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Afghan businessmen more pessimistic than before

Afghan businessmen more pessimistic than before

Aug 09, 2017 - 21:52

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): A new survey shows businessmen’s optimism has further declined in Afghanistaninfo-icon during the first quarter of the current solar yearinfo-icon, compared to the same period last year.

The survey on evaluating business situation was conducted by the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) in the Sarataan month (last month).

The German Societyinfo-icon for International Cooperation (GIZ) financially supported the survey during which 700 small, medium and large companies owners were interviewed in Kabul, Nangarhar, Balkh, Kandahar and Herat provinces.

The survey touched upon subjects such as agricultureinfo-icon, construction, production, services and trade. Atiqullah Nasrat, ACCI head, said though 1396 was being dubbed as ‘the year of action’; however, still many problems remained in various spheres because government’s promises were not honored.

The survey noted lowered optimism among companies about their future compared to the survey done last year.  

Nasrat said the export of agricultural products was 141,000 tonnes last year and this year it had been estimated to reach up to 170,000 tonnes. According to him, the survey found the agriculture sector in a better situation.

The survey demonstrated: “The general index for business and trade in Jawza month of 1396 for Kabul, Balkh, Kandahar, Nangarhar and Herat stood at -6.7 compared to -9.1 during the same period last year. The survey found agriculture the only sector that added six positive points to the business index.”

The production/manufacturing sector, having an index of (-20) and the construction (-10.3) suffered the most due to improper business status and both remained at the bottom of the business index, the survey found.

The survey also said the services and trade sectors enjoyed a little positive change, but still the two sectors had (-12.8) and (-9.3) index respectively.

Nasrat cited non-implementation of reforms among reasons behind no development in these spheres. The survey showed most of complaints were from the production/industry sector.

Industrialists weren’t provided with even a single metre square of land over the past two years and contracts for mines extraction were not extended and currently about 100 marble processing factories were at a standstill due to lack of raw material.

According to Nasrat, lack of infrastructure, electricity, enormous amount of taxes, illegal extortion were issues businessmen faced.

Nasrat said 70 percent of the respondents dubbed insecurity as main obstacle to their business compared to 50 percent of those interviewed during last year’s survey during the same period.  He said serious issues remained in distributing business permits to the private sector.

sns /ma

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