Afghan govt.’s efforts for economic growth commendable

Afghanistan’s economy grew by an estimated 2.9 percent in 2019, driven mainly by strong agricultural growth following recovery from drought, but lingering political uncertainty dampens private confidence and investment, said the World Bank in a report Wednesday.
“Growth picked up in Afghanistan in 2019. This is good news, but insecurity and political uncertainty are holding back the Afghan economy,” said World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan Henry Kerali, as quoted in the report. The WB urged Afghanistan to ramp up the pace of reforms to generate faster growth necessary to improve the living standards of its people and reduce poverty.
The report notes that as drought impacts further recede and private sector confidence improves following conclusion of the presidential election, growth is expected to accelerate to 3.3 percent in 2020.
According to the report, domestic revenue collection reached a new high of 14.5 percent of GDP in 2019, up from 13.3 percent in 2018. Strong revenue performance reflected both progress in establishing a robust tax system and substantial one-off revenues, including transfers from the Da Afghanistan Bank.
Afghanistan has come a long way over the past two decades. Much has been accomplished since then in the areas of reconstruction, state-building, poverty alleviation and relief and assistance delivery to impoverished masses with the help of the International community.
The National Unity Government since its inauguration has taken bold steps towards economic growth of the country and has adopted serious measures and pushed both public and private sectors to pay their taxes as well as dues to help the state reach the desire goals for economic self-sufficiency.
The Afghan government in close coordination with international community, is actively supporting export-driven economic growth across a wide range of sectors. Empowering the private sector to comply with international exports has helped open regional and international market opportunities for domestic traders. Meanwhile the government has also eased foreign investments in Afghanistan.
Sustainable economic growth in the long term is critical for Afghanistan to achieve political security, self-reliance, and overall economic stability.
Following the successful launch of the air corridors with China, India and Europe, the Government of Afghanistan continued to open more air corridors with other countries to showcase additional Afghan exports to the world. As of December 2018, the Afghanistan’s National Air Corridor Program facilitated the export of goods to India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, European Union, Kazakhstan, and the United Arab Emirates.
Indeed, the potential for much-faster growth exists but remains dependent on continued support from the international community and the Afghan government’s commitment to pushing business environment and anti-corruption reforms.
The international community needs to maintain its support to Afghanistan to sustain the country’s recent development progress and help realize its long-term growth and self-reliance prospects. Meanwhile it is also necessary for Afghan government to assure its international partners that progress is being made on governance and that aid resources are used efficiently.

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