Ground broken for 19 new factories in Kabul
KABUL (Pajhwok): A groundbreaking ceremony marking the construction of 19 new industrial factories was performed in capital Kabul on Tuesday.
Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, president’s senior advisor on economic affairs, laid the foundation stones of the $105 million private sector venture.
Zakhiwal, a former finance minister, said the investment level in Afghanistan was weak, but the new factories would encourage others to invest in the country.
He said investments had declined in Afghanistan and businessmen were reluctant to invest their capitals.
According to Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA), per year investments during the past one decade in Afghanistan had been around $900 million, but the investments dropped in 2014 and current year’s investments stood at $600 million.
AISA head Qurban Haqjo, who attended the event, said $105 million would be invested to establish the 19 factories that would generate job opportunities for 1,500 people directly and for 7,500 others indirectly.
He said five of the factories would produce food items, six plastic items, one garments and one would process stones, three would manufacture medicines and one was a printing house.
In mid October, a national businessman launched a $25 million steel mill at the Kabul industry park.
About investments in Afghanistan, Haqjo said the Afghan government had failed in attracting investments.
If the government had paid attention to paving the ground for investments, it would have generated a lot of jobs for Afghans, he added. He also criticised Afghan businessmen for investments in housing schemes in Dubai and Turkey.
Haqjo added the lack of land was another problem facing investors. “Afghanistan Land Authority is not ready to meet with AISA officials and allocate land for investments,” he said.
He said the government was responsible to facilitate investors and should have a political will in this regard.
Kabul municipality expropriation director Eng. Saifur Rahman said there was no problem in allocating land to AISA. He said non-payment of money by AISA to acquire land was the only problem.
Afghanistan Industrialists Association head Shebaz Kaminzada said $8.5 billion were prevented from being invested in the country due to the lack of land plots.
He said the government had promised to allocate land plots for investors, but it did not fulfill the promise.
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