Afghan Government Officials Discuss Measures to Boost Domestic Industry and Trade

Afghan officials discuss strategies to boost domestic industry, promote exports, and overcome challenges like women's access to capital, aiming to transform Afghanistan into a thriving regional trade hub.

author-image
Muhammad Jawad
New Update
Afghan Government Officials Discuss Measures to Boost Domestic Industry and Trade

Afghan Government Officials Discuss Measures to Boost Domestic Industry and Trade

Afghan government officials met this week to discuss strategies for improving the quality of domestic products and promoting growth in the industrial sector. Deputy Prime Minister for Policy Mawlavi Abdul Kabir and Acting Minister of Commerce and Industry Nooruddin Azizi emphasized the need to balance trade with neighboring countries and enhance the competitiveness of Afghan goods.

Azizi noted that stable trade relations with neighbors have helped stabilize prices, and the government has provided necessary support for the private sector to operate effectively. "The Islamic Emirate is committed to transforming Afghanistan from an importing country to an exporting one by supporting domestic products and attracting investment," he said.

Afghanistan's exports totaled $141.1 million in the last month, a $32.9 million increase compared to the same period last year, according to the National Statistics and Information Authority (NSIA). The country's main exports include minerals, which are primarily exported in raw form due to a lack of large-scale refining facilities.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce reported that Afghanistan reached self-sufficiency in the production of 133 items across 45 sectors. Economic experts suggest that increasing exports will bring more revenue into the country and drive economic growth.

However, challenges remain for certain sectors, particularly female-led businesses. A United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) study found that 41% of 3,100 Afghan female entrepreneurs surveyed had to turn, access credit through formal financial institutions. Over 70% of respondents reported being unable to travel to local markets without a male guardian.

Why this matters:

Despite these challenges, Afghan officials remain optimistic about the potential for industrial growth and trade expansion. The opening of the Afghanistan-Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in Herat and discussions to reduce customs tariffs aim to facilitate increased trade between the two countries. As Acting Minister Azizi stated, "With the support of the Islamic Emirate and the hard work of our entrepreneurs, we are confident that Afghanistan can become a thriving hub for high-quality exports in the region."

Key Takeaways

  • Afghan govt discusses strategies to boost domestic industry and exports.
  • Afghanistan's exports increased by $32.9M in the last month vs. prior year.
  • Afghanistan reached self-sufficiency in 133 items across 45 sectors.
  • Afghan female entrepreneurs face challenges accessing capital and markets.
  • Officials aim to transform Afghanistan into a regional hub for high-quality exports.