Services, construction sector slows down
KABUL (PAN): The manufacturing sector picked up greater steam this year, compared with 2012, but construction and service sector activity declined sharply, a new survey by the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) revealed on Tuesday.
Conducted by ACCI with the cooperation of a German organisation, the survey covered Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif and Kandahar City. The business environment in Kabul was slightly more unfavorable than last year, but the situation in Balkh province was far better.
However, the overall investor satisfaction level in Kandahar City was much lower than in Kabul and Mazar, according to the study, based on views of different company officials on the current situation and their expectations for the next six months.
Many respondents believed manufacturing firms had better prospects than business, services and construction sectors. “The government’s policies encouraging investment during the year have probably yielded propitious results on the one hand and the manufacturing sector was the least affected by direct consequences of reduced international aid on the other."
The survey showed there had been sharp differences between small and medium business enterprises in a corporate business environment. ACCI said problems between small and medium-sized enterprises must be addressed because the companies played a key role in economic growth.
Despite assurances held out to the firms, improved security remained elusive, the study explained. A low presence of women in economic activities was seen as a serious shortcoming.
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