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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.


Ministry of Finance rejects claims of closure of Islam Qala customs office



(Last Updated On: May 31, 2023)

The ministry of finance has rejected claims that the Islam Qala customs office in Herat province has suspended operations.

According to officials, media reports indicated that their office closed on Wednesday.

“We reject the false reports published in this regard and want to mention that Islam Qala Customs of Herat works normally and provides the necessary services,” officials said.

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Five-day expo in Herat of domestic products draws good response



(Last Updated On: May 30, 2023)

Herat Chamber of Industries and Mines says a five-day expo of domestically manufactured goods has drawn over 20,000 visitors and that business owners have signed dozens of contracts with investors and traders from other provinces.

“The booths were very good, the facilities were very good, people had all visited, participated from Herat and other provinces, and many of the contracts were signed at this expo,” said Toryali Ghousi, deputy of Herat Chamber of Industries and Mines.

Officials also said that the factory owners have displayed their products in 120 booths.

Dairy and other consumable products along with plastic goods, medicines and home appliances were among the items showcased at this expo.

Business owners have welcomed initiatives to hold expos and say more are needed so as to encourage people to buy domestic products.

“If these expos are always held and people come to see the domestic products, Inshallah, we will be able to stop the goods coming from abroad and move towards self-sufficiency,” said one business owner.

“Most of the people are not aware of domestic products and when expos are held, they become aware of domestic products,” said another participant.

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Process of exporting fresh fruit to world markets kicks off: MoIC



(Last Updated On: May 29, 2023)

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC) says the process of exporting fresh fruit to world markets has started.

The ministry’s spokesman Abdul Salam Jawad said that they are trying to market the country’s fresh fruits in order to export them at a reasonable price.

“Fortunately, we were able to export 20 tons of cherries to Kazakhstan, and our other fresh fruit is black cherry, which are ripe and almost ready to package, and we will export them to the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan,” he said.

The Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock also said that when problems with the issuing of visas by countries to Afghan businessmen are resolved, they can export more products.

“We have invested in the packaging and in the cold storage areas, and we have the ability to adjust and export this packaging to Europe and America based on global standards,” said Omid Haidari, head of foreign relations of the Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock.

“Unfortunately, due to the lack of air corridors and subsidies from the Ministry of Agriculture, we indirectly export fruits to India and Pakistan, and later Indian and Pakistani businessmen buy from us and export to Europe,” he added. 

However, a number of investors say that if the country’s fresh fruit is not marketed, farmers and businessmen will face losses.

“Seven kilos of our watermelons are sold for fifty afghanis, seven kilos of our watermelons from Farah to here [Kabul] cost forty afghanis as fare; the farmer is really very poor,” said a trader. 

According to experts, if fresh fruit and other products of Afghanistan are regularly exported, the country’s national income will increase.

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