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Economic

Trade and investment in Afghanistan

By: Mohammad Ibrahim Hafizi

 Trade and investment play an essential role in economic sector of Afghanistan all the time, because it is a land looked country, its economic development depends more on trade and investment. Investment is in two kinds; first, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which is investing directly and covers specific areas, second is governments are investing among each other which is much broader and covers all economic sectors, such as, Agriculture, infrastructures, technology and Research and Development (R&D), thus, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will help to keep active the economic machine of the country.

   I prefer all types of investment in the country but mostly government with government and SMEs development in the country. It will keep active all line ministries of Afghanistan. For example, if we signed an economic protocol with developed countries or with our neighboring countries. it eases the investment and trading as well as it develops the economic sector and generate economic diplomacy for Afghanistan. This has potential to change economic models and equations in Afghanistan.

   Meanwhile small and medium enterprises are the other factor which can brings a huge difference  in life standard of people especially the low level and medal level class of the society thus it alive innovation and creativity the quality of  investment and trading will improves more, decreases the unemployment rate, poverty reduction will take place and the primary sector of economy which is agriculture will have a better output, it would be input for industrial sector in a country there is no need to import raw materials such as rice, bean and….  it brings sustainable economy to Afghanistan which is very important in this situation because international aids are decreased. now it is the time to have a good economic plan to do capital formation and it is just happening through economic sectors improvement.

Besides, establishing of R&D institutes to do research and find out the problems of investment and trading which we are facing, the ministers and directors who have experience and attend international investment and trading conferences inside the country and out side of the country must involve and solve the issues scientifically.

   The challenges and problems which Afghanistan facing through investment and trade is political instability which is very important It does not let Afghanistan to join some regional economic organizations such as shanghai economical cooperation, but I hope it will be resolved with good policies by government of Afghanistan.

Since we all know that Afghanistan has the best geographic location in the Asia that could connect markets from south Asian countries to central Asia and European. But unfortunately, there are a lot of political barriers to make this happen. For example, India wants to establish south economic cooperation through Afghanistan that joins India’s market to European markets and water problem of Iran and Turkmenistan. I believe the political barriers that pose challenge to these huge projects could be solved by negotiating with all involved countries. Implementing these huge projects will have direct impact on life of every individual in Afghanistan.

     Now a days the whole economy of the world is facing problem due to pandemic of corona virus which is out of control, but it does not mean we stop the investment and trading activities. As we witnessed in Afghanistan in past few days the price of primary goods goes up due to investment and trade uncertainty. Government interfered and controlled the market by a good strategy which was filling the stocks and import materials from other countries, but it is not a solution in long term for us. It is important to keep active and develop much more our economy primary sector which is agriculture and keep full our stock, thus make a long-term plan at least for 10 years for economic and uncertainty situation by the help of line ministries.

    In my opinion, this is uncertainty situation because corona virus  occurs in all over the world the best solution is; those sectors which are very important like health, customs, finance and border keep active and make working shift for its employees as well as provide some benefits for them incensement in there, salary protection mechanism in the working area and keep update them about the situation which is happening because of corona virus in the world, it encourage them to work and do not leave their field of work, the other organizations which are policy maker virtually working is better solution for them from one side we can control the spreading of corona virus in a county and on the other side we can continues and keep active our economic machines.

It was a big learning for us in Afghanistan especially for economists and our politicians,  running economy in a certainty is easy but it is important to have a strategy plan for uncertainty and taking risk , on base of risk calculation we can make decision for uncertainty in the country which all developed countries do this and prepare them self to solve any situation if it happen in the world, it is the most important point which we should consider in our economy, thus, to be ready and have control in any sectors of economy in the future.

    In conclusion, I am very optimism about the current economic situation in Afghanistan. We have well educated young generation which is working so hard and wants Afghanistan to have independent economy and become as developed country. It takes time to achieve more and decrease the gaps by implementation of good policies and mechanism. It is implementation which find out the challenges and problems, thus, to overcome on them, otherwise, if we make a policy in paper and leave it that would be not beneficial, unless we do it practically.

   Therefore, I prefer practical methods of investment and trading in the country by best planning and decision making which developed the economy of the county. It solves all issues which we are currently facing, the benefits of planning is we can keep active and responsible every sector. they require to meet deadline and give response that why they could not achieve that goal. This will speed up the processing of economic development in a country also every citizen is responsible for their working in any sector, so there will be no comfort zone for any employee in any organization at the country.

The other most important aspect which consider in trade and investment that is regional economic cooperation. Afghanistan should access to the markets of the world from central Asian countries and we can reach to the markets of Europe. It is possible by a good and advanced planning method like how to inter in the world market, what are the needs of the world market from products and services of Afghanistan and which countries are leading the markets, so these are the planning areas for a good economic development in county. It will take place to make technical committee and discuss the policies and methods with line ministries’ experts who are working in different economic sectors and change the challenges to the opportunity.

At the end as a member of this young generation, I have dedicated a tremendous amount of my life into learning and utilizing economic strategies so it would be useful topic in economic area for private and government organizations to have better outcome and economic planning system.

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