Optimism for Investments in Afghanistan Declines: Survey

Recent studies by the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) show that problems facing local businesses continue and optimism for investments in the country has declined.

Based on their survey in the past three months of the current year, agriculture is the only sector that is experiencing positive growth, Officials at the ACCI said.

In the past three months, the level of recruitment of workers in the sectors of commerce, industry, building and services has decreased and many companies are dismissing their employees because of the drop in market demand for their products.

“Government over the past two years has not even distributed one meter of land to factory owners. Due to problems in the mines ministry, currently over 100 factories processing marble stone are slumping,” said CEO at ACCI, Atiqullah Nusrat.

According to the survey, growing insecurity and the lack of infrastructure and electricity are the main causes of the business decline in the country.

“There are lots of problems and because of these problems there is not much difference between the figures of the last quarter compared to the current figures. Corruption exists and although the business license distribution process became easier, numerous problems still exist,” ACCI Deputy Head Khan Jan Alokozay said.

Manufacturers experiencing problems say that power shortages are a major challenge in this sector.

“The power supply is not stable and we cannot use the electricity because we are afraid that our machine may burn out,” said Mohammad Zahir, a worker at one of the factories.

Officials at the ACCI said that the lack of bilateral and multilateral, transit and trade agreements with a number of countries in the region has slowed down trade with these countries.

Officials said while Afghanistan has access to global transit routes, the country cannot use those routes.

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