company has confirmed.

The identity of the buyer was not disclosed but the operator expects the transaction to be concluded within roughly six months, South African media reports indicated.

The sale will mark the completion of the group’s planned exit from its consolidated Middle East and Central Asia markets following the sale of its business in Yemen and the loss of its Syrian operations last year.

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Muttaqi urges China to help increase Afghan export volume



(Last Updated On: August 10, 2022)

Afghanistan’s Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi met with Beijing’s visiting special envoy to Kabul on Tuesday and called on China to pave the way for Afghan exports.

During the meeting, held in Kabul, Muttaqi thanked the Chinese government for starting the visa issuance process in Kabul for Afghan traders, calling it beneficial for bilateral trade between the two countries.

China’s envoy Yue Xiaoyong said that he was working on bilateral and multinational relations with Afghanistan, and spoke about the “encouraging news during his recent regional visits,” according to a statement from the Afghan foreign ministry.

Yue also praised the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) for its efforts and achievements, adding that the new Afghan government has been able to fulfill challenging and significant tasks in a short period of time, and that it had managed the natural disasters and cold winter well, the statement said.

The Chinese special envoy said bilateral relations with Afghanistan had progressed significantly, adding that the meetings between the two countries’ foreign ministers depicted deep relations between the two nations.

He also said that in addition to pine nuts, China was considering importing other dried and fresh fruits to help Afghanistan’s economy.

China’s special envoy arrived in Kabul after visiting Turkey, Pakistan and India to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

In Kabul, the envoy also met with Acting Defense Minister Mohammad Yaqub Mujahid, where they discussed the need for bilateral cooperation.

Mujahid told the envoy that Afghanistan would facilitate investment in the country.

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Musk says Twitter deal could move ahead with ‘bot’ info



(Last Updated On: August 6, 2022)

Elon Musk said Saturday his planned $44 billion takeover of Twitter should move forward if the company can confirm some details about how it measures whether user accounts are ‘spam bots’ or real people, AP reported Saturday. 

The billionaire and Tesla CEO has been trying to back out of his April agreement to buy the social media company, leading Twitter to sue him last month to complete the acquisition. Musk countersued, accusing Twitter of misleading his team about the true size of its user base and other problems he said amounted to fraud and breach of contract.

Both sides are headed toward an October trial in a Delaware court.

“If Twitter simply provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they’re confirmed to be real, the deal should proceed on original terms,” Musk tweeted early Saturday. “However, if it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then it should not.”

Twitter declined comment Saturday. The company has repeatedly disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission an estimate that fewer than 5% of user accounts are fake or spam, with a disclaimer that it could be higher. Musk waived his right to further due diligence when he signed the April merger agreement.

Twitter has argued in court that Musk is deliberately trying to tank the deal because market conditions have deteriorated and the acquisition no longer serves his interests. In a court filing Thursday, it describes his counterclaims as an imagined story “contradicted by the evidence and common sense.”

“Musk invents representations Twitter never made and then tries to wield, selectively, the extensive confidential data Twitter provided him to conjure a breach of those purported representations,” company attorneys wrote.

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