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‘Illegal trade hitting investors hard in Afghanistan'

‘Illegal trade hitting investors hard in Afghanistan'

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Jul 25, 2018 - 19:18

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Industrialists on Wednesday said illegal trade posed ‘a serious challenge’ to investment in Afghanistaninfo-icon, asking the government to address the problem and create a bank for industries and distribution of land to investors.

Abdul Jabbar Safi, head of Afghanistan Industries, Mines and Investors High Council (AIMIHC), told a press conference here that illegal trade, shortage of electricity and incomplete 28 industrial parks were main problems the investors faced.

“Fifty percent of trade in Afghanistan is illegal, goods are smuggled into the country while some traders do not provide exact amount of goods they import and their prices,” he said.

He said Iran last year announced exporting products worth five billion afghanis to Afghanistan while the Afghan government said that it imported goods worth 2.5 billion afghanis during the period from the neighboring country.

“This difference in figures proves a large amount of goods is illegally imported to the country,” said Safi. He said the illegal trade was hitting industrialists hard and had rendered them unable to compete.

He said industrialists had been asking the government for the last few years to create an industries bank for providing loans to industrialists, but the government did nothing so far.

Safi added 28 industrial parks planned during former president Hamid Karzai’s government could not be completed so far. “The industrial parks should be completed and handed over to industrialists”, he said.

Musafir Qoqandi, spokesman for the Ministry of Industries and Commence, acknowledged there were problems but said: “The commerce and industries sector was developed in the last two and a half years, something unseen in the previous 14 years.”

He said 100 megawatts of electricity was provided to Pul-i-Charkhi industrial park alone and four other industrial parks were completed and distributed to investors.

He said many exhibitions were organized inside and outside the country for promoting domestic products and the government had always stressed on using domestic products.

Efforts for resolving industrialists’ problems are underway but it may take some time, he concluded.

mds/ma

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