Key private sector priorities identified
KABUL (Pajhwok): Priorities identified by private sector entities that have been effective in addressing trade challenges and speeding up economic reforms would be presented to the London Conference.
Ahead of the London Conference, scheduled for the last week of November, private sector priorities were listed at a gathering where participants discussed Afghanistan’s issues. The event will be co-hosted both by Afghan and British governments.
Jointly arranged by Harakat Investment Climate Facility Organisation and the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) in Kabul, the gathering discussed the problems and prospects for six major sectors -- agriculture, business, industries, services, infrastructure and extractive industries.
At the conference conducted in coordination with GIZ, US Embassy and EU representatives focused on the six private sector entities.
Mohammad Nasim Akbar, executive director of Harakat, said issues concerning access to financial resources, electricity, land, simplification of administrative procedures, corruption, investment, capacity building and women’s role were discussed.
During the past decade, many achievements had been made but challenges and hurdles to success still persisted, he added. Lack of market access, land, corruption and procedural ambiguities were cited as main hurdles. Additionally, the political will for reforms remained elusive, he claimed.
In an attempt to tackle the challenges, they needed to identify the priorities and go head in close coordination with the government, the official observed.
Hazrat Omar Zakhelwal, acting finance minister and advisor to the president, acknowledged the country’s economy was not steady and remained reliant on foreign assistance. If the current problems were not addressed, the economy could nosedive, he warned.
With foreign aid decreasing, if the new government did not keep its promise of improving the economy, creating jobs and changing people’s lives, Afghanistan would not attain self-sufficiency during the next decade, Zakhelwal believed.
Before the London Conference, significant steps should be taken to attract foreign assistance and a joint list of priorities drawn up by private and public sectors.
At the end of the conference, a summary of the discussions was prepared. The priorities defined for dealing with the challenges before the private sector will be presented to the London Conference.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.