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Economic

Trade ports backbone of Afghanistan’s economy

By: Shukria Kohistani

With increasing insecurities in trade ports of Afghanistan, problems in trade and business have increased, but there’s hope all the problems will be soon addressed.
As fighting is going on between Afghan defense and security forces and Taliban insurgents in several provinces, Taliban has now focused on provincial capitals of some provinces. The group has recently taken the control of several trade ports connecting Afghanistan with neighboring countries.
Trade ports such as Shir Khan port in Kunduz, Aikhanum port in Takhar, Patan port in Paktia, Aqina port in Faryab, Islam Qala in Herat, Torghundi in Herat, Spin Boldak in Kandahar and Abo Nasr Farahi port in Farah have fallen to the hand of Taliban insurgent groups in recent weeks.
As Afghanistan is an importing country from the perspective of the country’s economy and most key staples are imported from foreign countries, suspension of trade ports or collecting all incomes coming to these trade ports by the Taliban will face Afghanistan with economic challenges.
Currently, six key trade ports are under control of the Taliban group as fighting still going on in provinces where these ports are located. Therefore, Afghanistan ministry of finance is not able to collect all incomes coming from these ports. Suspension of the ministry’s activities in the respective trade ports have caused that custom duties decreased by 7.2 billion AFG in June and July. Increasing insecurities in the country has put negative impacts on custom incomes of the country.
It is said that Afghanistan ministry of finance had collected 3.7 billion AFG custom duties in June, while 6.4 billion incomes have been collected during the month of July.
A number of members of parliament are asking the government to recapture the fallen trade ports, or the country will face with economic problems in case the step is not taken by the government. Currently, increasing insecurities and surge in Taliban attacks have affected trade in the country as a number of national traders are facing with lots of problems and cannot do their businesses in the country.
Following clashes and falling of customhouses to the hand of Taliban, trade between Afghanistan and neighboring countries have been hit badly, causing concerns among national traders and investors in the country as a number of traders and investors have stopped their activities and left for foreign countries.
War and violence have brought big crisis and catastrophes to Afghanistan. Current situation is not good for private sector, national traders and investors as insecurities have increased in recent months in the country. Most national traders and investors are thinking how to leave for other countries to invest. It is time that the government should take serious step to retake the control of trade ports. Otherwise, the country will lose big portion of daily incomes.
With increasing insecurities and surge in Taliban attacks in Afghanistan, trade activities have reduced and the price of first and key stuffs have risen in big cities particularly Kabul, the capital. Besides, the Afghani currency against foreign currencies in particular US dollar has got down. This comes after US and NATO announced full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in April.

 

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