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World Bank OKs grant to revitalise Afghan private sector

World Bank OKs grant to revitalise Afghan private sector

May 04, 2011 - 12:39

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Worldinfo-icon Bank has approved a $22 million grant for the Afghanistaninfo-icon New Market Development Project aimed at revitalising the country's private sector.

Seeking to support some 750 enterprises and 10 business associations through a cost-sharing facility to access business development services, the four-year project is expected to create around 1,500 jobs in the short term.

It will be implemented by the Ministry of Commerce and Industries. A Project Steering Committee chaired by the ministry and composed of representatives from the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry will provide oversight.

A statement from the World Bank Country Office in Kabul said the project would pilot a business development programme in four urban centers -- Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad and Herat, major hubs of economic activity.

Enterprises in these centers will be helped to gain market knowledge, improve the quality of their products, boost their productive capacity, acquire new technologies and implement business plans to increase their presence in domestic and export markets.

"Afghans have traditionally been a very entrepreneurial people who have long traded their goods with countries of the region and the world," said Nicholas Krafft, World Bank Country Director.

The project aimed to revive and further develop the once-vibrant private enterprises that are critical for providing jobs for the people and boosting the country’s economic growth, Krafft added.


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