The Kabul Times.
Economic Politics

Concerns over future investments amid US troop withdrawal

Soldiers attached to the 101st Resolute Support Sustainment Brigade, Iowa National Guard and 10th Mountain, 2-14 Infantry Battalion, load onto a Chinook helicopter to head out on a mission in Afghanistan, January 15, 2019. 1st Lt. Verniccia Ford/U.S. Army/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC110D3B25B0

By: Shukria Kohistani

Following announcement of full US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan by September, concerns over future investments in the country have increased. Officials for Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) say US and NATO troop withdrawal from Afghanistan will definitely put impact on investment and economy of the country. They said nearly 1,500 investors have left for Turkey in the past one year.
“Currently, the most serious concern of national traders and investors in the country is lack of a unified language between the government and its international partners,” said Khanjan Alokozay, deputy to the chamber of commerce and industries.
He said that another concern was the increasing uncertainty in connection with the country’s future economic system as based on the country’s constitution, the economic system was currently the open market system and its future destiny was not clear, adding that currently 25 percent of a national investor’s incomes were spent in their security.
“Owner of a manufacturing company has 300 workers, but in the meantime he is obliged to hire 100 – 150 security guards for security of the company,” Alokozay said, adding that the investor needs to spend more on his company’s security; therefore, in consideration to current situation, traders believe they won’t have good future in the country.
According to Khanjan Alokozay, situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating by passing each single day. Besides of lack of infrastructures and un-implementation of laws, fighting and kidnappings are continuing unprecedentedly.
Officials for the country’s chamber of commerce and investment have also said that traders have not given considerable role in the country’s peace process and formation of high council for national reconciliation but previously, they had shared their visions and concerns with Presidential Office in high economic council and other relevant meetings.
A number of Afghan economists believe that in consideration to the country’s dependency to foreign assistance, full US and NATO troop withdrawal will bring economic harms, but the level of such harms will considerably reduce in case of continued assistance and cooperation to Afghanistan.
Nevertheless, officials for Afghanistan Ministry of Commerce and Industries have different vision, saying that no investors have asked for cancellation of their license so far. According to the country’s commerce and industry’s ministry, investments have not reduced in current year comparing to previous years despite of the COVID-19 pandemic; therefore, there is no serious concern in this regard.
US new administration led by President Joe Biden has recently announced full US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by September. Following the announcement, NATO member countries have also announced they will also withdraw their troops from Afghanistan on the respective date.
Although it is determined that Istanbul conference is set to be held to decide on future of Afghanistan after Eidul Fitr, there are still concerns over what will happen after the full US and NATO troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

 

 

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The Kabul Times.