Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan News Agency » Business http://www.khaama.com The largest news and information source in Afghanistan Mon, 21 Apr 2014 12:24:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Ashgabat host talks on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway project http://www.khaama.com/ashgabat-host-talks-on-turkmenistan-afghanistan-tajikistan-railway-project-2981 http://www.khaama.com/ashgabat-host-talks-on-turkmenistan-afghanistan-tajikistan-railway-project-2981#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 10:41:11 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=33464 Ashgabat host talks on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway project
The Turkmenistan and Tajikistan foreign ministry officials on Thursday met to discuss the the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Tajikistan railway construction project. The meeting of the Joint Coordination Group was held at the foreign ministry of Turkmenistan to review the project. Turkmenistan’s foreign ministry in a statement carried by Trend News said, “During the talks, the delegations of Read the full article...]]>
Ashgabat host talks on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway project

The Turkmenistan and Tajikistan foreign ministry officials on Thursday met to discuss the the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Tajikistan railway construction project.

The meeting of the Joint Coordination Group was held at the foreign ministry of Turkmenistan to review the project.

Turkmenistan’s foreign ministry in a statement carried by Trend News said, “During the talks, the delegations of the two countries discussed the prospects of bilateral cooperation in the field of transport in the context of implementing the memorandum of understanding on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Tajikistan railway construction project among Turkmenistan, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Republic of Tajikistan.”

The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Tajikistan railway construction project has been implemented since June 2013, and the project is expected to become operational by 2015.

The 400 kilometer railway will connect Central Asia and world markets through the sea ports near the Indian Ocean.

China, Islamic Republic of Iran and Kyrgyzstan are also expected to join the project in the near future. Turkmen railway men will lay an Afghan section of the railway which will have two crossings in Afghanistan.

The project is considered to be vital for strategic, political and economic interests of all participants of the project.

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Oil refinery plant worth $1.3 billion to be built in northern Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/oil-refinery-plant-worth-1-3-billion-to-be-built-in-northern-afghanistan-3483 http://www.khaama.com/oil-refinery-plant-worth-1-3-billion-to-be-built-in-northern-afghanistan-3483#comments Thu, 27 Mar 2014 05:19:29 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=32964 Oil refinery plant worth $1.3 billion to be built in northern Afghanistan
The construction of an oil refinery plant worth USD 1.3 billion will be built in northern Jawzjan province of Afghanistan. Ahmad Rateb Popal, chief of Watan Group told reporters on Wednesday that the oil refinery plant will be built in Sheberghan city of Jawzjan province. Mr. Rateb further added that the construction work of the Read the full article...]]>
Oil refinery plant worth $1.3 billion to be built in northern Afghanistan

The construction of an oil refinery plant worth USD 1.3 billion will be built in northern Jawzjan province of Afghanistan.

Ahmad Rateb Popal, chief of Watan Group told reporters on Wednesday that the oil refinery plant will be built in Sheberghan city of Jawzjan province.

Mr. Rateb further added that the construction work of the oil refinery plant has been finalized with a Chinese firm.

He said the main reason behind the construction of oil refinery which will be built in Jaraqdoq area, is to boost the oil refinery up to 6,000 barrels a day.

According to Rateb, a power generation system will also be installed besides the construction of an oil refinery plant which will have a capacity of producing up to 50 mega watt of electricity.

He said the installation of power generation will resolve the issue of Shebarghan residents from the shortage of electricity.

Afghanistan is estimated to have $3 trillion worth of mineral deposits, which through years of insecurity have remained unexploited.  Gold, iron ore, copper ore, emeralds, lapis, rubies as well as natural gas are all found in the north of the country.

Afghan government will be first in line to exploit the nearly 3 trillion dollars of resources lying in its hills and mountains if Afghanistan’s security does improve.

It’s hoped that the mining sector could become one of the Afghan economy’s strongest assets.

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Mining for minerals worth $3 trillion in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/mining-for-minerals-in-afghanistan-4028 http://www.khaama.com/mining-for-minerals-in-afghanistan-4028#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 15:11:31 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=32571 Mining for minerals worth $3 trillion in Afghanistan
By Joe Sheffer – NATO Channel Afghanistan is estimated to have $3 trillion worth of mineral deposits, which through years of insecurity have remained unexploited.  Gold, iron ore, copper ore, emeralds, lapis, rubies as well as natural gas are all found in the north of the country. Now with help from advisors from the US Read the full article...]]>
Mining for minerals worth $3 trillion in Afghanistan

By Joe Sheffer – NATO Channel

Afghanistan is estimated to have $3 trillion worth of mineral deposits, which through years of insecurity have remained unexploited.  Gold, iron ore, copper ore, emeralds, lapis, rubies as well as natural gas are all found in the north of the country.

Now with help from advisors from the US Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO), the Afghanistan Geological Survey is gaining the skills it needs to explore and exploit the country’s resources. Geologists and drillers are being trained to investigate sites to test for the presence of resources.

Gold, rubies and emeralds are all to be found in Afghanistan’s hills. The potential for huge mineral wealth, however, presents the Afghan government with new challenges.

Commercial drill rigs are a rare sight in Afghanistan. Problems affecting the country’s infrastructure and instability have left mining projects in their infancy, but Afghanistan is a geological treasure trove.

“There is a working gold mine in Baghlan at the moment and in Sheberghan we’ve got gas and petrol. The north of Afghanistan has lots of mining opportunities. In Jegdalek there are gemstones and in Mes Aynak there is copper, iron and chromium and other valuable minerals,” Ghulam Nabi, a driller from the Afghanistan Geological Survey said.

These drillers and geologists are among the first cohort of trainees from the Afghanistan Geological Survey being taught by the US Dod Task Force for Business and Stability Operations. The students are gaining the skills they need to explore and exploit the country’s resources, by training in modern explorative techniques. The next step for these drillers will be to push out into the country’s mountains.  

Nabi said, “My hope is that security will improve still, because there is still some insecurity in some of Afghanistan’s provinces. If the security improves, we will be able to go freely everywhere in Afghanistan to conduct our surveys.”

And if Afghanistan’s security does improve, the Afghan government will be first in line to exploit the nearly 3 trillion dollars of resources lying in its hills and mountains. It’s hoped that the mining sector could become one of the Afghan economy’s strongest assets.

“There has effectively been a hiatus of exploration activity in Afghanistan largely on account of the security issues, for perhaps around 20 to 25 years. The Russians in the mid-1970s did a considerable amount of work, but after the invasion and through the eighties, nineties and now in the first part of the century there hasn’t been that much work done. So therefore within the donor community there has been a great push to provide technical expertise to build capacity within the Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum and within the Afghan Geological Survey to help the Afghans help themselves and to develop their mineral resources and to exploit those resources for profit,” Drew Craig, advisor to Afghanistan Geological Survey said.

Afghanistan’s Geological Survey team will have an opportunity to play a vital part in their country’s economy.

Much hinges on a long-awaited mining law to be passed ensuring the country’s resources are fairly and legally exploited.

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Safi Airways Accredited for its High Safety Standards http://www.khaama.com/safi-airways-accredited-for-its-high-safety-standards-2756 http://www.khaama.com/safi-airways-accredited-for-its-high-safety-standards-2756#comments Thu, 06 Feb 2014 09:47:25 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=31880 Safi Airways Accredited for its High Safety Standards
Safi Airways, the international airline of Afghanistan has been commended for its safety standards, for maintaining impeccable safety standards from since the beginning of it’s operations in Afghanistan. Safi Airlines is committed in maintaining uncompromising international safety standards and was the first Afghan carrier to operate in compliance with EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) requirements Read the full article...]]>
Safi Airways Accredited for its High Safety Standards

Safi Airways, the international airline of Afghanistan has been commended for its safety standards, for maintaining impeccable safety standards from since the beginning of it’s operations in Afghanistan.

Safi Airlines is committed in maintaining uncompromising international safety standards and was the first Afghan carrier to operate in compliance with EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) requirements and certified as complying with the strict ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) regulations.

Safi Airways is also a certified IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit), member, which is a matter of pride for an Afghan airline. The airline maintains an effective Safety Management System (SMS) and Data Monitoring (FDM) which was introduced in 2010. Today FDM is mandatory in Europe for all commercial transport operations.

Captain Pierfranco Prato CEO Safi Airways, said, “At Safi Airways, Safety Comes First the shareholders vision is to operate a state of the art commercial airline from Afghanistan in compliance with international industry standards, we have achieved high standards from the inspection of Safi Airways.”

Captain Prato further added, “Today we are proud that Safi Airways leads the way in commercial aviation in Afghanistan as the airline is accredited with international safety standards. This has not been a easy task, we have gone and will go  the extra mile in maintaining and achieving them, today we are a UN preferred airline and is patronized by the Afghan and international community who think about safety first.”

“Our employees strive to exceed all flight, occupational, and environmental health and safety standards at all times. We are committed to minimizing the possibility of incidents by implementing a safety program developed and provided by our Quality and Safety Department,” Prato added.

He said, “Everybody who works for Safi Airways, anywhere and in any capacity, is responsible for meeting the airline’s stringent safety standards.”

Safi Airways is a full service carrier operating a two cabin configuration, business and economy class with a modern fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The airline currently operates to Dubai, Delhi, and Islamabad on the international sector, Herat and Mazar e Sharif on the domestic sector. By the beginning of 2014 the airline intends to fly to several more new international destinations.

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Moving Afghan Investment Policy from Paper to Practice http://www.khaama.com/moving-afghan-investment-policy-from-paper-to-practice-3324 http://www.khaama.com/moving-afghan-investment-policy-from-paper-to-practice-3324#comments Tue, 21 Jan 2014 04:58:58 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=31479 Moving Afghan Investment Policy from Paper to Practice
Authors: Suleman Fatimie & Omar Qargha In July of 2013 the Government of Afghanistan revealed new incentives to attract domestic and foreign investment called Investment Promotion Policy during the Transitional Period. The incentives included providing land at almost no cost to industrialists, up to a seven-year tax break for factory owners, 10-year low-interest loans for Read the full article...]]>
Moving Afghan Investment Policy from Paper to Practice

Authors: Suleman Fatimie & Omar Qargha

In July of 2013 the Government of Afghanistan revealed new incentives to attract domestic and foreign investment called Investment Promotion Policy during the Transitional Period. The incentives included providing land at almost no cost to industrialists, up to a seven-year tax break for factory owners, 10-year low-interest loans for farmers, as well as one-year multiple entry visas for foreign investors. According to the policy brief investors would have had a window of 2 years to benefit from these incentives. The main objectives behind the incentives were to ensure economic stability during the transitional period and increase much needed inflow of capital to address the decline in aid money during the so-called ‘transformational decade’.

This was a very promising attempt by the government, signaling that they understood both the need for attracting capital and that they were thinking strategically about sustainable growth. However, this encouraging attempt to provide incentives through a time bound investment policy, like many other good initiatives, seems buried under government bureaucracy. Since the original announcement, there has been no further communication from the Government regarding this policy. Leaving everyone to wonder whether this initiative, like many of its predecessors, will remain a proposed policy on paper and nothing more.

While local and international media are abound with news of capital flight from Afghanistan due to uncertainty attached to the signing of the BSA, potential deterioration of security, and predictions of a ‘Boom to Bust’ with the turning back of recent economic advances, the Afghan Government has once again failed to implement a much needed investor friendly policy to lure investment and prioritize economic stability and development during the transitional period and transformational decade for the country.  The reason for the inaction of the Government is not clear, but it is likely that it is a combination of inefficient bureaucratic procedures, lack of political will, and simple lack of capacity to follow through with enactment of proposed policies. Regardless of the reason, the inaction signals to the private sector that economic development is yet to be considered a vital priority by the Government.

It is clear that encouraging and attracting domestic/Afghan-diaspora investment should be a top priority for the coming years in order to develop sustainable economic alternatives to the currently donor heavy economic environment of Afghanistan.  Creating a business friendly enabling environment along side enacting, and operationalizing, sound policies remain at the core of any investment and export promotion and development initiatives.  The question remains, how do we make sure policies are enacted when time and again, we see that good policies like the Investment Promotion Policy during the Transitional Period gain some public attention and then are retired to desk drawers collecting dust.

If it is not possible for the Government to overcome the list of problems outlined above to redefine the legal and regulatory system itself in an effective and timely manner, well-managed semi-autonomous institutions serving as a bridge between the Government and the business community might solve many of the problems for entrepreneurs and can begin fostering a more enabling environment.

One example of such a semi-autonomous institution is the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs). SEZs are designated areas that possess special economic regulations.  SEZs utilize an economic management system that is more conducive to doing business than in the rest of the country.  These regulations tend to contain measures that are conducive to investment and promote exports.  India, Bangladesh, China, Jordan, UAE, Pakistan, and many other countries, have successfully implemented the SEZ model and Afghanistan can do the same.  The Afghan government could identify and declare specific zones around the country to become Special Economic Zones, enact a special policy for SEZs similar to the one announced in July of 2013.  This will instill confidence in investors and signal the Government’s commitment to economic development and growth.

Another example is to establish a properly structured, lean, proactive and sustainable Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) to be managed by professional experts to inject the needed capital to invest in sectors and industries with import substitution and export development potential.  The seed funding can come from institutions such as AISA and the international donor community in order to create the fund. Investment funds provide a broader selection of investment opportunities, greater management expertise and lower investment fees than investors might be able to obtain on their own.

What we have proposed are examples of possible solutions to overcome the gridlock of the Government in order to move good policies from paper to practice. There are many other options and solutions that this short article cannot address; and many creative options that others will likely come up with that we have not even thought about.  The point is that clearly articulated, and well thought out models of Public Private Partnership (PPP) like the examples we articulated can serve as a mechanism to overcome the detrimental cycle of good policies not materializing because of inefficient bureaucratic procedures and lack of capacity and political will that seems to be a chronic problem within the Government.

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AGMC wins licence to develop big copper deposit in northern Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/agmc-wins-licence-to-develop-big-copper-deposit-in-northern-afghanistan-2689 http://www.khaama.com/agmc-wins-licence-to-develop-big-copper-deposit-in-northern-afghanistan-2689#comments Mon, 13 Jan 2014 05:19:52 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=31275
According to reports, the Afghan government has given approval to an international mining company to develop a big copper deposit in the northwestern Afghanistan. The Balkhab copper deposit license was given to Afghan Gold and Minerals Company (AGMC) in 2012, but the company only agreed on terms for the contract to develop with the Ministry Read the full article...]]>

According to reports, the Afghan government has given approval to an international mining company to develop a big copper deposit in the northwestern Afghanistan.

The Balkhab copper deposit license was given to Afghan Gold and Minerals Company (AGMC) in 2012, but the company only agreed on terms for the contract to develop with the Ministry of Mines of Afghanistan last October.

According to the AGMC officials, the Balkhab license area, which covers 500 sq km, could contain more than 100m tonnes of copper and equivalents.

The area was reportedly partially explored in 1980s during the Soviets of Afghanistan.

AGMC was named as preferred bidder, a year later after the Afghan government opened the Balkhab exploration license tender in 2011.

Ian Hannam, the former JPMorgan deal-maker who set up the AGMC said, the production of copper in Balkhab is not expected to start for another 18 months.

AGMC was founded in 2010 by Ian Hannam and the 51 percent of the company is owned by an Afghan consortium led by local businessman Syed Sadat Mansoor Naderi.

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Afghanistan sees 25% growth in investments in 2013: AISA http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-sees-25-growth-in-investments-in-2013-aisa-3287 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-sees-25-growth-in-investments-in-2013-aisa-3287#comments Sun, 12 Jan 2014 10:26:30 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=31252 Afghanistan sees 25% growth in investments in 2013: AISA
The Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) announced Sunday that nearly $762 million was invested in various sectors during the year 2013, which shows an increase of 25 percent. According to the AISA officials, trade exhibitions, international conferences and government’s efforts to allocate land for industrial parks, were the main reasons behind the 25 percent growth Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan sees 25% growth in investments in 2013: AISA

The Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) announced Sunday that nearly $762 million was invested in various sectors during the year 2013, which shows an increase of 25 percent.

According to the AISA officials, trade exhibitions, international conferences and government’s efforts to allocate land for industrial parks, were the main reasons behind the 25 percent growth in investment in Afghanistan.

AISA chief, Wafiullah Iftikhar told reporters that the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency stepped up efforts to attract foreign and local investment in the country during the year 2013.

Iftikhar said around $605 million was invested in Afghanistan during the year 2012 in various sectors, however, the investment amount in 2013 was recorded at $762 million, which shows an increase of 25 percent.

He also added that they are planning to implement new plans and strategies to attract more investment in Afghanistan during the current year.

According to Iftikhar, allocation of $15 million budget for the creation of industrial parks for private sector is among the several strategies and plans for the attraction of local and foreign investment in the country.

The remarks by AISA chief regarding a growth in investment sector comes amid concerns regarding growing corruption in the country, and economic analysts and observers insist that strict actions should be taken to reduce or eliminate corruption, in a bid to facilitate more investments.

Meanwhile, AISA chief Wafiullah Iftikhar confirmed that certain foreign companies and contractors are not operating in accordance with the laws and regulations of the country.

He said, the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) is currently working on new plans and strategies which will be implemented on companies and contractors, which are violating the investment laws and regulations.

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Emirates Airline starts flights to capital Kabul http://www.khaama.com/emirates-airline-starts-flights-to-capital-kabul-2594 http://www.khaama.com/emirates-airline-starts-flights-to-capital-kabul-2594#comments Wed, 04 Dec 2013 16:05:09 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=30324 Emirates Airline starts flights to capital Kabul
The Emirates Airline started daily flights between Dubai and Kabul with the commencement of its first flight which touched down in Kabul International Airport on Wednesday afternoon. Emirates flight EK 640 which left Dubai at 9:55 local time, arrived in Kabul at 1:30 pm, which was warmly welcomed by a delegation of high level government Read the full article...]]>
Emirates Airline starts flights to capital Kabul

The Emirates Airline started daily flights between Dubai and Kabul with the commencement of its first flight which touched down in Kabul International Airport on Wednesday afternoon.

Emirates flight EK 640 which left Dubai at 9:55 local time, arrived in Kabul at 1:30 pm, which was warmly welcomed by a delegation of high level government officials in Kabul International Airport.

The delegation included Afghan Transport Minister, Dr. Daud Ali Najafi, Technical and Operations Deputy Minister Captain Hamid Zahir Ustaz, Deputy Informatoin and Culture and Tourism Minister Ghulam Nabi Farahi, Chief of Staff in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malik Quraishi, and Emirates Area Manager in Afgahnistan Allahnoor Sailab.

Afghanistan became the 78th country and 138th destination where Emirates Airline proivde services. Emirates claims it is the only carrier to offer first class on the route between Kabul and Dubai.

An Airbus A340-500 configured in a 3 cabin configuration, offering 12 First Class, 42 Business Class and 204 Economy Class seats, will provide services on the route.

The Afghanistan based Safi Airways and Dubai airline were also operating on the same route.

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FINEST Launches its “Made in Afghan” Product Line http://www.khaama.com/finest-launches-its-made-in-afghan-product-line-2563 http://www.khaama.com/finest-launches-its-made-in-afghan-product-line-2563#comments Sun, 24 Nov 2013 05:54:10 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=30074 FINEST Launches its “Made in Afghan” Product Line
With an aim to focus on Afghanistan’s need for commercial investment, the FINEST Group announces the launch of a new line of food products, Made in Afghanistan, that is completely sourced from Afghan entrepreneurs. Fueled by the organization’s vision to increase local employment and skills; Finest is committed to promoting Afghanistan’s agriculture sector from farmer Read the full article...]]>
FINEST Launches its “Made in Afghan” Product Line

With an aim to focus on Afghanistan’s need for commercial investment, the FINEST Group announces the launch of a new line of food products, Made in Afghanistan, that is completely sourced from Afghan entrepreneurs.

Fueled by the organization’s vision to increase local employment and skills; Finest is committed to promoting Afghanistan’s agriculture sector from farmer to fork and establishing a competitive marketplace for Afghanistan’s agriculture products.

Having commercial partnership with Control Union, the world’s 6th largest certification company including ISO, Global GAP, EU Organic, the Phase I of their larger strategy to mobilize production from 100,000 Afghan farmers .

These safety standards allow Afghanistan’s agriculture products  to enter regional and export markets.     

In total, they are sourcing more than 30 high quality food products including spices from Parwan and Kapisa; yogurt from Kabul; fruit jams and honey from Mazar-e-Sharif complimented with chips and spicy vegetable chutneys from Jalalabad. More than 10 products are manufactured by women owned and managed businesses.

“Afghans love good and high quality food. We’re simply choosing to tell a new story about Afghanistan; one of a rich agriculture culture and bounty with the potential to feed itself and the world. It is exciting to actualize the initial steps of our corporate strategy coming to the Kabul market,” said Sadat Naderi, Chairman of SMN Investment Group, which owns Finest.

Finest expands on its innovative leadership by announcing a partnership with Roshan’s mobile money product, M-Paisa. FINEST will pay “Made in Afghanistan” vendors through M-Paisa and also offer e-payments to customers to purchase their goods at FINEST stores.

The Finest Group was founded in 2006 by Said Sadat Mansur Naderi, Finest Superstores is Afghanistan’s first chain of retail outlets and serves as a beacon of commercial investment potential for both domestic and foreign investors. Finest now boasts seven (7) superstores in Kabul and employs over 400 people.

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New JV formed to provide critical aviation capabilities in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/new-jv-formed-to-provide-critical-aviation-capabilities-in-afghanistan-3106 http://www.khaama.com/new-jv-formed-to-provide-critical-aviation-capabilities-in-afghanistan-3106#comments Sat, 23 Nov 2013 07:19:03 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=30046 New JV formed to provide critical aviation capabilities in Afghanistan
East Horizon Airlines, the latest addition to the list of private airlines in Afghanistan, has partnered with one of the world’s leading providers of aviation and logistics services in a bid to supply badly needed aviation solutions within the remote regions of the country. East Horizon Airlines and SkyLink Aviation Inc announced their partnership last Read the full article...]]>
New JV formed to provide critical aviation capabilities in Afghanistan

East Horizon Airlines, the latest addition to the list of private airlines in Afghanistan, has partnered with one of the world’s leading providers of aviation and logistics services in a bid to supply badly needed aviation solutions within the remote regions of the country.

East Horizon Airlines and SkyLink Aviation Inc announced their partnership last week, to work as a joint venture.

SkyLink’s President and CEO Mr. David Dacquino announcing the joint venture said, “Our partnership will combine SkyLink’s 10 years of experience operating in Afghanistan, primarily with rotary wing aircraft, with East Horizon’s fixed wing scheduled services within Afghanistan.”

SkyLink has been in the aviation business since 1989 and has operated in more than 75 countries and has served a diverse customer base to include governments, NGOs and commercial clients, the Canadian based aviation said in a statement.

For the past 5 years to present, SkyLink has been NATO’s first choice for rotary aviation support within Afghanistan.

East Horizon Chief Executive Office, Captain Jahed Azimi said, “We are excited about our new business relationship with SkyLink Aviation as we are confident that it will provide East Horizon with the flexibility to add new destinations which are only reachable by rotary aircraft.”

East Horizon is the first airline established in compliance with the new rules and regulations of the Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority.

Through its unique network, it is the only airline that connects the remote provinces to the capital. East Horizon serves the government, business and local communities, and plans to expand its current network reach.

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Afghanistan finalized deal on $12 billion oil and gas extraction http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-finalized-deal-on-12-billion-oil-and-gas-extraction-2439 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-finalized-deal-on-12-billion-oil-and-gas-extraction-2439#comments Tue, 08 Oct 2013 16:36:21 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=29086 Afghanistan finalized deal on $12 billion oil and gas extraction
Officials from the ministry of mines of Afghanistan on Tuesday announced that three major firms were awarded oil and gas extraction projects in northern Afghanistan. The officials further added that the firms will invest $12 billion based on an agreement which was signed between the Afghan government and the three firms in northern Mazar-e-Sharif city Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan finalized deal on $12 billion oil and gas extraction

Officials from the ministry of mines of Afghanistan on Tuesday announced that three major firms were awarded oil and gas extraction projects in northern Afghanistan.

The officials further added that the firms will invest $12 billion based on an agreement which was signed between the Afghan government and the three firms in northern Mazar-e-Sharif city of Afghanistan.

An official from the ministry of mines of Afghanistan, Jalil Ahmed told reporters that the firms will start extraction of oil and gas in Afghan-Tajik basin located between northeastern Takhar and northern Jowzjan provinces of Afghanistan.

Mr. Jalil Ahmed further added that two of the firms are well known international oil and gas extraction companies, and were among the 20 other companies who submitted their tenders for the project.

He said the international companies include Turkish Petroleum International Company (TPIC), Dragon Oil from United Arab Emirates.

An Afghan oil and gas company, Ghanzanfar Group is also one of the firms which was awarded the project, and the firms will start extraction work within the next three to five years.

Afghanistan’s natural resources are estimated at $1 trillion, and according to the US Geological Survey (USGS), majority of the natural gas is located in the Amu Darya basin, while the crude is largely found in an area known as Afghan-Tajik.

USGS estimates that 1.6 billion barrels of crude oil, 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 500m barrels of natural gas liquids is located in north of the country.

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New Zealand builds largest off-grid power system in Bamyan http://www.khaama.com/new-zealand-builds-largest-off-grid-power-system-in-bamyan-2431 http://www.khaama.com/new-zealand-builds-largest-off-grid-power-system-in-bamyan-2431#comments Fri, 04 Oct 2013 17:21:19 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=28982 New Zealand builds largest off-grid power system in Bamyan
One of the largest solar power project, funded by the government of New Zealand is about to be completed in central Bamyan province of Afghanistan. The $18 million solar power project which is considered to one of the world’s largest off-grid power systems which will provide electricity for 2500 homes and commercial properties in this Read the full article...]]>
New Zealand builds largest off-grid power system in Bamyan

One of the largest solar power project, funded by the government of New Zealand is about to be completed in central Bamyan province of Afghanistan.

The $18 million solar power project which is considered to one of the world’s largest off-grid power systems which will provide electricity for 2500 homes and commercial properties in this province.

The project built by Timaru Companies Sustainable Energy Services international (SESI) and Netcon , part of the New Zealnd Government’s International aid programme in Afghanistan.

Bamiyan solar power project was continued by the project managers despite five New Zealand troops were killed by insurgents last year ahead of the troops withdrawal from the province.

At least 15 Afghan trained engineers and nearly 40 tradesmen along with the labourers were involved in the project, besides the project created jobs for Afghan women.

The solar farm is expected to be operation within the next month, and the electricity would initially be used to provide light to the town,a nd will will eventually cover communications and refrigeration.

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Afghanistan formally introduces its standard trade logo http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-formally-introduces-its-standard-trade-logo-1859 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-formally-introduces-its-standard-trade-logo-1859#comments Tue, 17 Sep 2013 05:33:20 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=28549 Afghanistan formally introduces its standard trade logo
Afghanistan introduced it’s formal trade and exports standards logo (Afghanistan Amazingly Real), in a bid to introduce the Afghan produced goods and products to global market, and prevent forgery in regional and international markets. Previously, over 80 percent of the Afghanistan products, specifically Afghan rugs were exported by Pakistan with the name and logo of Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan formally introduces its standard trade logo

Afghanistan introduced it’s formal trade and exports standards logo (Afghanistan Amazingly Real), in a bid to introduce the Afghan produced goods and products to global market, and prevent forgery in regional and international markets.

Previously, over 80 percent of the Afghanistan products, specifically Afghan rugs were exported by Pakistan with the name and logo of Pakistan trade and standards.

Deputy trade and commerce minister of Afghanistan, Muzamil Shinwari inroduced the logo during agricultural and fresh fruits exhibition in capital Kabul, and insisted on the importance of standard trade and exports of logo of Afghanistan, for attracting the confidence of regional and global markets for the products of Afghanistan.

Mr. Shinwari further added that the government of Afghanistan will take strict actions to prevent low quality products export to regional and global markets with the trade mark of Afghanistan.

The quality of Afghan products have a good reputation in regional markets, however, these products have never been exported with a standard trade logo of Afghanistan so far.

The ministry of trade and commerce of Afghanistan is taking the step to implement internationally recognized standards for the export of Afghan products to regional and global markets.

Afghanistan’s standard trade and export logo is comprised of three colors, similar to the flag of Afghanistan. The green color of logo represents Afghanistan’s agricultural products, Red color represents medical and herbal resources of Afghanistan, while black color represents the natural resources and mines of the country.

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Chinese Company Pull Out of Funding Iran-Pakisttan Pipeline Project http://www.khaama.com/chinese-company-pull-out-of-funding-iran-pakisttan-pipeline-project-28449 http://www.khaama.com/chinese-company-pull-out-of-funding-iran-pakisttan-pipeline-project-28449#comments Mon, 09 Sep 2013 14:57:52 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=28449 Chinese Company Pull Out of Funding Iran-Pakisttan Pipeline Project
A Chinese company, which had offered USD 500mn to fund the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, has backed out, leaving Pakistan to knock on Iran’s door for further funding. This comes after Pakistani government expressed its unwillingness to extend the bid validity period. The Chinese firm, Panyn Chu King Steel Limited, which has pulled out, had been Read the full article...]]>
Chinese Company Pull Out of Funding Iran-Pakisttan Pipeline Project

A Chinese company, which had offered USD 500mn to fund the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, has backed out, leaving Pakistan to knock on Iran’s door for further funding.

This comes after Pakistani government expressed its unwillingness to extend the bid validity period.

The Chinese firm, Panyn Chu King Steel Limited, which has pulled out, had been selected during bidding by Interstate Gas Systems (ISGS) as a qualified bidder, which would provide the pipeline at $1,650 per ton including compressors.

The company, which also offered to arrange $500m for the project, sought extension in bid validity but the government refused.

According to sources, Iran has already expressed willingness to increase the credit limit, and two sides are expected to meet this month to take up the proposal that Iran gives the entire financing.

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Indian Company to Execute Power Project in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/indian-company-to-execute-power-project-in-afghanistan-90987 http://www.khaama.com/indian-company-to-execute-power-project-in-afghanistan-90987#comments Mon, 09 Sep 2013 14:48:24 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=28446 Indian Company to Execute Power Project in Afghanistan
Afghan Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW) signed a contract with an Indian company, Gammon India, for a power project that would benefit over 7,000 families. The project involves transferring of 20KW electricity from Mazar-e -Sharif to Balkh province through extension of two power lines and installation of thirty nine transformers in Khulm and Marmul Read the full article...]]>
Indian Company to Execute Power Project in Afghanistan

Afghan Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW) signed a contract with an Indian company, Gammon India, for a power project that would benefit over 7,000 families.

The project involves transferring of 20KW electricity from Mazar-e -Sharif to Balkh province through extension of two power lines and installation of thirty nine transformers in Khulm and Marmul districts, located in the central Balkh province.

Estimated to cost over 7 million dollars, the project would be funded by the German government.

The project is expected to be completed in next 15 months.

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MOF relaunch Kabul Bank privatization process http://www.khaama.com/mof-relaunch-kabl-bank-privatization-process-9876 http://www.khaama.com/mof-relaunch-kabl-bank-privatization-process-9876#comments Tue, 03 Sep 2013 14:34:47 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=28360 MOF relaunch Kabul Bank privatization process
Afghan Ministry of Finance has re-launched the privatization process of the New Kabul Bank. Mohammad Aqa Kohistani, director of treasury at the Ministry, promised a transparent bidding process for the privatization of the bank. National and international investors are expected to participate and the bids will be published in local and international newspapers. Beginning today, Read the full article...]]>
MOF relaunch Kabul Bank privatization process

Afghan Ministry of Finance has re-launched the privatization process of the New Kabul Bank.

Mohammad Aqa Kohistani, director of treasury at the Ministry, promised a transparent bidding process for the privatization of the bank.

National and international investors are expected to participate and the bids will be published in local and international newspapers.

Beginning today, calls for registration (CFR) would close at the end of the current month. The bids will be opened in the presence of media outlets.

In March of this year, Kabul Bank’s only bid offered by a local consortium known as MTZ was rejected by the Ministry of Finance, as the firm’s plans were not consistent with the current banking system.

The officials said new recommendations would be submitted to the president.

Three domestic and two international groups were approved through the Expression of Interest stage for the purchase of New Kabul Bank shares, but only one stepped forward to bid.

The bidders approved included, Ali Akbar Zhawandai Consortium (called MTZ), Forbes and Manhattan, Kru Capital Partners, Afghanistan International Bank and the Amania Group.

The only bid received was from the Ali Akbar Zhanwandai Consortium, involving Afghan investors.

Kabul Bank was seized by the government in 2010 after the exposure of a staggering $900 million fraud, which led the International Monetary Fund to temporarily halt its hundreds of millions of dollars of loans to the country.

Renamed New Kabul Bank, the institution was bailed out by the government.

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Insurance authority passes new law amid recent financial losses http://www.khaama.com/insurance-authority-passes-new-law-amid-recent-financial-losses-1822 http://www.khaama.com/insurance-authority-passes-new-law-amid-recent-financial-losses-1822#comments Thu, 29 Aug 2013 06:55:03 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=28296 Insurance authority passes new law amid recent financial losses
The Afghanistan Insurance authority on Wednesday announced that the insurance law of Afghanistan has been drafted and will be forward to ministry of justice of Afghanistan in the near future. The officials further added that the insurance law will be sent to the Afghan parliament for approval, after the verification of the law is completed Read the full article...]]>
Insurance authority passes new law amid recent financial losses

The Afghanistan Insurance authority on Wednesday announced that the insurance law of Afghanistan has been drafted and will be forward to ministry of justice of Afghanistan in the near future.

The officials further added that the insurance law will be sent to the Afghan parliament for approval, after the verification of the law is completed in the justice ministry of Afghanistan.

Insurance services was first introduced in Afghanistan earlier in 1964, and the only State insurance company was providing insurance services to different sectors of the country, including the government organizations and employees.

However, no major step has been taken to improve insurance sector of the country since it was damaged due to three decades of civil war, which also affected the commercial sectors of the country.

In the meantime, the insurance authority of Afghanistan has vowed to take strict measures in a bid to improve the insurance sector of Afghanistan by implementing a number of mandatory insurance policies on commercial organizations.

Head of the insurance authority of Afghanistan, Mohammad Arif Hamidi said four insurance companies including the State insurance are actively operating in the country, and providing services in 23 provinces of Afghanistan.

Mr. Hamidi said that certain insurance policies including property insurance will become mandatory once the insurance law of Afghanistan is passed by
justice ministry and Afghan parliament.

The insurance authority of Afghanistan also said that certain individual lines of insurance policies will likely become mandatory including health insurance
for the citizens of Afghanistan.

In response to the concerns of people regarding the failure of insurance companies to pay the insurance claims, Mr. Hamidi said that the insurance authority is available to respond to public complaints.

This comes as millions of dollars in losses were incurred to local businessmen after a number of huge fire incidents were reported during the recent years, in capital Kabul and other key provinces of the country including Mazar-e-Sharif city.

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Landmark Afghanistan-China $3 billion copper deal at risk http://www.khaama.com/landmark-afghanistan-china-3-billion-copper-deal-at-risk-2369 http://www.khaama.com/landmark-afghanistan-china-3-billion-copper-deal-at-risk-2369#comments Mon, 26 Aug 2013 17:00:52 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=28227 Landmark Afghanistan-China $3 billion copper deal at risk
The ministry of mines of Afghanistan on Monday announced that a consortium of Chinese investors, who were awarded the extraction work of Aynak copper mine in eastern Logar province of Afghanistan, are demanding revised terms for the contract. The new demand by Chinese consortium puts one of the major hopes of the Afghan government for Read the full article...]]>
Landmark Afghanistan-China $3 billion copper deal at risk

The ministry of mines of Afghanistan on Monday announced that a consortium of Chinese investors, who were awarded the extraction work of Aynak copper mine in eastern Logar province of Afghanistan, are demanding revised terms for the contract.

The new demand by Chinese consortium puts one of the major hopes of the Afghan government for economic independence, which was expected to be gained through the landmark $3 billion copper production project.

Officials in the ministry of mines of Afghanistan said the demands by China Metallurgical Group (MCC) and Jiangxi Copper includes revision of the contract terms including release of the consortium from building a power plant and copper smelter, and postpone the laying of a railway.

A spokesman for the ministry of mines of Afghanistan said, “The government is in negotiations with the Chinese consortium, however, the conditions of the contract are clear and was agreed by both sides.”

An independent anti-corruption monitor, Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA), quoted by Reuters News Agency said the Chinese venture also wanted to delay the start of production by five years to 2019.

Javed Noorani, a member of the independent anti-corruption monitor, Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) said, the revision of the contract conditions will dramatically reduce the benefit to the government of Afghanistan.

“The terms of the contract they want to renegotiate were the terms that made them the winners in the bidding process,” said Javed Noorani of IWA told Reuters.

The Chinese consortium yet to comment regarding the reports.

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SAIL-led consortium close to finalize $10.8 billion Afghan ore deal http://www.khaama.com/sail-led-consortium-close-to-finalize-10-8-billion-afghan-ore-deal-1790 http://www.khaama.com/sail-led-consortium-close-to-finalize-10-8-billion-afghan-ore-deal-1790#comments Thu, 22 Aug 2013 12:04:12 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=28151 SAIL-led consortium close to finalize $10.8 billion Afghan ore deal
The government of Afghanistan on Thursday announced that negotiations with SAIL-led consortium over $10.8 billion project are almost over, and the plan will take off soon. Afghan Iron and Steel Consortium (AIFSCO) was awarded the mining project of three iron ore mines at Hajigak by the government of Afghanistan in November 2011. AIFSCO is comprised Read the full article...]]>
SAIL-led consortium close to finalize $10.8 billion Afghan ore deal

The government of Afghanistan on Thursday announced that negotiations with SAIL-led consortium over $10.8 billion project are almost over, and the plan will take off soon.

Afghan Iron and Steel Consortium (AIFSCO) was awarded the mining project of three iron ore mines at Hajigak by the government of Afghanistan in November 2011.

AIFSCO is comprised of public sector firms SAIL, RINL and NMDC, which is holding a combined 56 per cent stake, while other private players such as JSW, JSPL and Monnet Ispat & Energy are holding the remaining share of the iron mines.

AIFSCO following the award of the projects announced to invest $10.8 billion to set up a 6.1 mtpa steel plant in two equal phases along with a 800 MW power plant, besides creating necessary infrastructure.

However, later it decided to scale down the original plan by around 75 per cent, with consortium members deciding to set up a steel plant of 1.25 million tonne per annum (mtpa) and a 120 MW captive power plant with $2.9 billion investment, the Economic Times reported.

In the meantime, Wahidullah Shahrani, Afghanistan’s Mines Minister in regards to AIFSCO’s plan to develop the project in phases said, “We have concluded negotiations. This is a huge project. During negotiation, SAIL has assured us that it will deliver their commitment, but that could be done in phases. That is natural with this type of mega projects.”

Mr. Shahrani further added, “Eventually, investment will between $10-11 billion. It will be done in phases. However, it will depend on the cost of exploration and fluctuation of the prices of raw material. The investment could go up. What is important is the commitment.”

He said, “Steel plant will be developed, based on our negotiation, in different phases, but eventually it will be of seven mtpa size. But, for that they need to conduct the feasibility side. In first 2-3 years, they need to conduct detailed exploration. Then they will do the bankable feasibility study which will determine what will be the capacity in first phase. It could be any number.”

Shahrani also added that the draft contract has been prepared and the final agreement would be signed in a few weeks, which is pending the approvals of the Afghan government.

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Major oil extraction project stopped in northern Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/major-oil-extraction-project-stopped-in-northern-afghanistan-2353 http://www.khaama.com/major-oil-extraction-project-stopped-in-northern-afghanistan-2353#comments Mon, 19 Aug 2013 08:55:11 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=28052 Major oil extraction project stopped in northern Afghanistan
According to reports, a major oil extraction project has beenn halted and most Chinese staff have left less than a year after production started due to the lack of transit agreeement. The contract was awarded by Afghan government to China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) International and its Afghan partner, Watan Oil and Gas, began producing Read the full article...]]>
Major oil extraction project stopped in northern Afghanistan

According to reports, a major oil extraction project has beenn halted and most Chinese staff have left less than a year after production started due to the lack of transit agreeement.

The contract was awarded by Afghan government to China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) International and its Afghan partner, Watan Oil and Gas, began producing oil in the Amu Darya basin in the north in October.

An employee of the project quoted by Reuters said, equipment at the site had now been locked up and about 16 Chinese workers had left.

In the meantime, Jalil Jumriany, policy director at the Ministry of Mines in Kabul told Reuters that the removal of staff was only a temporary measure to save money.

Mr. Jumriany further added that an agreement to refine the oil over the border in Uzbekistan was being negotiated. “We are waiting for a transit agreement with the Uzbek government,” he said.

He also added that a team would travel to meet the Uzbeks next week and was hopeful a deal could be reached.

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World Bank Grants $ 50 million for Afghanistan Economic Growth http://www.khaama.com/world-bank-grants-50-million-for-afghanistan-economic-growth-27816 http://www.khaama.com/world-bank-grants-50-million-for-afghanistan-economic-growth-27816#comments Thu, 08 Aug 2013 09:31:18 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=27816 World Bank Grants $ 50 million for Afghanistan Economic Growth
The World Bank approved a US$50 million grant, through International Development Association (IDA), to help Afghan Government reinforce legal, regulatory and institutional reforms. The Development Policy Programmatic Series: “Promoting Economic Growth and Fiscal Sustainability”, which is a series of two programmatic grants, aims at supporting policy reforms in selected areas critical to strengthening revenue mobilization and Read the full article...]]>
World Bank Grants $ 50 million for Afghanistan Economic Growth

The World Bank approved a US$50 million grant, through International Development Association (IDA), to help Afghan Government reinforce legal, regulatory and institutional reforms.

The Development Policy Programmatic Series: “Promoting Economic Growth and Fiscal Sustainability”, which is a series of two programmatic grants, aims at supporting policy reforms in selected areas critical to strengthening revenue mobilization and improving the enabling environment for investment in sectors with a high growth potential. To this end the operation supports legal, regulatory and institutional reforms in customs, land administration and management, mining, and information and communication technologies (ICT). The second grant in the project series is expected to commence by the end of 2013.

The reforms supported by the project respond to some of the most important development challenges Afghanistan will face during transition and beyond: according to the World Bank analysis the anticipated decline in foreign aid could reduce Afghanistan’s growth prospects to about half of its current average.

Poverty rates are persistently high and labor market pressures are increasing with 400,000 to 500,000 young people entering Afghanistan’s labor force every year. Moreover, the fiscal budget relies to a large degree on donor financing and financing needs are expected to increase as a result of the hand-over of security and development responsibilities to the Afghan government and further expansion of public service delivery.

“The World Bank stands with the Afghan Government to implement necessary policy reforms and pave the way for investments in sectors with high growth potential,” said Paul Edwin Sisk, World Bank acting Head of Office for Afghanistan. “This particular grant will help the government maintain growth momentum during the transition and beyond. As the international aid is expected to decline, this grant will also strengthen revenue mobilization and fiscal sustainability.”

The results of the project are expected to increase customs revenue, improve the enabling environment for private investment in mining and ICT sectors, decrease the prices for GSM broadband services, improve the legal and regulatory environment for land management and administration as well as produce more opportunities for cost-saving in public infrastructure projects.  

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) will be responsible for overall implementation and monitoring of the reform program.

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Afghanistan unveils new incentives, policies to attract investment http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-unveils-new-incentives-policies-to-attract-investment-2264 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-unveils-new-incentives-policies-to-attract-investment-2264#comments Sun, 21 Jul 2013 17:47:14 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=27327 Afghanistan unveils new incentives, policies to attract investment
The government of Afghanistan on Sunday announced a new package of incentives in a bid to attract foreign investment in the country as the NATO-led coalition security forces are preparing to withdraw it’s combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. The policies announced by the government of Afghanistan will remain in place for Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan unveils new incentives, policies to attract investment

The government of Afghanistan on Sunday announced a new package of incentives in a bid to attract foreign investment in the country as the NATO-led coalition security forces are preparing to withdraw it’s combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

The policies announced by the government of Afghanistan will remain in place for at least two and half years to encourage foreign and local investment in order to sink money into the economy of the country.

The step by the Afghan government also comes amid growing fears that the international aid money could dry up as the international community is winding down it’s operations in Afghanistan.

Afghan finance minister Hazrat Omer Zakhilwal who announced the package on Sunday said, “The goal of this policy is to support investment in different sectors, especially in industry, construction, agriculture and mining.”

Mr. Zakhilwal further added that the new policies is aimed at attracting investors both from inside and outside the country and prevent investments from leaving the country.

The package of incentives includes provision of land at almost no cost to industrialists, factory owners will be exexpted from tax for at least seven years and the farmers will receive low-interest loans for almost ten years.

Besides the foreing investors will receive one0year multiple entry visas, with an hope to attract millions of dollars in investment over the coming years that leave a positive impact on the economy of the country.

The decision by Afghan government is taken amid growing movement of investments out of the country by wealthy Afghans due to security concerns and there are fears that more investors will leave the country as NATO ends it’s mission in Afghanistan.

Currently the economy of Afghanistan is heavily dependent on foreign donors despite a huge growth in domestic businesses since the 2001 US-led invasion.

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US launches $200 million program to boost women’s role in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/us-launches-200-million-program-womens-role-in-afghanistan-1671 http://www.khaama.com/us-launches-200-million-program-womens-role-in-afghanistan-1671#comments Thu, 18 Jul 2013 08:48:25 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=27257 US launches $200 million program to boost women’s role in Afghanistan
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will launch a $200 million program on Thursday in a bid to boost the role of women in Afghan society. Head of the USAID in Afghanistan Rajiv Shah said the figure that could double with international support and could reach to $416 million after Australia, Britain, Japan and Read the full article...]]>
US launches $200 million program to boost women’s role in Afghanistan

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will launch a $200 million program on Thursday in a bid to boost the role of women in Afghan society.

Head of the USAID in Afghanistan Rajiv Shah said the figure that could double with international support and could reach to $416 million after Australia, Britain, Japan and the European Union had expressed interest in providing money.

The program called “Promote” will be launched with an aim to create more than 3,500 small businesses to generate domestic growth to make up for an expected decline in foreign spending in Afghanistan.

Women between the ages of 18 and 30 will be covered under the program to jobs, to support women entrepreneurs with credit and microfinance, and provide training to women who want a role in policymaking.

“It is a unique effort to ensure that women are a major part of Afghanistan’s social, economic and political fabric over the next decade, because if they’re not Afghanistan is not likely to be successful,” Shah quoted by Reuters said.

Shah emphasized on significant progress on women’s rights issues however he said that sustaining that progress was critical for stability and security in Afghanistan.

Considerable developments in women lives have been achieved following the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, however there are still concerns that withdrawal of U.S.-led forces after elections in 2014 could undermine the position of women and see them retreat, especially if the Taliban increase their political hold.

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Afghanistan inks 30-years gas supply contract with Turkmenistan http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-inks-30-years-gas-supply-contract-with-turkmenistan-2239 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-inks-30-years-gas-supply-contract-with-turkmenistan-2239#comments Sat, 13 Jul 2013 16:28:24 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=27147 Afghanistan inks 30-years gas supply contract with Turkmenistan
Afghanistan and Turkmenistan signed the Contract on Sales and Purchase of gas under the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline project which will have a duration of 30 years. The Foreign Affairs Ministry of Afghanistan following a statement on Saturday announced that the contract was signed on the sidelines of the “The 17th Steering Committee Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan inks 30-years gas supply contract with Turkmenistan

Afghanistan and Turkmenistan signed the Contract on Sales and Purchase of gas under the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline project which will have a duration of 30 years.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry of Afghanistan following a statement on Saturday announced that the contract was signed on the sidelines of the “The 17th Steering Committee Meeting on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India TAPI Project”, which was held on 9 of July in Ashgabat.

The statement further added, the meeting was hosted and chaired by Khojamukhamedov the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkmenistan, in which the ministers of petroleum and mines, ambassadors, officials of the ministries of foreign affairs and technical agencies of the member countries participated.

This contract was signed between Afghan Gas and Turkmen Gas companies and the Ministries of Mines and Petroleum of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, the foreign ministry said in statement adding that the signing of this contract is considered as a fundamental and practical step towards implementing the TAPI Project through which Afghanistan will address its gas needs for the next 30 years.

Afghanistan will purchase 500 million cubic meters of gas in the first ten years, and 1bilion and 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas annually in the second and third ten years respectively, foreign ministry officials said.

The gas imported from Turkmenistan will be used for industries and generation of power for homes and factories.

According to Afghan foreign ministry, the four countries in the meeting agreed to establish a joint consortium in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank. The consortium will be called TAPI Ltd, and will be formed by the end of 2013 which will comprise of the gas companies of the member countries.

TAPI Project is one of Afghanistan’s major regional projects. The length of this project is 1800 km and passing through the borders of Turkmenistan and India, it will traverse several provinces. In addition to buying gas, Afghanistan will also play an important role as a transit country for implementation of this project.

As a result of the transit of this pipeline, Afghanistan will also earn about $ 500 million annually.

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Roshan Launches Online Payment Facility for Herat Cable Customers http://www.khaama.com/roshan-launches-online-payment-facility-for-herat-cable-customers-4565 http://www.khaama.com/roshan-launches-online-payment-facility-for-herat-cable-customers-4565#comments Sun, 07 Jul 2013 11:35:34 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=27008 Roshan Launches Online Payment Facility for Herat Cable Customers
Roshan, Afghanistan’s total communications provider, announced an exclusive partnership with Herat Cable Network (HCN) that will enable Roshan customers in that city to pay their cable bills through M-Paisa, Afghanistan’s first mobile money service.  This first-of-its kind bill payment service was piloted in Herat earlier in the year, and is now being rolled out commercially Read the full article...]]>
Roshan Launches Online Payment Facility for Herat Cable Customers

Roshan, Afghanistan’s total communications provider, announced an exclusive partnership with Herat Cable Network (HCN) that will enable Roshan customers in that city to pay their cable bills through M-Paisa, Afghanistan’s first mobile money service.  This first-of-its kind bill payment service was piloted in Herat earlier in the year, and is now being rolled out commercially to all of HCN’s customers.

Currently, when factoring in travel time and lining up at HCN’s centralized cable office, it can take a customer up to two hours to pay their cable bill. As the sole operator providing this easy-to-use payment solution, Roshan is providing customers with the convenience of paying bills within seconds, at anytime and anywhere.

“A decade ago, when Roshan began operations in Afghanistan, mobile money simply meant moving physical cash.  When many thought it would not succeed, Roshan was the first operator to introduce M-Paisa and bring mobile commerce to the country’s people. Since launching in 2008, M-Paisa’s services have expanded significantly, encompassing everything from salary payments to police, to money transfer to merchants, to humanitarian payments. By partnering with Herat Cable Network, Roshan is spurring the flourishing mobile commerce ecosystem, and continuing to fuel Afghanistan’s development and growth,” Karim Khoja, Chief Executive Officer, Roshan, said.

With over 1.2 million registered users and $4 million in salary payments transferred each month, M-Paisa now plays a vital role in Afghanistan’s financial infrastructure. Roshan’s partnership with HCN not only expands this role, but also addresses real customer needs. “I own a shop and it is difficult for me to leave my business. This allows me to keep my shop operating and pay my bill on time,” Ghulam Destageer Sherifi, Customer, Herat, said.

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Afghanistan to finalize multibillion dollar mining projects http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-to-finalize-multibillion-dollar-mining-projects-1627 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-to-finalize-multibillion-dollar-mining-projects-1627#comments Sat, 06 Jul 2013 03:58:49 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=26960 Afghanistan to finalize multibillion dollar mining projects
According to reports the government of Afghanistan is looking to finalize work on multi-billion mining contracts within the next two months. Afghan mines minister Wahidullah Shahrani has visited Berlin to attract international investment in a bid to start work on major natural resources. Wahidullah Shahrani quoted by German News Agency DPA said international firms from Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan to finalize multibillion dollar mining projects

According to reports the government of Afghanistan is looking to finalize work on multi-billion mining contracts within the next two months.

Afghan mines minister Wahidullah Shahrani has visited Berlin to attract international investment in a bid to start work on major natural resources.

Wahidullah Shahrani quoted by German News Agency DPA said international firms from India, United Arab Emirate, United States of America, Canda, United Kingdom, Poland and Turkey will be invited to invest in natural resouces sector of Afghanistan.

Mr. Shahrani further added we will finalize five to six major contracts within the next six to seven months, and the total value of the contracts will be between $15 to $20 billion.

The untapped natural resouces of Afghanistan is estimated to be around $3 trillion, but Afghan mines minister Wahidullah Shahrani said it is expected that the value of the natural resouces of Afghanistan will be higher than forecasted.

Sahahrani also said that Germany is one of Kabul’s first choices in terms of economic cooperation being one of the largest buyers of minerals.”We have intensified our cooperation with Germany,” he said adding that, “There are already a number of German consulting companies active in Afghanistan.”

According to Shahrani the natural resouces of Afghanistan could make up 40 percent of the country’s GDP within a decade.

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Finance ministry promotes commercial insurance in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/finance-ministry-promotes-commercial-insurance-in-afghanistan-1541 http://www.khaama.com/finance-ministry-promotes-commercial-insurance-in-afghanistan-1541#comments Sun, 09 Jun 2013 11:38:04 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=26503 Finance ministry promotes commercial insurance in Afghanistan
Officials in the finance ministry of Afghanistan on Sunday said that the government of Afghanistan is looking to promote the insurance across the country. Head of the Insurance Regulatory Body in Afghan Finance Ministry Mohammad Arif Hamidi said that the insurance authority of Afghanistan will take necessary steps to encourage private companies, factories and investors Read the full article...]]>
Finance ministry promotes commercial insurance in Afghanistan

Officials in the finance ministry of Afghanistan on Sunday said that the government of Afghanistan is looking to promote the insurance across the country.

Head of the Insurance Regulatory Body in Afghan Finance Ministry Mohammad Arif Hamidi said that the insurance authority of Afghanistan will take necessary steps to encourage private companies, factories and investors to insure their activities.

Mr. Hamidi further added, currently three insurance companies are operating in Afghanistan.

This comes as the Ministry of Finance of Afghanistan earlier this year announced that no business will be able to operate in the country without insuring their properties by next Afghan year.

The Afghan ministers’ cabinet meeting chaired by Afghan president Hamid Karzai last year also decided to enforce mandatory insurance law for all commercial zones in Afghanistan.

Afghan finance ministry was also ordered to enforce compulsory insurance for all commercial zones within the next three months after a huge fire swept through a market in downtown Kabul last year, destroying hundreds of shops and forcing the city’s nearby money exchange to evacuate. millions of dollars Nwere lost following the fire incident.

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Turkmenistan to start Afghan-Turkmen railway construction http://www.khaama.com/turkmenistan-to-start-afghan-turkmen-railway-construction-1524 http://www.khaama.com/turkmenistan-to-start-afghan-turkmen-railway-construction-1524#comments Sat, 01 Jun 2013 06:12:16 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=26352 Turkmenistan to start Afghan-Turkmen railway construction
A delegation of the Turkmen officials led by Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov recently met with the Afghan president Hamid Karzai in capital Kabul and delivered an invitation to take part in the official ceremony of laying the Turkmen section of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway. President Hamid Karzai in Read the full article...]]>
Turkmenistan to start Afghan-Turkmen railway construction

A delegation of the Turkmen officials led by Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov recently met with the Afghan president Hamid Karzai in capital Kabul and delivered an invitation to take part in the official ceremony of laying the Turkmen section of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway.

President Hamid Karzai in return conveyed sincere appreciation to the Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for Turkmenistan’s continued assistance and support in the socio-economic revival of its neighbor.

Karzai quoted by Trend News Agency said, “Afghanistan very much appreciates this fraternal assistance and support.”

Afghanistan signed a memorandum of Understanding with Turkmenistan and Tajikistan on the construction of railway line during a summit in Ashgabat in March.

Ashgabat and Kabul earlier signed an intergovernmental framework agreement on the construction of the 85-kilometer railway line Atamyrat-Ymamnazar (Turkmenistan) and the 38-kilometer line between Akina and Andhoi (Afghanistan).

The Turkmen ministry of railway transport will construct the Atamyrat-Ymamnazar railway in Lebap region.

In the meantime officials from Afghanistan and Turkmenistan recently met in Ashgabat to discuss the proposed construction of railway line on Imamnazar-Akina inside the Afghan soil by Turkmenistan.

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PepsiCo opens its first plant in Afghanistan in 2014 http://www.khaama.com/pepsico-opens-its-first-plant-in-afghanistan-in-2014-2402 http://www.khaama.com/pepsico-opens-its-first-plant-in-afghanistan-in-2014-2402#comments Mon, 20 May 2013 17:00:33 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=26055 PepsiCo opens its first plant in Afghanistan in 2014
One of the largest global and multinational American food and beverage corporation  PepsiCo plans to open its first plant in Afghanistan in 2014. The investment by PepsiCo comes amid concerns regarding the economy of the country beyond 2014 after NATO troops leave the country after 13 years of war, which will leave hundreds of Afghans working Read the full article...]]>
PepsiCo opens its first plant in Afghanistan in 2014

One of the largest global and multinational American food and beverage corporation  PepsiCo plans to open its first plant in Afghanistan in 2014.

The investment by PepsiCo comes amid concerns regarding the economy of the country beyond 2014 after NATO troops leave the country after 13 years of war, which will leave hundreds of Afghans working for foreign troops unemployed.

However there are still optimisms regarding the investment by multinational companies specifically in mining sector which will boost the economy of Afghanistan and will contribute towards the self-sufficiency of the country.

Hamed Kakar, head of the marketing for Dubai-based Alokozay group of companies, which will partner with PepsiCo for the investment of the plant told Reuters News agency in interview, “It will go on stream in 2014.”

Alokozay group of companies will invest around $60 million to build the plant which will provide around 3,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The investment will also prevent import of Pepsi products from neighboring Pakistan.

According to reports Pepsi plant will be built in Kabul industrial zone near Coca-Cola plant which returned to Afghanistan in 2006 after almost a decade break.

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Afghanistan starts first commercial oil production in July http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-starts-first-commercial-oil-production-in-july-2399 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-starts-first-commercial-oil-production-in-july-2399#comments Sat, 18 May 2013 16:31:17 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=26014 Afghanistan starts first commercial oil production in July
The first commercial oil production in the history of Afghanistan is expected to be launched in northern Afghanistan within the next two months. Afghan mines minister, wahidullah Shahrani is currently in Australia to for talks with Government officials and to attend mining development conferences in Sydney said, the first major oil production in northern Amu Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan starts first commercial oil production in July

The first commercial oil production in the history of Afghanistan is expected to be launched in northern Afghanistan within the next two months.

Afghan mines minister, wahidullah Shahrani is currently in Australia to for talks with Government officials and to attend mining development conferences in Sydney said, the first major oil production in northern Amu river basin will be started by China National Petroleum (CNPC).

Mr. Shahrani quoted by ABC News said, the oil production will eventually supply oil domestically in a bid to prevent oil import from outside the country.

In the meantime Australia has pledged to provide training opportunities for the Afghan mines officials in a bid to develope the mining sector of the country.

Shahrani quoted by ABC said, “We have got a number of students (who) are studying at Australian universities. They will transfer back to Afghanistan, they will help the ministry of mines and petroleum in Afghanistan to manage the resources in the right way.”

The untapped mineral resouces of Afghanistan estimated to worth up to $3 trillion is considered to play a vital role in the economy of the country as NATO troops are preparing to leave Afghanistan and the international aid is gradually reducing.

Afghan mines minister Wahidullah Shahrani also announced that the government of Afghanistan is due to award five to six major tenders including oil and gas, copper, gold and irone ore within the next one month.

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Do we have the Potential to raise Afghanistan’s GDP? http://www.khaama.com/do-we-have-the-potential-to-raise-afghanistans-gdp-21654 http://www.khaama.com/do-we-have-the-potential-to-raise-afghanistans-gdp-21654#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 06:35:47 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=25680 Do we have the Potential to raise Afghanistan’s GDP?
By: Faazel Ahmad Oria  The Afghan economy has been consistently in a low state from a historical perspective since 1960s. Afghanistan has had a traditional economic system until the invasion of the former Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the country experienced a socialist economic system “a centralized system” in late 1970s. Afghanistan Read the full article...]]>
Do we have the Potential to raise Afghanistan’s GDP?

By: Faazel Ahmad Oria 

The Afghan economy has been consistently in a low state from a historical perspective since 1960s. Afghanistan has had a traditional economic system until the invasion of the former Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the country experienced a socialist economic system “a centralized system” in late 1970s. Afghanistan experienced an Islamic system of economy during the Taliban regime. Eventually, Afghanistan has adopted a free market economy since the presence of the international community in 2001 which was coupled with the introduction of a democratic system of government for Afghanistan.

In the above mentioned periods Afghanistan has had a poor economy with a low GDP “gross domestic products”. But unlikely, in recent decades according to CSOA’s “Central Statistics Organization of Afghanistan” report, the GDP in our country expanded 9.50 percent in the fiscal year 2011-12 from previous years. In another report by the World Bank, Afghanistan’s GDP in 2011 was worth 20.34 billion US dollars. This indicates that due to the foreign aid and investments, Afghanistan’s economy is growing rapidly.

Beside the foreign aid and investments, Afghanistan’s domestic income sectors are also growing, and playing a key role in increasing the GDP of Afghanistan. Agriculture is a significant sector in Afghanistan’s economy that constitutes 35 percent of GDP. The exploration of natural resources such as; mine explorations has started to play a key role in the increasing revenue.

 The third sector that forms the Afghan economy is the Tax Revenue Department, working under the supervision of Ministry of Finance. This sector has major influences in increasing the GDP of Afghanistan. The income of the revenue department raised to 1.64 billion US dollars in 2012 fiscal year, a 14-fold increase on 10 years ago (Reuters, 2013). And this seems a major increment in national income.  However, the revenue department of ministry of finance faces major impediments in collecting the taxes.

We “Afghans” do not often agree to pay taxes to our government, and we sometimes even scoff to pay the required taxes, so that the government can spend them on welfare projects in society. On the other hand, we have some powerful and rich people, which hold huge investments and properties and are often not paying their taxes to the tax revenue department. The government authorities have admitted that taxing the powerful and rich businessmen is not easy, because most of them are key government officials, tribal and ethnic leaders, and often commands militias. These rich and powerful people have huge influence on government policies and institutions are responsible to collect taxes. This seems hard to collect the taxes starting from an ordinary citizen to those who hold big enterprises. “We have to promote the culture of tax paying in our country”. The government needs to develop policies and increase its influence on these rich and powerful people and make them pay the taxes.

Besides tackling the obstacles, the revenue department in the ministry of finance has played a significant role in raising the national incomes. According to a Reuters report under the previous head of the revenue department Ahmad Shah Zamanzai, the tax department jailed more than 20 tax evaders, froze bank accounts, slapped on travel bans and shuttered the premises of businesses that refused to pay tax. Currently, Afghanistan’s tax incomes to GDP stand above 11 percent, higher than the neighboring country Pakistan (Reuters, 2013).

Despite the above mentioned achievements of the revenue department in ministry of finance, I acknowledge the massive corruption in the ministry of finance and all other governmental institutions. I do not notice a serious motivation against corruption in any ministry or government institutions. Now we have the new head of the revenue department  Abdul Rahman Mujahhid stating that “corruption is a part of public life in Afghanistan” and in the meantime he tends to make the revenue department corruption-free (Reuters, 2013). I can see the contradiction in Mujahid’s statements very well, and I do not consider his statement a strong commitment against corruption. We need some serious and dedicated managers to work hard against corruption and tackle the obstacles on of taxing collection.

Now coming to the main question “Do we have the Potential to raise our GDP “Gross Domestic Products?  To answer this main question, we have to rely on strong management and dedicated managers in agriculture, mining, tax revenue department, and all other key economic sectors. We need serious heads and managers like Ahmad Shah Zamanzai, the previous head of the revenue department, who does not hesitate to confront powerful tax evaders; and so on we need such management in every key economic sectors. Government and the international community needs to focus on major investment projects in housing, mining, and agriculture setting and it will greatly contribute in increasing GDP of Afghanistan.

Economy shapes a country’s future and a stable economy is the backbone of development and prosperity in any nation. Afghanistan had a great opportunity to utilize from the presence of the United States and the international community. To some extent, developmental projects in economic, educational, health, and agriculture have been implemented.  however, the government administration failed to tackle corruption, secondly, the presence of war- lords, lack of rule of law, lack of experts, and the influences of rich and powerful people on government were the major sources of problems. I believe that we have the capacity of growing our economy, only if we decide to seriously work for it.

Works Cited

  • Reuters, (2013).
  • Wikipedia, CSOA “Central Statistics Organization of Afghanistan”
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Roshan Achieves “Global Leadership Award” at TMT Finance Awards http://www.khaama.com/roshan-achieves-global-leadership-award-at-tmt-finance-awards-3654 http://www.khaama.com/roshan-achieves-global-leadership-award-at-tmt-finance-awards-3654#comments Mon, 29 Apr 2013 14:18:34 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=25479 Roshan Achieves “Global Leadership Award” at TMT Finance Awards
Roshan, Afghan total communications provider, today announced that Chief Executive Officer Karim Khoja has received, on behalf of Roshan, the prestigious “Global Leadership Award” at the fifth annual TMT Finance Middle East & North Africa Awards, held in Dubai on April 23. The award recognizes the innovative spirit that has fuelled Roshan’s growth in becoming Read the full article...]]>
Roshan Achieves “Global Leadership Award” at TMT Finance Awards

Roshan, Afghan total communications provider, today announced that Chief Executive Officer Karim Khoja has received, on behalf of Roshan, the prestigious “Global Leadership Award” at the fifth annual TMT Finance Middle East & North Africa Awards, held in Dubai on April 23.

The award recognizes the innovative spirit that has fuelled Roshan’s growth in becoming not only Afghanistan’s largest telecommunications operator, but it also celebrates Roshan’s contribution to the country’s social and economic development – a vital component of the company’s continued growth and success.

“I have always believed that successful leadership is achieved through effective teamwork, and so this award acknowledges the hard work and dedication of all Roshan’s employees and partners,” Khoja said. “The award also reflects the social enterprise and the fostering of human potential that is at the heart of Roshan’s pioneering business model, and is derived from the philosophy of our major investor, the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development. In Afghanistan, we are breaking down traditional distinctions between profit and non-profit, and between social contribution and commercial success. It is this unique, social enterprise-based model that has given Roshan such a huge advantage over our competitors,” Khoja added.

When Roshan commenced operations in 2003, despite only 80,000 Afghans having access to a mobile phone, the company aimed to harness the power of mobile technology to catalyze the reconstruction and economic development of Afghanistan. Today, Roshan is the country’s largest investor, private company and taxpayer, having invested over $550 million to bring

communication services and long-term, social development programs to Afghanistan. The company now serves approximately six million customers, connecting Afghans to one another and the world.

Despite this success, Roshan continues to invest in Afghanistan’s next generation, and has recently launched 3G Jahaan (meaning “the world”), further advancing the company’s provision of innovative, market-leading voice and data services. Roshan’s investment in 3G technology is also part of the company’s continued mission to leverage telecommunications to bridge critical infrastructure gaps, in fields such as health and financial inclusion:

  • In the last year alone, Roshan has expanded its Telemedicine Project to connect the Faizabad hospital with the Bamyan Hospital in Central Afghanistan, the French Medical Institute for children in Kabul and the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, thereby increasing delivery of medical care to the most remote regions of Afghanistan and enabling remote diagnosis and medical personnel training that ultimately saves lives.
  • Prior to the launch of Roshan’s mobile-banking service, M-Paisa, 97 percent of Afghanistan remained unbanked, due to a combination of lack of access to a physical banking location and distrust in Afghanistan’s banking sector, caused by widespread corruption. By launching M-Paisa in 2011, Roshan created a product that provided Afghans with an alternative that is not only accessible in even the most rural, isolated regions, but also offers service that is fast and secure. In 2013, more than one million customers now use M-Paisa, including the Afghan National Police, who now receive their salaries via mobile phone.

“Since 2003, we have strived to build a truly world-class company that both employs and develops local staff, while also spurring the economic development and rebuilding of Afghanistan, and improving the well-being of the country’s communities,” Khoja said. “We believe in the power of telecommunications to bring about measurable change, and it is an honor to be recognized by the international community for our achievements,” he added.

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Roshan Launches 3G “Jahaan” in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/roshan-launches-3g-jahaan-in-afghanistan-2654 http://www.khaama.com/roshan-launches-3g-jahaan-in-afghanistan-2654#comments Mon, 15 Apr 2013 08:59:22 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=25149 Roshan Launches 3G “Jahaan” in Afghanistan
Roshan, an Afghan total communications provider, today launched 3G Jahaan (meaning “the world”), which will immediately be available in Kabul, and then rolled out nationwide.  Roshan 3G Jahaan presents a significant next step in access by connecting the company’s six million customers with each other and the world. Furthermore, 3G Jahaan’s features such as video Read the full article...]]>
Roshan Launches 3G “Jahaan” in Afghanistan

Roshan, an Afghan total communications provider, today launched 3G Jahaan (meaning “the world”), which will immediately be available in Kabul, and then rolled out nationwide.  Roshan 3G Jahaan presents a significant next step in access by connecting the company’s six million customers with each other and the world. Furthermore, 3G Jahaan’s features such as video calling, conferencing and streaming confirm Roshan’s promise to continue offering new products that will further advance the company’s customer service and provision of innovative voice and data services.

“It has always been Roshan’s vision to leverage technology and innovation to bridge critical needs gaps and improve the lives of those in the community.  3G Jahaan is the next step in that vision, and a leap forward for the people of Afghanistan,” Karim Khoja, Roshan Chief Executive Officer, said. “Today’s launch of our 3G service reinforces Roshan’s ongoing mission to providing the highest quality service and enabling greater access for our customers.  3G Jahaan is not just about speed, but our continued commitment to the overall customer experience,” Khoja added.

“His Excellency Amir Zai Sangin, Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) for the government of Afghanistan said, “The launch of Roshan 3G Services is a another major step in transforming Afghanistan into Information Society.  Roshan recognizes the value that world-class telecommunications services can bring not only to the Afghan people, but the international community as a whole.”

Roshan’s investment in 3G technology is also part of the company’s continued mission to leverage the telecommunications infrastructure to support development in health (telemedicine) and education (e-learning). In 2003, just giving people the ability to satisfy a basic need of simply talking to one another was innovation. Today, Roshan 3G Jahaan’s enhanced connectivity services will not only increase the delivery of robust product and data offerings, but facilitate improved life-saving telemedicine technology for those patients in need of medical treatment.  And, for the next generation of Afghan leaders, 3G Jahaan will amplify learning access with e-learning tools.

Last month Roshan secured a loan from the International Finance Corporation, in the amount of $65 million, to support the acquisition of the company’s 3G spectrum license and continued development of network infrastructure.

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Afghanistan to start work on 6 major mines in next two months http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-to-start-work-on-6-major-mines-in-next-two-months-1571 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-to-start-work-on-6-major-mines-in-next-two-months-1571#comments Tue, 09 Apr 2013 04:55:34 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=25009
According to officials in the ministry of mines of Afghanistan, several companies across the globe are interested to invest on the natural resources of Afghanistan. Wahidullah Shahrani, Afghan mines minister told reporters in Kabul, a number of large international companies have shown their interest and are prepared to invest in mines sector in the country. Read the full article...]]>

According to officials in the ministry of mines of Afghanistan, several companies across the globe are interested to invest on the natural resources of Afghanistan.

Wahidullah Shahrani, Afghan mines minister told reporters in Kabul, a number of large international companies have shown their interest and are prepared to invest in mines sector in the country.

Mr. Shahrani further added that agreements will be signed after tendering and assessment process within the next two months.

“We are expecting that the contracts will be signed within the next two months. Work on two blocks in Afghan-Tajik zone in northren Balkh province of Afghanistan, gold and copper mine of Zaragshan in Moqor district of Ghazni province, gold mine in Raghistan district of Badakhshan province, Balkhab copper mine in Sar-e-Pul province and Shaida copper mine located partly in Pashtun Zarghoon and partly in Adraskan districts of Herat rpovince”

Shahrani said adding that the first phase of the contracts will mainly focus on exploration works.

Shahrani also added that international companies from Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and countries from African region are interested to invest who are well experienced in these sectors.

According to Wahidullah Shahrani, a joint team comprised of specialists from mines ministry, finance ministry, economy ministry, ministry of trade and commerce, environmental protection department and security council are working to finalize the contracts.

In the meantime ministry of mines officials warned that a number regional spy agencies are looking to create barriers towards the exploration work of natural resources in Afghanistan.

According to reports Aynak copper mine which was awarded to a Chinese firm is facing security threats.

However Afghan mines minister says that the ministry is working on plans which boosts exploration work on major Afghan natural resources that will feed billions of dollars into Afghanistan in a bid to improve the economy of the country.

He said, “The share of the mines ministry including fuel and gas will reach to $4 billion by 2024 and the contribution of natural resources towards the economy of country will reach to 20-22 percent by 2024, which will form 45-50 percent of the economy of the country.”

This comes as the international community during Tokyo conference emphasized on the self-sufficiency of Afghanistan by 2024. It was also agreed in the conference that Afghanistan must become self-sufficient economic wise by 2024.

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Afghanistan issues 100bn new Afghani bank notes http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-issues-100bn-new-afghani-bank-notes-1537 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-issues-100bn-new-afghani-bank-notes-1537#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2013 11:24:54 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=24754 Afghanistan issues 100bn new Afghani bank notes
The Central Bank of Afghanistan — Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) officials on Tuesday announced that fresh banknotes amounting to one hundred billion Afghanis have recently been printed. DAB officials also informed that the latest specifications have been placed in the new banknotes in a bid to make it easier to differentiate from the fake notes. Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan issues 100bn new Afghani bank notes

The Central Bank of Afghanistan — Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) officials on Tuesday announced that fresh banknotes amounting to one hundred billion Afghanis have recently been printed.

DAB officials also informed that the latest specifications have been placed in the new banknotes in a bid to make it easier to differentiate from the fake notes.

The officials also added that the Central Bank of Afghanistan remains committed to meet the needs and issues of th Afghan market.

The new bank notes are due to be distributed in accordance with the market demands, DAB officials said adding that the new banknotes have been printing considering the needs of the market for the next five years.

A British firm was contracted to print the new Afghan bank notes and the contract was reportedly given to the firm against $20 million.

According to reports the Afghan government has also ordered to print another one hundred million Afghanis and the new bank notes will be printed as per the demands of the Afghan market.

In the meantime deputy governor for the Central Bank of Afghanistan Khan Afzal Hadawal said the new specifications of the bank notes will remain confidential with the bank while some of the specifications will be made public in the near future.

This comes as the residents of Kabul city and other provinces of Afghanistan including the business owners complained of facing issues with the fake bank notes in the market.

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Why Fiscal Cliff Deal Fails To Neutralize Debt Ceiling Hostage http://www.khaama.com/why-fiscal-cliff-deal-fails-to-neutralize-debt-ceiling-hostage-12365 http://www.khaama.com/why-fiscal-cliff-deal-fails-to-neutralize-debt-ceiling-hostage-12365#comments Mon, 25 Mar 2013 04:32:21 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=24551 Why Fiscal Cliff Deal Fails To Neutralize Debt Ceiling Hostage
What is Fiscal Cliff Deal? The term fiscal cliff has been used at various occasions in the past to refer to fiscal issues. It is already known to the public that Congress created the fiscal mess that it is currently squabbling over. Furthermore, it is quite surprising to see it wrangling over the issue like hapless teens fighting on prom night. There is actually a Read the full article...]]>
Why Fiscal Cliff Deal Fails To Neutralize Debt Ceiling Hostage

What is Fiscal Cliff Deal?

The term fiscal cliff has been used at various occasions in the past to refer to fiscal issues. It is already known to the public that Congress created the fiscal mess that it is currently squabbling over. Furthermore, it is quite surprising to see it wrangling over the issue like hapless teens fighting on prom night. There is actually a lot of action as a result of both political force and resistance; however, that does not seem to excite or satisfy the audience anyways.

Regarding the selection between the winner and the loser, it is suggested to give out credit to the Democrats for their incredible public relations triumph which they however, cannot exploit in the form of policy gains in the future. The fact today is that a deal has been forged quite intelligently, even though every other person has responded with hints of dissension that is quite obvious and distinguished.

Molly Ball has neglected how the major stakeholders are entirely discontented about the whole issue, whereas Dave Jamieson also is a distinguished case of forgotten stakeholders. Although, there is a lot of calamity, tension and disappointment looming over, there is another huge blow that is here to stay – the future of debt ceiling. More likely the whole issue is expected to come up in full bloom in March which has already begun. Experts and critics strongly opine that it would be a series of repetition of what happened in the last round when the Republican legislators took over the debate and openly threatened to cause damage to the international economy. It is believed that they are planning to do all that again.

At the same time, Senator Lindsey Graham said that it would be the best thing that could be done. He further remarked that whatever was about happen is not all what he wanted, however, in the true sense of the word it is called American Democracy, hence the debtceiling. There is no further debate on this issue by the Senator as of yet which clearly tells us that neither his viewpoint has changed nor he has been taken aback by the hurdles.

Effects of Debt Ceiling

The debt ceiling is more or less akin to the fiscal cliff in one significant way at least. It is an image that cannot explain the reality that prevails whereas at the same time simple and quick to instigate as a source to erupt chaos and coerce a state of alarm.  In the more admired perception, the entire idea of raining the debt ceiling has boiled down to the point that it is an act that allows Congress to increase its spending.

People see this standard procedure as one that establishes a whole new space for whole new spending altogether. However, this is certainly not perfectly true since the decision to the take the debt ceiling to a whole new level is in fact a tradition during which the Congress recognizes the expenses of its shared past actions and reiterate its assurance to do good as per its commitment.

At a certain time, it was also rumored that the White House has refused to accept the fiscalcliff deal that was exclusive of immediate disarmament of the debt ceiling. This is considered to be one of the most significant demands put forth during the negotiations by the White House. However, as the debate made its way to the unexpected lash out on New Year’s, this disarmament issue raised its head again as a matter of demand and was substituted with a coherent symbolic perseverance from the president that there was nothing that he could do over the issue of debt ceiling and that his days of doing anything were now over.

However, the fact is that no one person in the country believes the statement given by Obama regarding his stance about what he could do for the debt ceiling issue has now translated into a tough agreement that is expected to stay on for long. On the other hand, staying on the line in a negotiating session is something president Obama is not fond of. The president even said that the issue of debt ceiling was not technical, but political.

Conclusion

The issue of debt ceiling has taken a new shape surrounded by rumors, debates, misstatements and political wrong doings. Some believe that it has become more a matter of egotistical perseverance for those in power; however, many are also expecting a favorable and well-improvised decision as the month of March advances.

Author Bio

Angelina is an expert writer on American politics and has been writing columns for over 30 years. She also has keen interest in history and spends her spare time reading books, blogging and writing for community websites like www.ConsolidatedCredit.org.

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Afghanistan starts commercial production of crude oil soon http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-starts-commercial-production-of-crude-oil-soon-2291 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-starts-commercial-production-of-crude-oil-soon-2291#comments Thu, 21 Mar 2013 03:16:06 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=24451 Afghanistan starts commercial production of crude oil soon
According to the ministry of mines of Afghanistan, China’s largest oil company — China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is due to start commercial production of crude oil in Afghanistan shortly, heralding a resource boom that could transform the country’s economy over the next decade. Afghan mines minister Wahidullah Shahrani quoted by The Wall Street Journal Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan starts commercial production of crude oil soon

According to the ministry of mines of Afghanistan, China’s largest oil company — China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is due to start commercial production of crude oil in Afghanistan shortly, heralding a resource boom that could transform the country’s economy over the next decade.

Afghan mines minister Wahidullah Shahrani quoted by The Wall Street Journal said, extraction of metals and oil could account for 45% of Afghanistan’s gross domestic product by 2024.

Wahidullah Shahrani on Wednesday met with the potential investors during a conference on the margins of the mines and money.

He said, “The wells are ready for production. If we complete negotiations with our northern neighbor in the next two to three weeks, then production of the crude will begin with an initial 5,000 barrels a day.”

Mr. Shahrani did not disclose further informaiton to identify which of the three northern border countries—Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan or Tajikistan is involved.

He said, The geological structures there are very promising based on seismic surveys.” The exploration and test drilling will take several years, Mr. Shahrani added.

Afghanistan’s first oil refinery is due to be completed in two to three years and Afghanistan’s oil output will continue to rise that could feed a 44,000 barrel a day into the refinery.

Fuel is the main single import item of Afghanistan currently which mainly comes from Central Asia.

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Roshan to Rollout 3G and Bring High Speed Data Services to the Country http://www.khaama.com/roshan-to-rollout-3g-and-bring-high-speed-data-services-to-the-country-2024 http://www.khaama.com/roshan-to-rollout-3g-and-bring-high-speed-data-services-to-the-country-2024#comments Fri, 15 Mar 2013 04:15:11 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=24280 Roshan to Rollout 3G and Bring High Speed Data Services to the Country
Roshan, today announced it has secured funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to support the rollout of the company’s 3G and high speed data services throughout the country. IFC will provide Roshan debt financing for the amount of $65 million.  This most recent injection of capital from Read the full article...]]>
Roshan to Rollout 3G and Bring High Speed Data Services to the Country

Roshan, today announced it has secured funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to support the rollout of the company’s 3G and high speed data services throughout the country. IFC will provide Roshan debt financing for the amount of $65 million.  This most recent injection of capital from IFC will enable Roshan to continue to expand its infrastructure and provide the highest quality network and services to its six million customers. Since Roshan was founded in 2003, it has concluded three earlier rounds of financing totaling almost $200 million.  All of these previous loans have been fully paid on schedule.

A decade ago when Roshan began its operations, less than 100,000 people had access to mobile telecommunications. To date, the company has invested more than $550 million in infrastructure to create a state-of-the-art, high quality, network that provides coverage to over 65 percent of the population in 230 cities and towns in all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. Today, Roshan’s customers not only have access to basic voice services, but can also access the internet, social media channels, and additional value added services including mobile banking. Roshan currently offers high-speed data services that are available nationwide and 3G will further complement the existing network infrastructure and provide faster access to services.

“In just a short period of time, the Afghan telecommunications market has grown rapidly and Roshan spearheaded that development.  The ability to speak to one another is a basic human need and over ten years, Roshan has played an integral role in achieving this milestone.  Now we are ready to lead the broadband revolution for Afghanistan’s next generation,” Karim Khoja, Roshan, Chief Executive Officer, said.  “Apart from providing even faster speed and access for our customers, 3G’s enhanced connectivity enables greater access to vital, quality telecommunications that stimulate social and economic development in a host of sectors such as healthcare, education and finance. This will allow Roshan to build on our telemedicine, e-education and mobile banking applications that are already helping to develop and fast-track the country’s infrastructure,” Khoja added.

“As we have seen in countless places, the ability to communicate is vital for economic development,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “This agreement will help bring the internet to the doorstep of Afghans, opening up a world of possibilities.”

One of Roshan’s main goals is to be a catalyst for socio-economic development and harnessing the power of telecommunications to bring about measureable change in Afghanistan. In 2007 Roshan started its Telemedicine project linking the French Medical Institute for Children (FMIC) in Kabul to the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi (AKUH).  Since then, the Telemedicine Project has expanded to include Bamiyan Hospital (2010) and Faizabad Hospital (2011) to deliver remote medical care, diagnosis, treatment and training to populated and isolated areas of the country. With the addition of 3G, this will spur even further development and greater connectivity to those areas that need it the most.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In the fiscal year 2012, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges.

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Roshan Telecom Afghanistan achieve certified (B-Corp) status http://www.khaama.com/roshan-telecom-afghanistan-achieve-certified-b-corp-status-2167 http://www.khaama.com/roshan-telecom-afghanistan-achieve-certified-b-corp-status-2167#comments Thu, 07 Feb 2013 15:54:55 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=23003 Roshan Telecom Afghanistan achieve certified (B-Corp) status
Roshan, Afghanistan’s leading total communications provider, today announced that the company has been officially recognized as a certified B-Corp. Roshan is the first company in Afghanistan to achieve this prestigious B-Corp status and leads the way for other Afghan businesses to gain recognition for ethical business practices. The status also highlights that companies can successfully Read the full article...]]>
Roshan Telecom Afghanistan achieve certified (B-Corp) status

Roshan, Afghanistan’s leading total communications provider, today announced that the company has been officially recognized as a certified B-Corp. Roshan is the first company in Afghanistan to achieve this prestigious B-Corp status and leads the way for other Afghan businesses to gain recognition for ethical business practices. The status also highlights that companies can successfully invest in Afghanistan as a business as well as having a social conscience and positive socio-economic impact on a country. Becoming a B-Corp makes Roshan the first company in Afghanistan to join over 600 companies in 24 countries from around the world that have obtained the highly coveted designation.

The company is also collaborating with B Lab to make the B Impact Assessment more appropriate for developing countries as it expands internationally. Roshan’s collaboration with B-Corp is part of its heritage as an Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) Group company, where it is committed to bring best practice and world class standards wherever it operates.

The B Impact Assessment analyzes companies and reviews corporate governance, financial metrics, community engagement and environmental practices. And, it explicitly highlights Roshan for investing in the reconstruction of Afghanistan by increasing access to telecommunications services and mobile banking through M-Paisa. Roshan also scored high on the assessment for model human resources policies and workforce development practices including hiring and training employees from chronically underemployed communities including women. Today, almost twenty percent of Roshan’s workforce are women.

Since launching operations in Afghanistan ten years ago, Roshan has made a significant contribution to the rebuilding and social development of the country. The company has invested over $550 million in the country and has created 1,300 direct and over 40,000 indirect jobs.

“Roshan is committed to being a different kind of company that believes in harnessing the power of telecommunications to bring about measureable change in Afghanistan,” Karim Khoja, Roshan Chief Executive Officer said. “This certification further validates that and our vision as a benchmark as an emerging market telecommunications company that focuses on our customers, stakeholders and employees, providing quality and value in an ethical manner while contributing to the social and economic development of Afghanistan” Khoja added.

Roshan has also focused on development through Roshan Community, the company’s corporate social responsibility arm. By leveraging the company’s resources, technology and employees, Roshan Community has introduced many innovative programs including:

In 2012, served over half a million meals, through a partnership with Afghan NGO Aschiana, constructed three playgrounds bringing Roshan’s overall total to 23 some of which are in the most insecure parts of the country and expanded its Telemedicine Project to connect the Faizabad hospital with the Bamyan Hospital in Central Afghanistan, the French Medical Institute for Children in Kabul and the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, thereby increasing delivery of medical care to the most remote regions of Afghanistan and enabling remote diagnosis and medical personnel training.

· Roshan has also installed 32 E-learning Centers, which provide public schools in rural parts of Afghanistan containers powered by solar panels housing laptops and other communications equipment within public schools around the country;

· A joint NGO partnership for a WaterTracker Service, which gives populations in rural areas the ability to call the company’s free of charge Interactive Voice Response (IVR) to find out the status of their local water well, or report a fault. To date, of the over 100 wells Roshan has built throughout the country, 30 wells have been restored as a direct result of such interventions;

· A joint Roshan and NGO project for the establishment of Women’s Public Call Offices (WPCOs). The project offers women an opportunity to earn an income while learning key business skills. Each WPCO operator is supplied with a business kit at a subsidized rate. The kit contains a handset, SIM card, antenna, charger, an initial amount of talk time and a Roshan PCO business signboard.

“Roshan achieved B Corp certification in recognition for everything it does, and continues to do as an impact company. We are humbled to have such an inspirational company achieve B Corp certification for their great efforts in improving the lives of their employees, the local community, and rebuilding the vital infrastructure needed for Afghanistan to thrive. The B Corp movement was started to shine a light on companies that are the best for the world, and we’re excited to confirm that Roshan is one of them.” Dermot Hikisch, Head of Community Development, B Lab.

Roshan (Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd) is Afghanistan’s leading total communications provider with over six million active subscribers and a network that covers over 230 cities and towns in all of the country’s 34 provinces.

Certified B Corporations 1) meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance; 2) legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests; and 3) build collective voice through the power of the unifying B Corporation brand. As of May 2012, there are over 530 Certified B Corporations from over 60 industries, representing a diverse multi-billion marketplace.

B Lab is a nonprofit organization dedicated to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Lab drives systemic change through three interrelated initiatives: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and just good marketing; 2) accelerating the growth of the impact investing asset class through use of B Lab’s GIIRS impact rating system by institutional investors; and 3) promoting supportive public policies, including creation of a new corporate form and tax, procurement, and investment incentives for sustainable business.

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United States to sue Standard & Poor’s over ratings http://www.khaama.com/united-states-to-sue-standard-poors-over-ratings-1333 http://www.khaama.com/united-states-to-sue-standard-poors-over-ratings-1333#comments Tue, 05 Feb 2013 05:16:08 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=22901 United States to sue Standard & Poor’s over ratings
Standard & Poor’s said it expects to be the target of a U.S. Department of Justice civil lawsuit over its mortgage bond ratings over alleged illegal behavior tied to the recent financial crisis. The charges would mark the first enforcement action the government has taken against a major rating agency however the credit risk agency Read the full article...]]>
United States to sue Standard & Poor’s over ratings

Standard & Poor’s said it expects to be the target of a U.S. Department of Justice civil lawsuit over its mortgage bond ratings over alleged illegal behavior tied to the recent financial crisis.

The charges would mark the first enforcement action the government has taken against a major rating agency however the credit risk agency promised a vigorous defence, saying the looming lawsuit would be “entirely without factual or legal merit.”

US prosecutors have questioned former S&P analysts on whether the firm ignored its own standards when rating the securities because of fees from investment banks, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The two sides have discussed a possible settlement for about four months, according to people close to the negotiations, but S&P balked over concerns that a deal could sink the company.

In the meantime the New York Times in a report said, the lawsuit will likely be brought this week after settlement talks between the department and S&P broke down last week.

The talks collapsed over federal authorities’ insistence that a settlement involve at least $1bn, the Times reported.

Shares of McGraw-Hill Cos, the parent of S&P, plunged 13.8% on Monday after news of the pending lawsuit surfaced, their biggest one-day percentage decline since the 1987 stock market crash, according to Reuters data.

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Toyota once again secures world’s top vehicle maker title http://www.khaama.com/toyota-once-secures-worlds-top-vehicle-maker-title-1297 http://www.khaama.com/toyota-once-secures-worlds-top-vehicle-maker-title-1297#comments Mon, 28 Jan 2013 07:22:51 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=22661 Toyota once again secures world’s top vehicle maker title
Toyota Motor Corp regained the crown as the world’s top selling automaker in 2012, posting record-high sales and beating rivals General Motors and Volkswagen. Toyota on Monday said its tally for global vehicle sales in 2012 soared 22.6 per cent to 9.75 million vehicles It was already clear Toyota had dethroned General Motors Co. as Read the full article...]]>
Toyota once again secures world’s top vehicle maker title

Toyota Motor Corp regained the crown as the world’s top selling automaker in 2012, posting record-high sales and beating rivals General Motors and Volkswagen.

Toyota on Monday said its tally for global vehicle sales in 2012 soared 22.6 per cent to 9.75 million vehicles

It was already clear Toyota had dethroned General Motors Co. as the Detroit-based automaker fell short, selling 9.29 million vehicles. GM had been the top-selling automaker for more than seven decades before losing the title to Toyota in 2008.

GM retook the sales crown in 2011, when Toyota’s production was hurt by the quake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.

Toyota held the global sales crown from 2008 through 2010, but fell to third place in 2011 behind GM and Volkswagen.

Toyota’s domestic rival Nissan Motor Co said on Monday it sold a record 4.94 million vehicles globally in 2012, while Honda Motor Co sold 3.82 million vehicles, up 19 percent.

Before that, it struggled against a crisis of massive recalls in the U.S. over defective floor mats, gas pedals and brakes, involving millions of vehicles, some recalled over and over, that hurt its reputation for quality.

Toyota officials have vowed to scrutinize quality, and have held back product development to minimize recalls.

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Roshan officially recognized for quality in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/roshan-officially-recognized-for-quality-in-afghanistan-2135468 http://www.khaama.com/roshan-officially-recognized-for-quality-in-afghanistan-2135468#comments Wed, 23 Jan 2013 15:16:26 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=22490 Roshan officially recognized for quality in Afghanistan
Roshan, a leading total communications provider in Afghanistan, today announced that the company has been awarded the highest quality recognition of ISO 9001:2008 for its technology, network and sales operations.  ISO is gained by organizations that focus on improving company operations through utilizing performance principles such as strong customer focus, leadership, involvement of people, governance, factual Read the full article...]]>
Roshan officially recognized for quality in Afghanistan

Roshan, a leading total communications provider in Afghanistan, today announced that the company has been awarded the highest quality recognition of ISO 9001:2008 for its technology, network and sales operations.  ISO is gained by organizations that focus on improving company operations through utilizing performance principles such as strong customer focus, leadership, involvement of people, governance, factual approach to decision making and continual improvement.¹Recognized in over 150 countries, the two certifications,—a first for any telecommunications operator in Afghanistan—were awarded to Roshan after a year-long rigorous evaluation process conducted by ISO certified auditors.

Over the last ten years, Roshan has been committed to bringing the best-in-class services to Afghanistan while focusing on quality and the overall customer experience. In September of 2011, the company’s three time award-winning Customer Care Center achieved ISO status—making it Afghanistan’s first-ever ISO certification. The Customer Care Centre responds to over 30,000 calls per day in Dari, Pashto and English, and also offers a “Ladies Customer Centre” for Roshan’s female subscribers.

“The company’s guiding principle has been to provide all Afghans with access to mobile telephony, as well as to play a key role in the country’s economic development, reconstruction, and redevelopment process,” Karim Khoja, Roshan Chief Executive Officer, said. “As we embark on our ten year anniversary, with over half a billion dollars invested in our network including upgrading it to provide 3G services Roshan continues to deliver on the promise of providing quality to ensure the highest level of service through all customer touch points.  Our customers tell us they consistently choose Roshan for the superior performance of our wide reaching network that, today, provides coverage to almost 65 percent of the population in all 34 provinces,” Khoja added.

Roshan remains focused on delivering innovative products and services to meet the unique demands of the Afghan market. The company pioneered mobile data services in Afghanistan, becoming the first operator to introduce BlackBerry and data products. Roshan’s data packages are differentiated to meet the varying needs of consumers, large corporate clients, and small business owners, alike.  And, for the growing youth market Roshan introduced Kahkahshaan, an interactive content portal with robust local music, video and news content as well as access to social media.

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Afghanistan saffron export increased by 14% in 2012 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-saffron-export-increased-by-14-in-2012-1215 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-saffron-export-increased-by-14-in-2012-1215#comments Mon, 07 Jan 2013 05:06:12 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=22055 Afghanistan saffron export increased by 14% in 2012
According to Afghanistan Raisin, Fruits and Vegetable Promotion Agency officials, around 14% increase in Afghan Saffron exports have been noted during the first 9 months of 2012. The officials further added the increase shows around 200 kilograms of more saffron export as compared to last year. Afghanistan exported around 1,600 kilograms of saffron during the first nine Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan saffron export increased by 14% in 2012

According to Afghanistan Raisin, Fruits and Vegetable Promotion Agency officials, around 14% increase in Afghan Saffron exports have been noted during the first 9 months of 2012.

The officials further added the increase shows around 200 kilograms of more saffron export as compared to last year.

Afghanistan exported around 1,600 kilograms of saffron during the first nine months of 2012, the officials said adding that the exports of onions, potatoes, tomatoes, celery and other vegetables increased by more than 2,000 tonnes compared to the first nine months of 2011.

The Agency officials also added that the Afghanistan onions are exported to neighboring Pakistan while other vegetables like potato are exported in middle eastern countries.

In the meantime increase in Saffron cultivation and export can be a good news for Afghanistan as the Afghan government has long been struggling to replace opium cultivation by Saffron.

Government officials insist that the Saffron cultivation and export brings more benefit to Afghan farmers as compared to opium and the Afghanistan weather is also suitable for the cultivation of saffron.

Currently saffron is cultivated in eastern Ghazni and western Herat provinces of Afghanistan, while the government is working on plans to encourage more farmers across the country.

Saffron is one of the most expensive spices you can buy, but a sharp drop in the price of saffron due to an increase in production is worrying farmers in Afghanistan.

It’s a particular problem there because saffron was supposed to help the country’s economy overcome its dependence on opium production.

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East Horizon Airlines starts Kabul-Badakhshan flights http://www.khaama.com/east-horizon-airlines-starts-kabul-badakhshan-flights-1185 http://www.khaama.com/east-horizon-airlines-starts-kabul-badakhshan-flights-1185#comments Tue, 01 Jan 2013 07:20:13 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=21875 East Horizon Airlines starts Kabul-Badakhshan flights
East Horizon Airlines on Monday formally started flights to remote north-eastern Badakhshan province of Afghanistan. This is the first time a private airline company is launching direct flights to Badakhshan province after three years. Previously Ariana Airlines, Kam Air and Pamir used to fly in this province however they halted their flights due to unknown Read the full article...]]>
East Horizon Airlines starts Kabul-Badakhshan flights

East Horizon Airlines on Monday formally started flights to remote north-eastern Badakhshan province of Afghanistan.

This is the first time a private airline company is launching direct flights to Badakhshan province after three years. Previously Ariana Airlines, Kam Air and Pamir used to fly in this province however they halted their flights due to unknown reasons.

According to reports only UN and military aircraft used to fly in Badakhshan province during this period.

The first flight of East Horizon Airlines to Badakhshan province consisted to 44 passengers and was welcomed by Afghan officials and people who are saying that they can easily travel between Kabul and Badakhshan province.

However provincial governor Shahwaliullah Adeeb while praising the flights between Kabul and Badakhshan urged East Horizon Airlines to reconsider in its charges.

East Horizon Airlines, the latest addition to the list of cargo airlines in Afghanistan is currently serving the passengers using two aircrafts and the airlines is looking to purchase two more aircrafts in the near future in a bid to expand its operations across the country.

The carrier is also expected to move cargo from Kabul to smaller Afghan cities, which have previously had to rely on the unpredictable trucking. The airline is later expected to expand its service network to the UAE, Western China and India.

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Afghan Entrepreneur receive peace through commerce award http://www.khaama.com/sadat-naderi-receive-peace-through-commerce-award-2065 http://www.khaama.com/sadat-naderi-receive-peace-through-commerce-award-2065#comments Sun, 16 Dec 2012 16:38:52 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=21397 Afghan Entrepreneur receive peace through commerce award
United States Department of Commerce formally awarded the Peace Through Commerce Award for 2012 to 8 nominees following formal ceremony in Dubai. Sadat Mansoor Naderi, the chairman of SMN Investments is the first and only Afghan business man who receives the peace through commerce award. In an exclusive interview with Khaama Press (KP) Syed Sadat Read the full article...]]>
Afghan Entrepreneur receive peace through commerce award

United States Department of Commerce formally awarded the Peace Through Commerce Award for 2012 to 8 nominees following formal ceremony in Dubai.

Sadat Mansoor Naderi, the chairman of SMN Investments is the first and only Afghan business man who receives the peace through commerce award.

In an exclusive interview with Khaama Press (KP) Syed Sadat Mansoor Naderi said investment and creation of job opportunities is vital for the reduction of war, violence and to maintain stability in the country.

He said, “Investment and creation of job opportunities are effective to reduce violence and expand peace throughout the war-torn countries like Afghanistan. As you are aware over 60% of the Afghan population is comprised of Afghan youths who are in dire need employment opportunities after they complete their education. The youths will unfortunately prefer to participate in war activities if the government and private sector do not pave the way for job opportunities.”

Sadat Mansoor Naderi said he was optimistic regarding the 2014 and will expand SMN’s investment across the country despite majority of the Afghans are concerned and believe that 2014 will be a period of economic and political crisis for Afghanistan.

In regards to the 2014, Syed Sadat Mansoor Naderi said, “My views regarding 2014 is very optimistic and therefore we are working to expand our investments and will continue to grow in the future as well. For us 2014 is only a date.”

In the meantime Mr. Naderi said Afghan investors and traders are facing a number barriers including lack of security, standard transportation system and electricity in the country.

The Peace through Commerce Medal dates back to the first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, who commissioned the medal in 1790. Jefferson gifted the medal, formerly known as the Diplomatic Medal, to foreign diplomats who aided the Continental Congress during the American Revolution. The medal is most renowned for its inscription, To Peace and Commerce, centered along the top.

SMN Investments is a privately held group of companies with a major market presence across various economic sectors in Afghanistan since 2000.

SMN believes in the strength of strategic alliances with select multinationals, key local enterprises and the Afghan government. The Group is committed to re-invest in select sectors and vertical and horizontal integration to capture more of the value chains in which it operates.

SMN has pioneered the insurance industry in Afghanistan and is the first fully licensed private insurance company. The company has secured over $20 Billion in reinsurance commitments from the London market and recently delivered coverage for Aynak Copper Mine ($3.6b investment).

Among the group’s principal capacities are:

Reporter: Qiam Noori, Kabul

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Afghanistan International Bank wins bank of the year award http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-international-bank-wins-bank-of-the-year-award-2046 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-international-bank-wins-bank-of-the-year-award-2046#comments Tue, 11 Dec 2012 18:29:55 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=21186
The Banker, one of the oldest publication in the banking industry during its annual awards ceremony in London last week recognized Afghanistan’s leading commercial bank — Afghanistan International Bank (AIB) as one of the best bank for the year 2012. AIB put in an excellent performance in 2011 and continues to adhere to strong risk Read the full article...]]>

The Banker, one of the oldest publication in the banking industry during its annual awards ceremony in London last week recognized Afghanistan’s leading commercial bank — Afghanistan International Bank (AIB) as one of the best bank for the year 2012.

AIB put in an excellent performance in 2011 and continues to adhere to strong risk management policies, a capital adequacy ratio of 22%, and an 85 % liquidity ratio”.

The Banker is the world’s premier banking and finance resource. Read in over 180 countries around the world. The Banker has been providing global financial intelligence since 1926 and has built a reputation for objective and incisive reporting on major events.

In the meantime Afghanistan International Bank (AIB) looks to extend maturing business ties with UAE financial institutions whilst the two countries are drawn closer together through financial and social links.

Khalilullah Sediq, Chief Executive Officer of AIB earlier this month said, “Trade between Afghanistan and the UAE was already some AED2bn in 2011, which may sound modest but is actually a hugely important amount in an economy recovering from years of war.”

“The UAE is a key trading partner for Afghanistan, because of its location, good business envi-ronment, and the fact that the Afghan community within the UAE forms the second largest diaspora of Afghans after the United States. Targeting this inter-country economic activity therefore, has become a fundamental aspect to AIB’s growth strategy,” he added.

There are thought to be up to 200,000 Afghans living in the UAE. As UAE based companies continue to see commercial opportunity within the pre-emerging market of Afghanistan, it is essential for the economic development of Afghanistan that there exists a viable and trusted financial institution to support this activity.

The Afghan nascent banking system has been “tainted” after the collapse of Kabul Bank. Kabul Bank experienced a run on deposits in 2010, following the revelation that shareholders had used it as their personal funding vehicle. According to a report, published in March by the central bank, about $900m in loans were made to bank officers and insiders – including shareholders – with little or no collateral.

Only 5 per cent of the population of more than 30 million people have a bank account, according to World Bank estimates. After a profit of 378.9 million Afghani last year and 326.2m Afghani in 2010, AIB is expecting flat growth next year.

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Afghan Gold & Minerals Company wins mining permits http://www.khaama.com/afghan-gold-minerals-company-wins-mining-permits-2045 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-gold-minerals-company-wins-mining-permits-2045#comments Tue, 11 Dec 2012 16:52:27 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=21180 Afghan Gold & Minerals Company wins mining permits
The government of Afghanistan has picked preferred bidders for three of its four current mineral tenders, including a company backed by former BHP Billiton ceo Chip Goodyear and a JP Morgan Cazenove executive. Afghan Gold and Minerals has been named preferred bidder for the Balkhab copper exploration licence northwest of the capital Kabul, one of Read the full article...]]>
Afghan Gold & Minerals Company wins mining permits

The government of Afghanistan has picked preferred bidders for three of its four current mineral tenders, including a company backed by former BHP Billiton ceo Chip Goodyear and a JP Morgan Cazenove executive.

Afghan Gold and Minerals has been named preferred bidder for the Balkhab copper exploration licence northwest of the capital Kabul, one of three gold and copper exploration licences opened for tender a year ago by the Afghan government.

Afghan Gold and Minerals will have copper explorations rights over the Balkhab, northwest of the capital Kabul. The company already has a gold property, which is close to start production, according to FT.

Afghan Minerals Group was granted Thursday a license to explore the Shaida copper deposit, in the province of Herat, in western Afghanistan.

Afghan minister of mines said that Afghan Gold and Minerals Company, Afghan Minerals Group, and Turkish-Afghan Mining Company had been picked from a shortlist of 25 bidders to explore and begin to develop the Balkhab, Shaida and Badakhshan projects respectively.

“We look forward to finalising mining agreements with them,” minister Wahidullah Shahrani said.

Meanwhile, Turkish-Afghan Mining obtained the license for the Badakhshan gold and copper deposit, in the Badakhshan province, in north-eastern Afghanistan.

This is the second round of mineral licensing conducted by the Afghan government, which in 2008 gave Metallurgical Corp of China rights to the Aynak copper deposit and, in November last year, granted an Indian steel company the right to exploit the Hajigak iron ore deposit.

The Hajigak iron ore deposit is considered one of the largest iron deposits in the world at 1.8 billion tonnes.

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East Horizon Airlines start operations in W. Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/east-horizon-airlines-start-operations-in-w-afghanistan-1072 http://www.khaama.com/east-horizon-airlines-start-operations-in-w-afghanistan-1072#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2012 09:05:29 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=20918 East Horizon Airlines start operations in W. Afghanistan
East Horizon Airlines, the latest addition to the list of cargo airlines in Afghanistan, formally started its operations by launching direct flights between western Faryab and Herat province of Afghanistan. According to East Horizon Airlines officials they are looking to start regular flights in other destinations in Afghanistan including Kabul to Ghor, Bamiyan , Kunduz Read the full article...]]>
East Horizon Airlines start operations in W. Afghanistan

East Horizon Airlines, the latest addition to the list of cargo airlines in Afghanistan, formally started its operations by launching direct flights between western Faryab and Herat province of Afghanistan.

According to East Horizon Airlines officials they are looking to start regular flights in other destinations in Afghanistan including Kabul to Ghor, Bamiyan , Kunduz and Uruzgan provinces.

The officials also added they are considering to launch more flights o Faizabad, Ghazni, Daikundi and Farah provinces, depending on security.

Jahid Azimi Chief Executive Officer of the East Horizon Airlines said the airlines started its operations with more than USD20 million.

He said currently Eeast Horizon Airlines is serving the passengers using two aircrafts and the airlines is looking to purhcase two more aircrafts in the near future in a bid to expand its operations across the country.

East Horizon Airlines provides passenger, cargo and charter services operated as per international safety standards and professional civil aviation practices.

East Horizon Airlines is a private, one hundred percent Afghan-owned airlines, managed by seasoned expert and staffed by skilled young professionals. It an integrated company with a diversified portfolio that includes various travel verticals and is the first Afghan carrier that is established under the new rules and regulations of Afghanistan’s Civil Aviation.

The carrier is expected to move cargo from Kabul to smaller Afghan cities, which have previously had to rely on the unpredictable trucking. The airline is later expected to expand its service network to the UAE, Western China and India.

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AIB aims to extend Afghanistan-UAE financial ties http://www.khaama.com/aib-aims-to-extend-afghanistan-uae-financial-ties-1066 http://www.khaama.com/aib-aims-to-extend-afghanistan-uae-financial-ties-1066#comments Tue, 04 Dec 2012 09:49:03 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=20881 AIB aims to extend Afghanistan-UAE financial ties
In Dubai for a quarterly board meeting, Afghanistan International Bank (AIB) looks to extend maturing business ties with UAE financial institutions whilst the two countries are drawn closer together through financial and social links. Speaking after the meeting, Khalilullah Sediq, Chief Executive Officer of AIB and former governor of the Afghanistan Central Bank quoted by Read the full article...]]>
AIB aims to extend Afghanistan-UAE financial ties

In Dubai for a quarterly board meeting, Afghanistan International Bank (AIB) looks to extend maturing business ties with UAE financial institutions whilst the two countries are drawn closer together through financial and social links.

Speaking after the meeting, Khalilullah Sediq, Chief Executive Officer of AIB and former governor of the Afghanistan Central Bank quoted by CPI Financial said, “Trade between Afghanistan and the UAE was already some AED 2 billion in 2011, which may sound modest but is actually a hugely important amount in an economy recovering from years of war.

“The UAE is a key trading partner for Afghanistan, because of its location, good business environment, and the fact that the Afghan community within the UAE forms the second largest diaspora of Afghans after the United States. Targeting this inter-country economic activity therefore, has become a fundamental aspect to AIB’s growth strategy.”

There are thought to be up to 200,000 Afghans living in the UAE. As UAE based companies continue to see commercial opportunity within the pre-emerging market of Afghanistan, it is essential for the economic development of Afghanistan that there exists a viable and trusted financial institution to support this activity.

“Despite the challenges faced in Afghanistan, commercial success for AIB continues to grow because of an increase in the market share of domestic clients and the expansion of foreign companies turning to AIB as the viable banking option within the country,” Sediq said.

In the meatnime Afghanistan International Bank (AIB), the biggest commercial bank in the country, is seeking to attract business in Dubai and to invest its US$800 million (Dh2.93 billion) worth of liquidity with banks abroad. But it is facing difficulties.

The Afghan nascent banking system has been “tainted” after the collapse of Kabul Bank, Ronald Stride, the chairman of the board of supervisors at AIB, said in an interview with The National.

“The picture has been painted in a very negative way and people have … not a wrong impression, but a one-sided impression,” he said. “So we have taken it upon ourselves to try and paint a more balanced picture of banking and finance in Afghanistan.”

Kabul Bank experienced a run on deposits in 2010, following the revelation that shareholders had used it as their personal funding vehicle. According to a report, published in March by the central bank, about $900m in loans were made to bank officers and insiders – including shareholders – with little or no collateral.
The majority of those were connected to 19 related parties.

More than 100 rubber stamps for shell companies were used to provide fake documents a patina of legitimacy for a “well-concealed Ponzi scheme”, the investigative firm Kroll said in a report, The New York Times revealed last week.

“The problem with the way that the patronage system works in the country, is that if you are well-connected you can get access to credit from any bank,” said Peter Middlebrook, the managing director of Geopolicity, an international management consultancy and think tank. “The regulatory environment and regulatory enforcement is phenomenally weak.
“Nothing can be worse than what happened to Kabul Bank, the ramifications of which are expected to be felt in Afghanistan for many years to come.”

Major UAE companies such as Etisalat are among AIB’s over 100,000 clients. Afghanistan International Bank has been steadily increasing links with UAE financial institutions. The bank has developed a set of special relationships with local UAE banks, who introduce clients that want to do business in Afghanistan to the Afghanistan International Bank. AIB is meeting with Emirates NBD to extend these relationships further.

In Afghanistan itself, the bank in September completed a strategic Cooperation Agreement with Standard Chartered, which enables Standard Chartered to service its clients in Afghanistan through AIB.

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Concerns over LPG price increase in Afghan markets http://www.khaama.com/concerns-over-lpg-price-increase-in-afghan-markets-874 http://www.khaama.com/concerns-over-lpg-price-increase-in-afghan-markets-874#comments Mon, 03 Dec 2012 10:33:56 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=20853 Concerns over LPG price increase in Afghan markets
The price of 1KG LPG has increased from $1 to $ 1.5 in Afghan markets along with the start of the winter season. Many Kabul citizens blame government for negligence and lack of control over the market. Hussain Ali Kamgar, a resident of Kabul city said, the increase in gas price will highly affect the Read the full article...]]>
Concerns over LPG price increase in Afghan markets

The price of 1KG LPG has increased from $1 to $ 1.5 in Afghan markets along with the start of the winter season.

Many Kabul citizens blame government for negligence and lack of control over the market.

Hussain Ali Kamgar, a resident of Kabul city said, the increase in gas price will highly affect the economy of poor families.

“The economic MAFIA is involved in such situations and the sell LGP according to their well”, said Mr. Kamgar.

This comes as the Ministry of Commerce have created stores and where the price is much lower compared to private stores, but it takes several hours to wait in the queue which is difficult for many people.

An official at the Ministry of Commerce tells media that prices of LPG in Afghan market is dependent to global LNG markets.

Wahidullah Ghazykhil, a spokes person for the Commerce Ministry said, “If oil and gas prices go up in the international markets, it directly impacts Afghanistan market.”

With winter coming, the prices of LPG have increased comparing to other seasons which happens every year.

Last winter, the price of 1kg LPG increased up to 110 AFN which is about $ 2.

Many thinks if the prices are not seriously controlled at this stage, Afghan families will face difficulties during the cold days of the season.

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Roshan is awarded for its best customer care service http://www.khaama.com/roshan-is-awarded-for-best-customer-care-service-145 http://www.khaama.com/roshan-is-awarded-for-best-customer-care-service-145#comments Sun, 02 Dec 2012 10:04:59 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=20845 Roshan is awarded for its best customer care service
Roshan, one of the largest Afghan telecom company, announced it  won the Best Customer Care Award at the eleventh annual World Communication Awards ceremony, held in London.  Roshan’s victory marks the sixth consecutive year the operator has been recognized by the World Communication Awards. Roshan’s selection as the winner of the Best Customer Care category Read the full article...]]>
Roshan is awarded for its best customer care service

Roshan, one of the largest Afghan telecom company, announced it  won the Best Customer Care Award at the eleventh annual World Communication Awards ceremony, held in London.  Roshan’s victory marks the sixth consecutive year the operator has been recognized by the World Communication Awards.

Roshan’s selection as the winner of the Best Customer Care category of the World Communication Awards is the company’s third such recognition since its Customer Care

Division earned the first ISO-9001:2008 certification in September 2011. The certification is the highest level of quality achievement recognized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

“For an Afghan company to be named the “Best in Customer Care” when competing for this prestigious award against other global telecom brands, is a great testament to the quality of service and dedication to quality of the Roshan employees, Karim Khoja, Chief Executive Officer, said.

Adding, “Roshan was the first bring a world-class Customer Care Centre that answers 85 percent of calls within 20 seconds, serves over six million customers and responds to nearly 30,000 calls per day in Dari, Pashto and English throughout Afghanistan.  The Customer Care Center is staffed by highly trained agents and females make up 35 percent of the staff.”

Since 2003 Roshan has committed to being a different kind of company that is respectful of cultural traditions.  As such, Roshan’s female customers also have the option to speak with female agents in Roshan’s Ladies Call Centre.  Female customers can do so by dialing 333 to use the company’s multilingual Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) then select “Ladies Customer Centre” to register.

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Third CWI Summit on Afghanistan to be held in Dubai http://www.khaama.com/third-cwi-summit-on-afghanistan-to-be-held-in-dubai-2025 http://www.khaama.com/third-cwi-summit-on-afghanistan-to-be-held-in-dubai-2025#comments Thu, 29 Nov 2012 15:54:33 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=20762 Third CWI Summit on Afghanistan to be held in Dubai
The Third Afghanistan Summit (TAS III) working to promote Investment and Economic Development across Afghanistan and fulfill the country’s potential of becoming the hub of the region is due to be held in United Arab Emirates on the 15th and 16th of January, 2013. The Summit will be attended by key decision makers representing Afghanistan; contractors, consultants, Read the full article...]]>
Third CWI Summit on Afghanistan to be held in Dubai

The Third Afghanistan Summit (TAS III) working to promote Investment and Economic Development across Afghanistan and fulfill the country’s potential of becoming the hub of the region is due to be held in United Arab Emirates on the 15th and 16th of January, 2013.

The Summit will be attended by key decision makers representing Afghanistan; contractors, consultants, major donors, procurement officers, international, regional and local NGOs, UN agencies, NATO, government officials and international associations.

The initiative is being organized with the objective to allow each Ministry, Military Branch, International Agency and NGO the opportunity to present their current challenges, detail the help and assistance they need, and inform attendees how the international private-sector can help them achieve their goals; a key element, acknowledged by government policy, to the further economic stability of Afghanistan.

The geographic location of Afghanistan provides an ideal platform on which to build, with a wealth of natural resources such as energy supplies, mining and fertile land for agriculture.

Besides Afghanistan houses rich seams of copper, iron, gold, lithium and rare earth deposits worth up to $3 trillion, according to the Afghan government.

In the meantime India and Afghanistan earlier this month decided to intensify their cooperation, especially in the economic sector as they inked four pacts, including one on cooperation in development of coal and mineral resources and Indian aid for implementation of small development projects.

Foreign investment is now one of the key economic strategies to make the country more economically independent.

Presently around 3,000 small and medium plants, according to officials, are operating in the country which producing light items such as biscuits, macaroni, tissue papers, medicines, soaps, washing liquid, drinking water, juice, soft drinks, etc.

That investment is being sought especially in exploiting Afghanistan’s natural resources, which officials valued at 3 trillion dollars. But only a handful of foreign companies have shown interest in investing in its mines and gas fields.Investments have jumped 20 per cent so far in 2012 to 553 million dollars, the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency said.But last month, the commerce and industries minister said most of the investment came from Afghans, with only a few foreign investors interested.

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Kabul Bank Was a Massive Fraud Scheme: Audit http://www.khaama.com/kabul-bank-was-a-massive-fraud-scheme-audit-1022 http://www.khaama.com/kabul-bank-was-a-massive-fraud-scheme-audit-1022#comments Tue, 27 Nov 2012 15:39:44 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=20703 Kabul Bank Was a Massive Fraud Scheme: Audit
Afghanistan’s biggest private bank was a massive fraud scheme from its founding, with £540 million ($861 million) diverted to a clique of beneficiaries including the president’s brother, a British-funded audit has found. Details of the audit were revealed in a leaked report seen by the New York Times newspaper. Revelations of corruption led to a Read the full article...]]>
Kabul Bank Was a Massive Fraud Scheme: Audit

Afghanistan’s biggest private bank was a massive fraud scheme from its founding, with £540 million ($861 million) diverted to a clique of beneficiaries including the president’s brother, a British-funded audit has found.

Details of the audit were revealed in a leaked report seen by the New York Times newspaper. Revelations of corruption led to a run on the bank in 2010.

The bank’s primary purpose, the audit suggests, was financial gain for Hamid Karzai insiders, who garnered depositors’ cash. Among the alarming details, via the Times: The bank, which officials seized in 2010, used at least 114 rubber stamps from fake companies on forged documents.

At the same time 10 airline pilots were on the payroll, apparently to help smuggle vast sums of cash out of the country to Dubai via Kabul airport.

Among those who benefited from illegal loans was Mahmoud Karzai, the report says. However, he has always denied any wrongdoing and says he has repaid all of the cash.

Meanwhile, some 92% of the bank’s loan portfolio went to just 19 people and firms, all interconnected, the audit says. “We never imagined that the criminality was as deep as it was, that it was so widespread and that it included high-ranking officials and their relatives,” says a former governor of Afghanistan’s central bank.

The bank’s near collapse triggered a financial crisis and became emblematic of the rampant crony capitalism which has undermined the Afghan state since 2001.

Kabul Bank had been hailed as proof of progress and modernisation in the country and held the salaries of hundreds of thousands of soldiers, policemen and government staff paid by international donors including America and Japan.

Kabul Bank’s founder and its former chairman Sherkhan Farnood and ex-CEO Khalilullah Ferozi are among several people charged in connection with the bank’s collapse.

In the meantime The Report of the Public Inquiry into the Kabul Bank Crisis will be publicly released by the Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC).

The Kabul Bank report provides details related to the licensing of the Bank, its fraudulent activities, the sufficiency of regulatory efforts to detect the fraud, and the response to the crisis from the central bank, the government, the justice system, and the international community.

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Afghanistan in dire need of consumer rights protection http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-in-dire-need-of-consumer-rights-protection-145 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-in-dire-need-of-consumer-rights-protection-145#comments Sun, 25 Nov 2012 11:47:04 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=20635 Afghanistan in dire need of consumer rights protection
By: Ahmad Masoud Consumer rights protection and fair trade competition are among the most forgotten issues in Afghanistan. The majority of consumers in the country are not satisfied with the quality of many products, including medicines, food products, washing powders and liquids, edible oils and ghee, and diesels and patrols. “Afghanistan has been changed into Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan in dire need of consumer rights protection

By: Ahmad Masoud

Consumer rights protection and fair trade competition are among the most forgotten issues in Afghanistan.

The majority of consumers in the country are not satisfied with the quality of many products, including medicines, food products, washing powders and liquids, edible oils and ghee, and diesels and patrols.

“Afghanistan has been changed into a dumping center for some of the poorest quality Chinese, Pakistani and Indian goods and products,” says Mohammad Abrar, a capacity building specialist in Afghanistan.

Afghan citizens fall victim to deceptive trade practices and adulterated commodities on a regular basis. And they have little access to redress. Cartels are another problem, often resulting in collusive pricing, division of markets and joint decisions to hold and reduce supply.

Creating a pro-consumer environment

Afghanistan needs to enact consumer rights protection legislation as quickly as possible to help create a pro-consumer environment where the delivery of goods and services leads to consumer satisfaction.

It is generally believed that successful implementation of consumer protection policy and fair competition promotes good governance and strengthens democracy.

“Business plays a vitally important role in the economic growth of a country by creating more job opportunities, taking the country towards self reliance and alleviating poverty, but the success of a business depends on the consumer’s trust in the quality and safety of the domestic products,” says Abrar.

“Therefore, the domestic products should be of high quality to attract the interest and build the trust of consumers, and the government should enact certain standards for the quality assurance of not only the domestic but also the imported products.”

Help is on the way

The Afghani government has recently established the Competition Promotion and Consumer Protection General Directorate within the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The directorate has drafted consumer protection legislation and sent it to the Ministry of Justice for revision. After revision by the Justice Ministry, the legislation will be sent to the parliament for ratification.

Jawidullah Azizi, an optical technician in Kabul, says that both business people and consumers need to know their rights and responsibilities in order to create a healthy business environment in the country.

The Consumers Rights and Services Organization (CRSO) has tried to do just that by publishing a series of documents in one of the national Afghan languages on consumers’ rights and responsibilities.

The documents include a booklet on the rights and responsibilities of the consumers; a leaflet on lead poisoning, its causes and preventions; and a flyer marked with eight internationally recognised consumer rights messages. This is the first time such documents have been available in Afghanistan.

Sitting at his small optic shop in one of the busiest parts of Kabul city, Azizi gazes out of his shop’s window and says, “When I look at the current status of some businesses in the market, I strongly believe that Afghanistan is in dire need of consumers’ rights protection.”

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Incentives are note the same as motivation http://www.khaama.com/incentives-are-note-the-same-as-motivation-451 http://www.khaama.com/incentives-are-note-the-same-as-motivation-451#comments Sun, 25 Nov 2012 10:22:00 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=20621 Incentives are note the same as motivation
Since the time I have been working in Afghanistan, I have come across ONLY a handful of people who were actually interested in doing work. I always wondered what the reason was. Most of them I knew were given some of the best incentives for the work they were asked to do, but still that Read the full article...]]>
Incentives are note the same as motivation

Since the time I have been working in Afghanistan, I have come across ONLY a handful of people who were actually interested in doing work. I always wondered what the reason was. Most of them I knew were given some of the best incentives for the work they were asked to do, but still that enthusiasm was missing.

It was only yesterday when I came across an article by Bill Gross, Founder and CEO of Idealab, in which he has talked about incentive not being the same as motivation.

He defines a TRUE motivation as something that gets people to do something because they WANT to do it.

He sums up his advice on the subject of motivation as follows:

“To act through authenticity, example and transparency.”

By that he means the only way you can get someone to follow you is if you are truly authentic yourself about believing in and working toward a shared goal. You have to show your passion and your eagerness in order for others to join you in that mission.

Secondly, you have to set an example for others either by working hard or by executing the tasks in a way that sets example for others.

Last but not the least, act with complete transparency! It is crucial for those working for you to know what is going on-how you are doing-both the good and the bad, so they fell that they are “in the know” and thus part of the same team acting toward the same goal.

From what I observe, authenticity, example and transparency are clearly missing in most Afghan offices, hence the absence of motivation to do the work.

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Safi Airways receives IATA membership http://www.khaama.com/safi-airways-receives-iata-membership-758 http://www.khaama.com/safi-airways-receives-iata-membership-758#comments Tue, 30 Oct 2012 10:42:50 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=19989 Safi Airways receives IATA membership
Safi Airways, the privately owned international scheduled airline of Afghanistan, has officially been accredited with full IATA membership.  The airline also successfully went through IATA’s stringent Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) earlier this year. Hamid Safi, CEO, stated he and the team is looking forward to the benefits of joining the association.  As an IATA member, Read the full article...]]>
Safi Airways receives IATA membership

Safi Airways, the privately owned international scheduled airline of Afghanistan, has officially been accredited with full IATA membership.  The airline also successfully went through IATA’s stringent Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) earlier this year.

Hamid Safi, CEO, stated he and the team is looking forward to the benefits of joining the association.  As an IATA member, Safi’s main objective will be to enhance and build current and future relationships and partner with other IATA airlines and industry providers to carry Safi forward on its continual expansion plans.

Safi Airways currently operates a modern fleet of Airbus A320’s as well as Boeing 757 & 767.  The airline flies, from its Kabul base, to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Delhi, Dubai and Herat.  Safi, in the past six months, has also entered into code-share agreements with Etihad Airways and Gulf Air.

Safi Airways has just announced, effective, 1st December 2012 they will commence operations from Kabul to Tehran.

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Oil extraction started in Amu Darya in northern Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/oil-extraction-started-in-amu-darya-in-northern-afghanistan-830 http://www.khaama.com/oil-extraction-started-in-amu-darya-in-northern-afghanistan-830#comments Sun, 21 Oct 2012 14:45:43 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=19793 Oil extraction started in Amu Darya in northern Afghanistan
China’s National Petroleum Corporation started oil extraction process in northern Afghanistan at Amu Darya basin, Afghan mines ministry officials said on Sunday. The oil extraction contract was signed between the Afghan government and National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) last December which will be valied for a period of 25 years that will cover drilling and a Read the full article...]]>
Oil extraction started in Amu Darya in northern Afghanistan

China’s National Petroleum Corporation started oil extraction process in northern Afghanistan at Amu Darya basin, Afghan mines ministry officials said on Sunday.

The oil extraction contract was signed between the Afghan government and National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) last December which will be valied for a period of 25 years that will cover drilling and a planned refinery in the northern provinces of Faryab and Sar-e-Pul. It is the first major oil production in the country.

Wahidullah Shahrani Afghan Mines Minister quoted by Reuters said, “The company will extract 1,950 barrels per day, which will crucially help Afghanistan towards self-sustainability and economic independence.”

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested by China’s CNPC along with the other venture working on Amu River oil basin which will produce billions of dollars over the next two decades – CNPC will pay a 15 percent royalty on oil, 20 percent corporate tax and give 50-70 percent of its profit from the project to the government.

From January 1, CNPC will extract 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, Shahrani said. Up to 87 million barrels of crude are estimated to be in Amu Darya.

This comes as extraction of oil deposit in northern Sar-e-Pul province of Afghanistan was formally started on Sunday, 24 of June this year.

Afghanistan’s mineral deposits may worth 3 trillion U.S. dollars and the government would utilize it for economic development, according to Afghan mining officials.

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SMN Investments Receives Peace Through Commerce Award http://www.khaama.com/smn-investments-receives-peace-through-commerce-award-745236 http://www.khaama.com/smn-investments-receives-peace-through-commerce-award-745236#comments Wed, 17 Oct 2012 05:05:16 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=19658 SMN Investments Receives Peace Through Commerce Award
US embassy in Kabul announced the eight individuals and organizations that will receive the International Trade Administration’s inaugural Peace through Commerce Medal Award. SMN Investment chaired by Syed Sadat Mansoor Naderi is among the winners of the four international organizations. The four international organizations among the 8 winners of the Peace Through Commerce Award include Read the full article...]]>
SMN Investments Receives Peace Through Commerce Award

US embassy in Kabul announced the eight individuals and organizations that will receive the International Trade Administration’s inaugural Peace through Commerce Medal Award.

SMN Investment chaired by Syed Sadat Mansoor Naderi is among the winners of the four international organizations.

The four international organizations among the 8 winners of the Peace Through Commerce Award include two private enterprises and 2 Chambers of Commerce from Afghanistn, Singapore, Japan and Romania.

The Peace through Commerce Medal dates back to the first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, who commissioned the medal in 1790. Jefferson gifted the medal, formerly known as the Diplomatic Medal, to foreign diplomats who aided the Continental Congress during the American Revolution. The medal is most renowned for its inscription, To Peace and Commerce, centered along the top.

SMN Investments is a privately held group of companies with a major market presence across various economic sectors in Afghanistan since 2000.

SMN believes in the strength of strategic alliances with select multinationals, key local enterprises and the Afghan government. The Group is committed to re-invest in select sectors and vertical and horizontal integration to capture more of the value chains in which it operates.

SMN has pioneered the insurance industry in Afghanistan and is the first fully licensed private insurance company. The company has secured over $20 Billion in reinsurance commitments from the London market and recently delivered coverage for Aynak Copper Mine ($3.6b investment).

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TNT Express signs a contract with Etisalat Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/tnt-express-signs-a-contract-with-etisalat-afghanistan-7456 http://www.khaama.com/tnt-express-signs-a-contract-with-etisalat-afghanistan-7456#comments Mon, 15 Oct 2012 05:16:20 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=19624 TNT Express signs a contract with Etisalat Afghanistan
TNT Express in Afghanistan has signed a two year shipping service agreement with Etisalat. Etisalat Afghanistan is 100% owned subsidiary of Etisalat UAE. Etisalat operates in the Middle East and Africa, headquartered in the UAE, and has over 135 million customers. Etisalat started its operations in Afghanistan in August 2007. Since then the company has Read the full article...]]>
TNT Express signs a contract with Etisalat Afghanistan

TNT Express in Afghanistan has signed a two year shipping service agreement with Etisalat.

Etisalat Afghanistan is 100% owned subsidiary of Etisalat UAE. Etisalat operates in the Middle East and Africa, headquartered in the UAE, and has over 135 million customers.

Etisalat started its operations in Afghanistan in August 2007. Since then the company has invested more than $ 300 Million in the country and its revenue growth has doubled each year. The company is the fastest growing mobile phone company in Afghanistan, Etisalat is providing voice and data services in 30 provinces and 182 districts with more than 12,000 retail outlets.

The two year contract covers the import and export of materials and documents for Etisalat in Afghanistan.

Ubaid Hussain Shah, Contract Manager of Etisalat Afghanistan said: “We chose TNT Express because we need to work with a highly reliable and supportive service partner to ensure that our international and local shipments are handled with care. TNT presents the perfect combination of efficient and reliable shipping solutions along with a world-class global transportation network.”

Rafiq Ahmadyar, Country General Manager for TNT Express in Afghanistan said: “TNT has developed a custom made solution for Etisalat that outstrips the competition. Our Middle east road network and air solution provide Etisalat access to the fastest international transit time available in the market.”

James Edgeworth, Sales and Marketing Director – Middle East commented: “TNT Express in Afghanistan represented by Khadamat Post Tent Co Ld has been successful in striking a key deal that will see TNT support Etisalat’s operations in the country. Etisalat can benefit from our broad range of tailored solutions to fit their requirements, from the transportation of documents to the movement of heavy freight across the Globe.”

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Only 4% Afghans have proper access to banking system http://www.khaama.com/only-4-afghans-have-proper-access-to-banking-system-799 http://www.khaama.com/only-4-afghans-have-proper-access-to-banking-system-799#comments Tue, 02 Oct 2012 16:25:43 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=19306 Only 4% Afghans have proper access to banking system
Afghan bankers on Tuesday said only 4% of the Afghan citizens have access to banking system in Afghanistan due various issues which prevents them from better access to state and private banks. Afghanistan is currently served by 14 private and 3 state banks which are having 800 branches across the country. Officials of the Afghan Read the full article...]]>
Only 4% Afghans have proper access to banking system

Afghan bankers on Tuesday said only 4% of the Afghan citizens have access to banking system in Afghanistan due various issues which prevents them from better access to state and private banks.

Afghanistan is currently served by 14 private and 3 state banks which are having 800 branches across the country.

Officials of the Afghan banks on Tuesday following a two days exhibition assessed the options on how to improve banking system and reduce the current challenges.

The total values of the Afghan banks are around $5 billion which is comprised of the private and state bank customers deposits.

Chief of the Afghan Banks Association Khalil Sediq said they are having various issues and barriers regarding the proper usage of the banks liquidity to investors.

He said, “Only 4% of the Afghans might have access to banks and it seems that the investors are also not having proper access to banking systems due to various issues.”

In the meantime Afghan finance minister Omer Zakhilwal said huge investments have been put in place in Afghan banks however lack of confidence is the main barrier towards the investors in the country.

He said, “It is important to understand on how to use the cash deposits in the banks. Everyone has a chance and it is vital to take necessary steps in order to prevent the risk of loss of money and the banks are also keen to be safe in this regard.”

Mr. Zakhilwal also said, “Banks are charging interests but they are not ready to accept risks. The main question in this exhibition is to find out ways on how to reduce these risks.”

In the meantime growth of banking system in Afghanistan is considered to be one of the major achievements in Afghanistan during the past ten years however there are also objections in this regard including the static position of the deposits in the banks and lack of investment opportunities for the banks.

Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi Afghan trade and commerce minister said the banks are not capable of offering large loans and none of the banks are having over $100 million capital.

He said majority of the capital of the banks are camprised of the customes deposits and most of the banks are hardly having capital of around $20 million.

Ahadi said, “Based on the law the banks are not allowed to offer more than 15% of their capital as loan and therefore the banks are not capable of meeting the requirements of the investors.”

On the other hand lack of proper supervision over the banking system in Afghanistan is a major issue which led to the collapse of a major bank in Afghanistan two years ago.

Kabul Bank collapsed two years back which was later taken over by the Afghan government however the issues of the bank have not been properly resolved.

Meanwhile Afghan government announced to approve the mortgage law in the country shortly which will boost the banking sector in Afghanistan.

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Afghan women face sack at Kabul’s factory http://www.khaama.com/afghan-women-face-sack-at-kabuls-factory-145 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-women-face-sack-at-kabuls-factory-145#comments Mon, 24 Sep 2012 12:44:01 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=19118 Afghan women face sack at Kabul’s factory
Sarco Abad factory, a rare women-only factory in Kabul, will soon lose its Nato contract to make military uniforms to the Afghan government. Afghan government officials claim they can buy the uniforms more cheaply from China or Pakistan. The factory’s managers have been reported they will lose the 22mn EUR annual contract, when responsibility for Read the full article...]]>
Afghan women face sack at Kabul’s factory

Sarco Abad factory, a rare women-only factory in Kabul, will soon lose its Nato contract to make military uniforms to the Afghan government.

Afghan government officials claim they can buy the uniforms more cheaply from China or Pakistan.

The factory’s managers have been reported they will lose the 22mn EUR annual contract, when responsibility for supplying uniforms to the new Afghan security forces shifts from Nato to the Kabul government.

Unless the Sarco Abad factory can find replacement orders, it will have to lay off 230 female workers within a fortnight.

“We have told the workers we are trying to do everything we can to keep the factory going, but I am afraid the women will slowly lose hope,” said Angela Sidiqi, deputy managing director.

Many of the female workers apprehend their future after being sacked. Many of them are the sole breadwinner in the family.

Pushton, a widowed mother of eight, said: “If I lose the job I will not be able to feed my children.”

The factory was initiated two years ago by Fazil Jalil, who had previously worked with a charity to run underground girls’ schools during the Taliban government.

Fazil Jalil succeeded in persuading families to allow their women to work in the factory.

“No one trusted us at first, they didn’t know whether we were bringing them here to work, or for something else,” he said.

“We brought the male members of the family so that they could see what’s going on and that nothing else is happening.”

Nato awarded the five year contract to Sarco Abad as part of its Afghan First Scheme to use procurement contracts to boost the local economy. Sarco Abad is due to complete its land order at the end of September.

As the handover to the ministries of interior and defence has approached, negotiation over the lucrative contracts has been beset with allegations of bribery and kickbacks. Ministers have denied any corruption in the process.

A spokesman for the Nato training mission said 11 Afghan firms had been given contracts to supply equipment to the Afghan forces in recent years. All contracts would be overseen by the Afghan government from October 1.

As Afghanistan is a sovereign nation, we are confident our Afghan partners are making decisions in the best interest of Afghanistan,” she said.

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Roshan Secures 3G License for Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/roshan-secures-3g-license-for-afghanistan-255 http://www.khaama.com/roshan-secures-3g-license-for-afghanistan-255#comments Sat, 22 Sep 2012 10:33:48 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=19086 Roshan Secures 3G License for Afghanistan
Leading priviate telecommunication provider in Afghanistan, Roshan on Saturday announced that the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology (MCIT) has issued the company with a license that will enable Roshan to further expand and develop its already market-leading, innovative data packages via the 3G platform. Afghan Information and Telecommunication Minister Amir Zai Sangin and other Read the full article...]]>
Roshan Secures 3G License for Afghanistan

Leading priviate telecommunication provider in Afghanistan, Roshan on Saturday announced that the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology (MCIT) has issued the company with a license that will enable Roshan to further expand and develop its already market-leading, innovative data packages via the 3G platform.

Afghan Information and Telecommunication Minister Amir Zai Sangin and other honorable ministerial dignitaries in Kabul awarded the license to Roshan following a signing ceremony .

Roshan following a statement on Saturday announced, Roshan is aiming for a commercial roll out of its 3G service later in the year.

Roshan has brought to market a range of robust data platforms for Afghan individuals and business. Most recently, Roshan launched “Kahkashaan,” an innovative galaxy of web portal services that allows customers to access rich content on their mobile phones, including ringtones, pictures, games and applications. The company was also the first to bring Blackberry and M-Paisa mobile money services to Afghanistan.

Chief executive of Roshan Karim Khoja said, “We are delighted to introduce 3G technology to Roshan’s six million and counting customers, expanding access to data-rich products and converged solutions to meet their needs.”

“Not only does the license further bolster Roshan’s robust and high-performing data services, but it also complements our existing state-of-the-art network that currently offers the widest, most reliable and highest quality coverage across all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces”, Khoja said adding that “3G technology is vital for the economic growth and development of Afghanistan in a host of different sectors – from education to health to commerce.”

Meanwhile, Afghan Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Amir Zai Sangin said, “In awarding this license to Roshan, we are embracing the mobile broadband revolution, expanding the country’s data services and enhancing capacity, aimed at improving the lives of Afghans as they connect with each other and the rest of the world,” added Sangin.

Roshan is the third telecommunications company in Afghanistan which has been awarded the Third Generation 3G license following Etisalat and MTN.

About Roshan

Roshan (Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd) is Afghanistan’s leading total communications provider with over 6 million active subscribers and a network that covers over 230 cities and towns in all of the country’s 34 provinces. Roshan is a true Afghanistan success story, serving as a catalyst for economic growth and actively contributing to the country’s long-term development. Since its inception eight years ago, Roshan has invested over $550 million in Afghanistan and is the country’s single largest investor and taxpayer, contributing approximately 5 percent of the Afghan government’s overall domestic revenue. Roshan directly employs more than 1,300 people, 19 percent of whom are women, and provides indirect employment to more than 30,000 people. Roshan is deeply committed to Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development. The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), is a major shareholder of Roshan and promotes private initiatives and building economically sound enterprises in the developing world. Also owned in part by Monaco Telecom International (MTI) and TeliaSonera, Roshan brings international expertise to the country and is committed to the highest standards of network quality and coverage for the people of Afghanistan.

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The Adventure of Afghanistan’s Pashtanay Bank http://www.khaama.com/the-adventure-of-afghanistans-pashtanay-bank-18993 http://www.khaama.com/the-adventure-of-afghanistans-pashtanay-bank-18993#comments Wed, 19 Sep 2012 04:54:49 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=18993 The Adventure of Afghanistan’s Pashtanay Bank
Establishment of banking system in 1312 (equivalent to 1913 in Gregorian calendar) with the inauguration of Bank Milli Afghan (Afghan National Bank) was a major accomplishment, as it later served as the foundation for Afghanistan’s central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank. Abdul Majeed Zabuli, who was the founder of Afghanistan’s banking system and the then Minister Read the full article...]]>
The Adventure of Afghanistan’s Pashtanay Bank

Establishment of banking system in 1312 (equivalent to 1913 in Gregorian calendar) with the inauguration of Bank Milli Afghan (Afghan National Bank) was a major accomplishment, as it later served as the foundation for Afghanistan’s central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank.

Abdul Majeed Zabuli, who was the founder of Afghanistan’s banking system and the then Minister of Economy, struggled to transform various economic sectors of Afghanistan and bring a change to the fledgling economy of Afghanistan, which only led to the fury of the envious individuals.

He was eventually introduced as someone who is trying to who is trying to build a state within the state, and he faced oppositions that had political motifs. He was, ultimately, forced to leave Afghanistan. To avenge Zabuli’s efforts, the government halted many of the bank’s activities, which in reality did nothing but injured the country’s economy.

The story of Pashtanay Bank and its Director, Hayatullah Dayani, is to an extent a repeat of the same adventures of Abdul Majid Zabuli.

When the court sentenced Hayatullah Dayani to 20 years in prison, investigation and research was launched to find out whether corruption had taken place in this bank that should be fight against. Or, was it merely for a show? Was this all not a conspiracy?

Someone, who lifted the bank from nothing to peaks of success and hauled up the bank’s capital from USD 27mn to USD 84mn within 3 years is, instead of being appreciated, currently in the corner of a prison. He is accused of embezzling a huge sum of money. How much and what kind? The correct answer to this question cannot be found on the verdict of the court or the prosecutor’s letter.

As it is evident from the prosecutor’s claim, Mr. Dayani appears to have embezzled loans that were given to the bank. Carrying the claim forward, the money was distributed among 31 companies in a non-transparent manner.

It is clear that in the existence of a good management, one of the most important aspects of a banking enterprise is giving loans to customers, and one of the things that Pashtanay Bank had significant growth in was in this field that led the bank to stand third in terms of deposits and first in terms of credibility.

A letter from the Ministry of Finance, signed by Minister Zakhilwal, was sent to the presidential office requesting an investigation on the unauthorized loans given to powerful individuals by the Pashtanay Bank.

But, who are these powerful individuals?

By legal definition, who are the powerful individuals in the community who are not legible for receipt of loans from the banks? There is nothing in the rules about it. But, usually to most people, mighty individuals are those who are somehow closely linked to the president and hold important positions in the government.  Has it been mentioned in the banking rules of Afghanistan that “powerful” individuals are thieves, untrustworthy people who will not pay back their loans? It is interesting that president has signed a letter with judgmental inputs that insult him.

However, about Pashtanay Bank, Minister Zakhilwal admitted to the president that after the change of leadership, the Bank was able to receive USD 31 million in interest. It is strange that no one asks if the borrower companies do not exist and are not guaranteed, then where did the 31 million dollars of interest come from? But, how come the fake companies with fake bank guarantees and which, according to the prosecutors, do not even exist, were able to approach the bank and ask for loans?

As the bank’s regulations require, each company that received loans from the bank had left their property as deposit guarantees; the only difference is that in case of these particular companies, their properties were non-existing!

The process of receiving guarantees from the customer is an important step that takes place outside of the bank. The process includes identification of the location of the property and consolidation of its legal documents. The former involves the Ministry of Urban Development and the latter involves the court.

Documents of ownership of the guaranteed are preserved in the records of the court, and the properties were allowed for sales after the approval of the Directorate General of Administrative Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Kabul. If these documents are fraudulent, then officials of the law must be brought to justice as well.

The exact location of the guaranteed property with its photos, documents and bank records exist, which indicates that the process has been completely transparent.

According to the attorney’s acknowledgement, the loan money was deposited to bank accounts of companies on 09.03.1391. No bank has the right to open a customer’s bank account in the absence of the account holder or in the absence of valid documents. This reflects the fact that borrower individuals and companies do exist physically and that the embezzlement story is completely baseless and unjustified.

Another point that proves the physical entity of these companies is that according to regulations, every company seeking loans, has to be guaranteed by two other reputable companies. Hence, the 31 companies who have sought loans have been guaranteed by 62 companies. Then, how is it possible that there are 93 fake companies in Kabul? Furthermore, the process requires 53 signatures, 25 signatures from inside the bank and 28 signatures from outside the bank. Now let’s suppose that these signatures were forged, the director of the bank and its destitute officials should not be sentenced to severe punishment; instead fraud people should be identified and according to the Terms of Reference and national law, the loans should be obtained back.

It is clear that Pashtanay Bank, under the presidency of Hayatullah Dayani, provided loans to a number of companies, the majority of which paid of their loans with interest. However, the 31 companies on opportunistic grounds refused to clear their debts.

There are many objectionable things about this case that shows that allegations of corruption in Pashtanay Bank were merely a conspiracy that not only targeted Pashtanay Bank but the entire banking system of Afghanistan. It is also noteworthy that the Attorney General has fired all those lawyers involved in this case, which in itself is questionable.  And most importantly, attorney of anti-corruption and anti-bribery is arrested based on several reasons, one of them being his alcohol addiction. This very point shows why the attorney, at the beginning of Dayani’s trial, with great irresponsibility said that USD 740mn has been embezzled in Pashtanay Bank. In reality, the disputed sum of money was USD 26mn and USD 812,000.

Another thing that happened after removal of Mr. Dayyani from the office was dismissal and compulsory retirement of employees and recruitment of inexperienced individuals- a move needed enough to drag the bank into crisis.

After the court’s decision of sentencing Mr. Dayyani to 20 years in prison and returning of the embezzled sum to the bank, the companies won a golden opportunity.

The company owners are well aware that the guarantee of their loans in the bank and their Afghan identity prevent them to pay the loan. Their property is held under guarantee by the bank, and until they do not pay back their loans, their property does not belong to them. They will finally be prosecuted. They will either have to return the loans or lose their property to the bank.

But, now they have gotten a chance to make the repayment of the loans difficult for the bank, as they can invest that money and gain a much higher interest on it.

Finally the day comes when the government announces if borrowers cannot return their loans on a certain date, they will be exempted from interest payments.  This way, the borrowers will make a profit of tens of millions of dollars on interest. This happened in Kabul Bank’s case, and this time Ministry of Finance has provided similar opportunities to the borrowers of Pashtanay Bank.

After Kabul Bank’s story of misappropriation of about USD 900 mn, the incident with Pashtanay Bank is a devastating blow to the credibility of Karzai’s government and of the Afghan banking system.

What will be the result of such a revenge for the economy of the country? Its first negative impact on Pashtanay bank was that the bank lost its credibility. The income of the bank from interests declined, and the bank is likely to be announced bankrupt.

This is what economic mafia was after- to make the bank a subject of privatization and win control over thank and win its expensive real estate.

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Afghanistan aims to extract 150,000 barrels fuel this year http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-aims-to-extract-150000-barrels-fuel-this-year-755 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-aims-to-extract-150000-barrels-fuel-this-year-755#comments Thu, 06 Sep 2012 15:01:28 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=18618 Afghanistan aims to extract 150,000 barrels fuel this year
Officials in the ministry of mines of Afghanistan announced that fuel refinery contract in Amu River basin will be completed by the end of this year. This comes as a number of Afghan lawmakers and local media agencies criticized that the fuel refinery was not in the exraction contract signed between Afghanistan and National Petroleum Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan aims to extract 150,000 barrels fuel this year

Officials in the ministry of mines of Afghanistan announced that fuel refinery contract in Amu River basin will be completed by the end of this year.

This comes as a number of Afghan lawmakers and local media agencies criticized that the fuel refinery was not in the exraction contract signed between Afghanistan and National Petroleum Corporation of China and that the extracted fuel would be refined in China.

However Wais Sherdil chief of the Amu River Fuel Deposits in the ministry of mines of Afghanistan told reporters on Thursday that the Amu River fuel will be refined inside Afghanistan.

Mr. Sherdil further added the fuel refinery wil be constructed in northern Afghanistan and around $250m to $350m will be spent for the construction project.

He said the main reason behind the delay in the construction work of the refinery system was the determination of the the amount of fuel that will be refined in this fuel refinery.

The extraction of fuel deposits in Amu River has been awarded to China National Petroleum Corporation and a local company “Watan”.

Major fuel deposits of Afghanistan are located in Amu River basin which includes northern Sar-e-Pul, Jowzjan and Faryab provinces of Afghanistan, out of which the extraction has already started in five locations.

According to Afghan mines ministry officials the five locations in Sar-e-Pul and Jowzjan proivnces of Afghanistan, on which the extraction work has already started contains around 87 million barrels of fuel which is around 20% of the fuel deposits in Amu River basin.

Mr. Sherdil said we are expecting to extract 150 thousand barrels of fuel this year as it was agreed in the contract with the extraction companies.

The extraction project was awarded to China National Petroleum and local Watan Company for 25 years however the contract will be renewed after every five years.

Wais Sherdil said the two companies are due to invest $400 million to $500 million for the setup of extraction installations during the first five years.

Afghan mines ministry officials also said the extraction work of Amu River fuel is in progress according the plans which were already prepared.

Sherdil said the extraction work of the two companies will be monitored closely to prevent any shortage or violation while extracting fuel.

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Afghanistan and Iran sign mutual cooperation agreement http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-and-iran-sign-mutual-cooperation-agreement-196 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-and-iran-sign-mutual-cooperation-agreement-196#comments Wed, 05 Sep 2012 12:12:32 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=18590 Afghanistan and Iran sign mutual cooperation agreement
Afghanistan and Iran signed a mutual cooperation agreement at the end of the fourth Joint Commission of Cooperation between the two countries in capital Kabul. The agreement signed by Afghan and Iranian foreign ministers is based on 5 chapters and 56 articles which includes mutual cooperation on economic, security and expanding ties between the two Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan and Iran sign mutual cooperation agreement

Afghanistan and Iran signed a mutual cooperation agreement at the end of the fourth Joint Commission of Cooperation between the two countries in capital Kabul.

The agreement signed by Afghan and Iranian foreign ministers is based on 5 chapters and 56 articles which includes mutual cooperation on economic, security and expanding ties between the two nations.

Ali Akbar Salehi Iranian foreign minister said Iran is prepared to assist Afghanistan in security related issues, fight against the smuggle of drugs and economic propmotion.

Mr.Salehi further added Iran will also consider to resolve the issues of the Afghan immigrants based in this country. He said, around 160 thousand Afghans have taken passports in Iran.

Economic cooperation between Afghanistan and Iran is considered to be vital for the two nations since Afghanistan is an important trade hub for the Iranian products and on the other hand Afghanistan lack and needs to have access in sea ports to resolve its transit related issues.

Afghan and Iranian officials are keen on Chabahar port in Iran as a key transit point to boost the economy of the two nations.

This comes as a delegation of three Iranian officials visited Kabul a day before Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi’s visit to discuss the agreement between the two nations.

Meanwhile Afghanistan, Iran and India during a trilater session in Non-Aligned Movement Session in Iran agreed to expand trilateral cooperation between the three nations in a bid to boost economic and investment opportunities in Chabahar port.

The agreement between Afghanistan and Iran comes amid recent pressure by United States on Afghanistan to end trade ties with 24 Iranian companies and urged Afghan companies to end importing goods through Bandar Abbas in southern Iran.

However Iranian foreign minister emphasized on mutual cooperation between the two nations and said the sea ports in Iran will always be availabel for Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has maintained a good relation with Iran during the past ten years despite being a close ally of the United States and remarks by NATO officials accusing Iran for supporting militants group and providing explosives weapons for anti-government armed militants in Afghanistan.

Afghan intelligence department for the first time last month also said they have detained suicide bombers who were inlolved behind deadly suicide bomb blast in western Nimroz province of Afghanistan however Iran denied to have any links behind the incident.

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Etisalat launch 3.75G internet service in Kunduz province http://www.khaama.com/etisalat-launch-3-75g-internet-service-in-kunduz-province-746 http://www.khaama.com/etisalat-launch-3-75g-internet-service-in-kunduz-province-746#comments Sun, 02 Sep 2012 15:14:33 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=18506 Etisalat launch 3.75G internet service in Kunduz province
Etisalat Telecommunication Company expanded its 3rd generation mobile internet services in northern Kunduz province of Afghanistan. The 3.75G mobile service was launched in northern Kunduz province following an introductory forum which was attended by Afghan telecommunication and information technology ministry representative, members of the provincial council, government employees and a number of media agency representatives. Read the full article...]]>
Etisalat launch 3.75G internet service in Kunduz province

Etisalat Telecommunication Company expanded its 3rd generation mobile internet services in northern Kunduz province of Afghanistan.

The 3.75G mobile service was launched in northern Kunduz province following an introductory forum which was attended by Afghan telecommunication and information technology ministry representative, members of the provincial council, government employees and a number of media agency representatives.

Marketing Chief of the Etisalat Telecom Company Yasser Aboul Amayem said, we are delighted to introduce the 3.75G mobile internet services in Kunduz province and we are confident that Etisalat subscribers will enjoy from a fast internet service which is one of the quality of the 3.875G mobile internet service introduced by Etisalat. 3.75G internet service will pave the way for a brighter future for Afghans and our team is dedicated for further efforts to provide better services in lower rates for our subscribers in Afghanistan.

He said Etisalat subscribers will be able to enjoy video chat and fast internet using the 3.75G mobile internet services.

The benefits of 3.75G mobile internet and its different from GPRS/EDGE was also introduced to the participants of the forum.

Kunduz is one of the main provinces of Afghanistan and is considered to be a main trade hub in northern Afghanistan which links key northern regions and connect Afghanistan with the Asian Central Asian countries through its transit port.

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Afghan agriculture receive $65m research & promotion fund http://www.khaama.com/afghan-agriculture-receive-65m-research-promotion-fund-173 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-agriculture-receive-65m-research-promotion-fund-173#comments Sat, 01 Sep 2012 10:28:53 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=18448 Afghan agriculture receive $65m research & promotion fund
The ministry of agriculture and livestock of Afghanistan in cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development will spend $65 million to support the research and promotion of agriculture in Afghanistan. Afghan agriculture and livestock minister Mohammad Asif Rahimi on Saturday told reporters in capital Kabul around $40 million of the budget will be Read the full article...]]>
Afghan agriculture receive $65m research & promotion fund

The ministry of agriculture and livestock of Afghanistan in cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development will spend $65 million to support the research and promotion of agriculture in Afghanistan.

Afghan agriculture and livestock minister Mohammad Asif Rahimi on Saturday told reporters in capital Kabul around $40 million of the budget will be spent through the ministry of agriculture and livestock of Afghanistan while the remaining $25 million will be paid by USAID.

 Mr. Rahimi said, “The budget will be spent under the supervision of the USAID to support the research and promotion of the agriculture in Afghanistan, professional capacity building and productivity promotion in 7 regions of the country.”

This comes as Japan earlier granted $11 million to ministry of agriculture and livestock of Afghanistan for the promotion of agriculture in the country.

Japanese officials said Afghanistan would be able to export agricultural products outside of the country by promoting the agricultural fields.

In the meantime a number of economical analysts emphasized on the promotion of agriculture as the best option to boost the economy of the country.

Afghan agriculture and livestock minister Mohammad Asif Rahimi said the ministry is looking to reconstruct the agricultural research programs which will need at least 5 years to start from 16 provinces and expand it to the other provinces of Afghanistan.

He said this will be the first program which will be implemented by ministry of agriculture and livestock of Afghanistan after Tokyo conference.

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US Court ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 Billion http://www.khaama.com/us-court-ordered-samsung-to-pay-apple-1-05-billion-125 http://www.khaama.com/us-court-ordered-samsung-to-pay-apple-1-05-billion-125#comments Sat, 25 Aug 2012 04:30:37 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=18223 US Court ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 Billion
A California jury awarded Apple Inc. $1.05 billion and a sweeping victory in its patent infringement suit against South Korean electronics maker Samsung Electronics Co. on Friday, a decision that could make it harder for competitors to challenge the iPhone and iPad in the massive global market for smartphones and tablet computers. Apple Inc. filed Read the full article...]]>
US Court ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 Billion

A California jury awarded Apple Inc. $1.05 billion and a sweeping victory in its patent infringement suit against South Korean electronics maker Samsung Electronics Co. on Friday, a decision that could make it harder for competitors to challenge the iPhone and iPad in the massive global market for smartphones and tablet computers.

Apple Inc. filed its patent infringement lawsuit in April 2011 and engaged legions of the country’s highest-paid patent lawyers to demand $2.5 billion from its top smartphone competitor. Samsung Electronics Co. fired back with its own lawsuit seeking $399 million.

A number of companies that sell smartphones based on Google’s Android operating system may now face further legal challenges from Apple, a company that is already among the largest and most profitable in business history.

“It appears to be a total victory for Apple,” said Michael J. Belliveau, a patent attorney with the Boston law firm Clark & Elbing LLP. “All its patents survived and most, if not all, of Samsung’s devices were found to be infringing. A lot of smartphone companies are going to be thinking about how they can redesign their phones, starting tonight.”

Apple’s charges that Samsung copied its designs and features are widely viewed as an attack on Google Inc and its Android software, which drives Samsung’s devices and has become the most-used mobile software.

Samsung was awarded $0 in damages and is expected to file an appeal. There is no word yet on possible product bans.

Apple and Samsung have been lobbing patent-infringement claims against each other for months as the they compete in the fast-growing mobile device industry. The U.S. case is just one piece in a global battle between the two rivals.

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Indian Consortium bid for copper mine in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/indian-consortium-bid-for-copper-mine-in-afghanistan-118 http://www.khaama.com/indian-consortium-bid-for-copper-mine-in-afghanistan-118#comments Wed, 22 Aug 2012 10:59:52 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=18166 Indian Consortium bid for copper mine in Afghanistan
A consortium of six Indian companies, including four state-owned ones, has bid for a single copper mine project in Afghanistan’s Shaida area from an array of copper and gold deposits that are on offer for development in the mineral-rich country. “So far, it’s the only one that we have bid on,” Shakeel Ahmed, chairman and Read the full article...]]>
Indian Consortium bid for copper mine in Afghanistan

A consortium of six Indian companies, including four state-owned ones, has bid for a single copper mine project in Afghanistan’s Shaida area from an array of copper and gold deposits that are on offer for development in the mineral-rich country.

“So far, it’s the only one that we have bid on,” Shakeel Ahmed, chairman and managing director of state-run Hindustan Copper Ltd. (513599.BY), told Dow Jones Newswires Wednesday. “That’s the only one which is financially viable.”

Mr. Shakeel further added, around four other international bidders have also submitted proposals and are being evaluated by the Afghan government.

Resource-rich Afghanistan has been scouring the globe for investors to develop its mines in an attempt to raise the living standards of one of the world’s poorest nations through investment.

Promoting Indian business in Afghanistan can be seen as part of a softer push by India to expand its influence in the country, something the U.S. has also encouraged New Delhi to do.

This comes as India’s apex industry body, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with the support of the Governments of India and Afghanistan hold a summit to attract foreign investment into Afghanistan, in New Delhi on 28th June.

The objective of this Summit, which was hold in cooperation with relevant Afghan investment and business organizations, was to attract foreign investment into Afghanistan in the light of new opportunities opening up in areas like mining, hydrocarbons and infrastructure, and in traditional sectors like agriculture, industry, capacity-building, health and services. It will also provide a forum to explore business-to-business partnerships across countries.

The Delhi Investment Summit on Afghanistan was organised in line with India’s long term commitment to assisting the people and Government of Afghanistan as they build a peaceful, pluralistic, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan.

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‘Developing insurance sector’ workshop held in Mines Ministry http://www.khaama.com/developing-insurance-sector-workshop-held-in-mines-ministry-039 http://www.khaama.com/developing-insurance-sector-workshop-held-in-mines-ministry-039#comments Sun, 29 Jul 2012 09:22:46 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=17502 ‘Developing insurance sector’ workshop held in Mines Ministry
A one day conference held at ministry of mine Afghanistan for the purpose of introducing local insurance products to the employees of the ministry. Mohammad Anwar, Deputy Minister for Ministry of Mines who was the first speaker at this conference said, “Insurance is an important factor for the economy of as well as for the Read the full article...]]>
‘Developing insurance sector’ workshop held in Mines Ministry

A one day conference held at ministry of mine Afghanistan for the purpose of introducing local insurance products to the employees of the ministry.

Mohammad Anwar, Deputy Minister for Ministry of Mines who was the first speaker at this conference said, “Insurance is an important factor for the economy of as well as for the residents of a country. We are happy to have a proper insurance sector in the country now.”

Fazal Bari Mumtaz, Afghan Insurance Commissioner has started to develop insurance sector by introducing it to government employees with the support of government institutions.

“Currently Auto-Liability and Aviation insurances are obligatory in Afghanistan and the newly insurance drafted law has made more insurance lines mandatory for Afghanistan, Fazl Bari Mumtaz told Khaama Press.”

Currently all vehicle owners in Afghanistan have to get their insurance documents renewed with the state insurance provider annually. This insurance line has been monopolized by Afghan National Insurance Company.

Afghan Insurance Commissioner said “the new insurance law has given right for the citizens to get Auto-Liability insurance from any company they are satisfied with. No matter it is a state or a private company.”

The first private insurance company established in Afghanistan in 2007 and has provided over 18 billion dollars insurance coves yet.

“We have paid out around 4.5 million dollars claims and have provided over 18 billion dollar insurance risk coverage since establishment, said Seyar Hashimi, the representative of Insurance Corporation of Afghanistan.”

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Gold, fuel prices down in Kabul http://www.khaama.com/gold-fuel-prices-down-in-kabul-745 http://www.khaama.com/gold-fuel-prices-down-in-kabul-745#comments Fri, 27 Jul 2012 06:44:17 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=17455 Gold, fuel prices down in Kabul
Gold and fuel prices declined in Kabul during the outgoing week. A liter of petrol was at 57afs compared to its last week’s price of 58 afs. Diesel rate decreased from 57afs to 56afs, while liquefied gas stayed stable at 40afs a kilo, the same rate as last week. One gram of Arabian gold was Read the full article...]]>
Gold, fuel prices down in Kabul

Gold and fuel prices declined in Kabul during the outgoing week.

A liter of petrol was at 57afs compared to its last week’s price of 58 afs. Diesel rate decreased from 57afs to 56afs, while liquefied gas stayed stable at 40afs a kilo, the same rate as last week.

One gram of Arabian gold was sold at 2,150 afs, down from last week’s price of 2,200afs. The same quantity of Iranian variety sold for 1,800afs against its last week’s price of 1,850afs.

The prices of commodity goods, however, remained stable during the outgoing week.

The Food Traders’ Union Chief, Haji Fazl Rahman, said a 50-kilogram bag of Brazilian sugar cost 2,020afs, a similar quantity of Pakistani rice 3,100 afs, and flour 990afs, the same as last week.The price of a 5-kg tin of Momin ghee edged up from 420afs to 430afs, a kilo of African black tea sold for 200afs and the same quantity of Indonesian green tea for 170afs.

But wholesale prices varied from retail rates in parts of the city. Samiullah, a shopkeeper in the Dahn-i-Bagh area, sold a 50-kg sack of Pakistani rice for 3,400afs and a 50-kg bag of Brazilian sugar for 2,200afs.

Moneychanger Ahmad Shah said the buying rate of a US dollar was 51.72 afs, while 1,000 Pakistani rupees accounted for 547afs.

Last week’s exchange value of the greenback stood at 51.50 afs and 1,000 Pakistani rupees at 543 afs, he said.

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First Afghan business magazine published http://www.khaama.com/first-afghan-business-magazine-published-745 http://www.khaama.com/first-afghan-business-magazine-published-745#comments Fri, 20 Jul 2012 09:46:27 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=17302 First Afghan business magazine published
An Afghan business magazine named ‘Silkroute’ officially inaugurated on Thursday. Mamnoon Maqsoodi, the editor in chief for this magazine said, “The magazine ‘Silkroute’ comes to media market to provide public awareness and promote successful Afghan personalities.” He further added this magazine contains useful instructions for local businessmen on how they can promote their business. This Read the full article...]]>
First Afghan business magazine published

An Afghan business magazine named ‘Silkroute’ officially inaugurated on Thursday.

Mamnoon Maqsoodi, the editor in chief for this magazine said, “The magazine ‘Silkroute’ comes to media market to provide public awareness and promote successful Afghan personalities.”

He further added this magazine contains useful instructions for local businessmen on how they can promote their business.

This magazine is sponsored by Faisal Amiri, an Afghan businessman who is involved in IT equipments sales and supplies.

The ‘Silkroute’ magazine is published in 3 languages, Dari, Pashtu and English.

Silk Route is a modern term referring to a historical network of interlinking trade route across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa. The land routes were supplemented by sea routes, which extended from the Red Sea to coastal India,China and Southeast Asia.

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Afghanistan now the world’s sixth largest exporter of raisins http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-now-the-worlds-sixth-largest-exporter-of-raisins-142 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-now-the-worlds-sixth-largest-exporter-of-raisins-142#comments Sun, 08 Jul 2012 04:48:20 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=17037 Afghanistan now the world’s sixth largest exporter of raisins
According to the Export Promotion Agency of Afghanistan (EPAA), raisin exports in Afghanistan have gone up from 8,500 tons to 24,000 tons in the last year. The decades of war that disrupted the export capacity of the country and destroyed much of the raisins. Before the civil war, Afghanistan was exporting 210,000 tons per year Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan now the world’s sixth largest exporter of raisins

According to the Export Promotion Agency of Afghanistan (EPAA), raisin exports in Afghanistan have gone up from 8,500 tons to 24,000 tons in the last year.

The decades of war that disrupted the export capacity of the country and destroyed much of the raisins.

Before the civil war, Afghanistan was exporting 210,000 tons per year all around the world, according to the EPAA.

However, Afghanistan still remains to be the first in terms of raisins’ quality.

Raisin exporters complained about the challenges they still face in the industry mainly in terms of transit and lack of good markets.

“The government needs to help us access bigger markets. We wanted to export raisins to London, but our goods were stopped in Peshawar, Pakistan for 50 days,” said the Head of the Raisin Exporter Union Haji Farid.

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4th Afghan private insurance company received license http://www.khaama.com/4th-afghan-private-insurance-company-received-license-748 http://www.khaama.com/4th-afghan-private-insurance-company-received-license-748#comments Sat, 07 Jul 2012 18:22:11 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=17025 4th Afghan private insurance company received license
Ministry of Finance awarded operating license to Insurance Group of Afghanistan, the 4th private insurance company in the country today in a ceremony at Kabul Serena Hotel. Sakeena Banu Ghazanfar, the president of IGA said, “Investors and Afghan businessmen needs to protect their investment and capital against potential risks, IGA has been established to meet Read the full article...]]>
4th Afghan private insurance company received license

Ministry of Finance awarded operating license to Insurance Group of Afghanistan, the 4th private insurance company in the country today in a ceremony at Kabul Serena Hotel.

Sakeena Banu Ghazanfar, the president of IGA said, “Investors and Afghan businessmen needs to protect their investment and capital against potential risks, IGA has been established to meet their needs.”

Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, Minister of Economy emphasized on establishment of private insurance firms and said, “Afghan government has provided facilities to support local and international investments in the country.”

Qurban Ali Haqjo, Chief of Afghan Chamber of Commerce emphasized of banning illegal operations of offshore insurance companies and said, “Most businesses and organizations in Afghanistan are insured offshore illegally and no one is aware of it. The government should take necessary steps to prevent illegal businesses in Afghanistan.”

The first private insurance company called ‘Insurance Corporation of Afghanistan’ established in 2007.

The insurance sector in Afghanistan could not develop parallel to Banking and Telecom sectors in Afghanistan due to unawareness of public and not supporting of the government.

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Steel Authority of India to sign pact with Afghanistan in July http://www.khaama.com/steel-authority-of-india-to-sign-pact-with-afghanistan-in-july-641 http://www.khaama.com/steel-authority-of-india-to-sign-pact-with-afghanistan-in-july-641#comments Thu, 28 Jun 2012 17:36:50 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=16887 Steel Authority of India to sign pact with Afghanistan in July
Afghan Mines Minister Wahidullah Shahrani on Thursday announced Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) may sign the final pact with Afghanistan by July-end to develop a steel plant, a thermal power plant and necessary infrastructure with total investments of over $10 billion Wahidullah Shahrani quoted by Press Trust of India during Delhi Investment Summit on Read the full article...]]>
Steel Authority of India to sign pact with Afghanistan in July

Afghan Mines Minister Wahidullah Shahrani on Thursday announced Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) may sign the final pact with Afghanistan by July-end to develop a steel plant, a thermal power plant and necessary infrastructure with total investments of over $10 billion

Wahidullah Shahrani quoted by Press Trust of India during Delhi Investment Summit on Afhganistan said, “Right now, we are in the final stage of contract negotiation. Hopefully…By the end of July, we will be signing the agreement.”

Mr. Shahrani further added, the agreement would be signed in Kabul and the total investment by the Indian consortium would be over $10 billion.

The Afghan Iron & Steel Consortium had emerged as the preferred bidder for mining exploration rights at three iron ore mines at Hajigak, having an estimated reserve of 1.7 billion tonnes.

SAIL has the maximum of 20% equity stake in it, while NMDC and RINL hold 18% each. Among private players, JSW and JSPL hold 16% each, while JSW Ispat and Monnet Ispat & Energy hold 8% and 4% stake, respectively.

Afghan Mines Minister Wahidullah Shahrani also vowed to ensure the supply of coking coal, an important raw material for steel making. The Indian consortium had placed the raw material security as a pre- condition for setting up the steel plant.

“Everything has been included in the negotiation. Any raw material that will be needed for making steel including coking coal would be given to them,” Shahrani said.

SAIL Chairman C S Verma had earlier said the consortium proposes to set up of a 6.12 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) steel plant in Afghanistan in two phases of 3.06 MT each, subject to Afghanistan government making available linkages for coking coal and limestone in requisite volumes.

There is also plan to build a 800 MW power plant in two phases of 400 MW each to cater to the operations of the mine and steel plant. As part of building necessary internal infrastructural support, the consortium plans to build 200 kms each of rail, road and transmission line network for the mine and steel project.

“The total investment by AFISCO on all of the above is estimated to be $10. 8 billion in phases, subject to negotiations,” Verma had said.

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Afghanistan start first oil extraction project in Sar-e-Pul province http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-start-first-oil-extraction-project-in-sar-e-pul-province-630 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-start-first-oil-extraction-project-in-sar-e-pul-province-630#comments Sun, 24 Jun 2012 17:07:56 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=16746 Afghanistan start first oil extraction project in Sar-e-Pul province
The extraction of oil deposit in northern Sar-e-Pul province of Afghanistan was formally started on Sunday in the presence of high level Afghan government officials. China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) was awarded the extraction of Afghan oil deposits located in northern Amu River Basin last December. Amu River is located in northern Faryab and Sar-i-Pul Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan start first oil extraction project in Sar-e-Pul province

The extraction of oil deposit in northern Sar-e-Pul province of Afghanistan was formally started on Sunday in the presence of high level Afghan government officials.

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) was awarded the extraction of Afghan oil deposits located in northern Amu River Basin last December. Amu River is located in northern Faryab and Sar-i-Pul province of Afghanistan where the area is enriched with approximately 87 million barrels of oil.

According to ministry of mines of Afghanistan around 5,000 barrels of oil will be extracted daily during the phase of extraction and will be further boosted to 45,000 barrels a day.

Afghanistan’s mineral deposits may worth 3 trillion U.S. dollars and the government would utilize it for economic development, according to Afghan mining officials.

Mohammad Qasim Fahim Vice Afghan President while speaking during the inauguration of the first oil deposit project said, “The extraction of first Afghan oil deposit in northern Sar-e-Pul provinces is a great step and a milestone forward for Afghanistan’s economy.”

In the meantime local officials said the start of the project will create employment opportunities for several local residents besides improving national economy.

This comes as recent reports suggest interference by Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum to prevent extraction of oil deposit in this province. Gen. Dostum is the leader of the National Movement Party of Afghanistan and a member of the main opposition coalition which supports a political system change from presidential to parliamentarian political system.

Afghan Attorney General on Sunday announced that a commission has been formed to investigate the issue.

On the other hand local residents in northern Sar-e-Pul province expressed concerns regarding growing violence and urge the Afghan government to step up actions in order to improve the security situation in this province.

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Afghan government awards 3G license to MTN http://www.khaama.com/afghan-government-awards-3g-license-to-mtn-745 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-government-awards-3g-license-to-mtn-745#comments Wed, 20 Jun 2012 15:58:55 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=16640 Afghan government awards 3G license to MTN
Afghan Ministry of Communication and Information Technology awarded 3G license to MTN on Wednesday.  MTN is the second GSM provider in Afghanistan which launches 3G technology after paying $25 million to Ministry of Information and Technology to receive license. Afghan Minister, Amirzai Sangin who was speaking in a ceremony today said, “Telecom companies need to Read the full article...]]>
Afghan government awards 3G license to MTN

Afghan Ministry of Communication and Information Technology awarded 3G license to MTN on Wednesday.  MTN is the second GSM provider in Afghanistan which launches 3G technology after paying $25 million to Ministry of Information and Technology to receive license.

Afghan Minister, Amirzai Sangin who was speaking in a ceremony today said, “Telecom companies need to install 3G compatible devices only to run this service as almost 70% of the equipments are already there. “

Afghan Finance Minister Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal who had participated in the ceremony believes that providing 3G service is a positive sign to draw more investments after 2014.

“We hope that such investments attract other investments and remove any economical concerns. Any improvement in the economics depends on such investments.” Omar Zakhilwal said.

This comes as internet has been one of the most expensive services in Afghanistan in the last decade.

Afghan citizens have always been complaining from low quality and high price of wireless internet connections in Afghanistan. Afghans are increasingly replacing their old connections with 3G after Etisalat launched this service few weeks ago.

3G is the third generation of wireless technologies. It comes with enhancements over previous wireless technologies, like high-speed transmission, advanced multimedia access and global roaming.

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China discuss Turkmenistan gas pipeline with Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/china-discuss-turkmenistan-gas-pipeline-with-afghanistan-551 http://www.khaama.com/china-discuss-turkmenistan-gas-pipeline-with-afghanistan-551#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2012 14:31:16 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=16097 China discuss Turkmenistan gas pipeline with Afghanistan
China is looking to construct a gas pipeline between Turkmenistan and China through Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Afghan presidential palace media office following a press release on Wednesday announced Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Wednesday discussed the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline following his meeting with China’s National Petroleum chief in Beijing. China is keen to construct a Read the full article...]]>
China discuss Turkmenistan gas pipeline with Afghanistan

China is looking to construct a gas pipeline between Turkmenistan and China through Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

Afghan presidential palace media office following a press release on Wednesday announced Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Wednesday discussed the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline following his meeting with China’s National Petroleum chief in Beijing.

China is keen to construct a gas pipeline which crosses through Amu river located in northern Afghanistan and urged for further cooperation of Afghanistan in this regard.

The statement released by Afghan presidential said there have been progress over economic cooperation between China and Afghanistan to improve the economy and stability in Afghanistan.

Afghan Mines Minister Wahidullah Shahrani is also accompanying president Hamid Karzai in his visit to China.

Wahidullah Shahrani Afghan Mines Minister is due to create a framework between Afghanistan and National Petroleum officials of China in this regard.

According to reports a delegation of the Chinese officials are also due to visit Afghanistan to further discuss the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline project.

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Afghanistan and India to sign coal exploration pact http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-and-india-to-sign-coal-exploration-pact-741 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-and-india-to-sign-coal-exploration-pact-741#comments Mon, 04 Jun 2012 04:47:34 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=15976 Afghanistan and India to sign coal exploration pact
According to Indian government officials, a high level Indian delegation is due to visit Kabul to ink a pact with the Afghan mines ministry in a bid to further consolidate India’s growing economic interests in Afghanistan. This comes as the Afghan mines minister Wahidullah Shahrani earlier urged India to to employ their expertise to help Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan and India to sign coal exploration pact

According to Indian government officials, a high level Indian delegation is due to visit Kabul to ink a pact with the Afghan mines ministry in a bid to further consolidate India’s growing economic interests in Afghanistan.

This comes as the Afghan mines minister Wahidullah Shahrani earlier urged India to to employ their expertise to help his country develop the untapped coal basins.

According to The Indian Express, the delegation would comprise Coal India Limited chairman S Narsing Rao and his counterpart from Sinagreni Collieries Company Limited Sutirtha Bhattacharya.

A senior coal ministry official quoted by The Indian Express said, “Following the high-level meetings, both the sides would ink a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at propelling investments in the Afghanistan’s mineral sector, especially coal.”

Seeking to promote Indian investments, the Hamid Karzai government has already signed a strategic agreement to further cooperation in areas of minerals and hydrocarbons. Shahrani’s ministry has also inked MoUs with Indian ministries of commerce, mines, petroleum and steel.

President Hamid Karzai’s government offered India a new strategic role in Afghanistan by awarding mining rights for the country’s biggest iron deposit to a group of Indian state-run and private companies.

Karzai and his cabinet awarded three of four blocks at the Hajigak ore deposit to seven companies that bid with support from India’s government, and offered the final block to Canada’s Kilo Goldmines Ltd.

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Concerns over economic challenges beyond 2014 http://www.khaama.com/concerns-over-economic-challenges-beyond-2014-in-afghanistan-854 http://www.khaama.com/concerns-over-economic-challenges-beyond-2014-in-afghanistan-854#comments Wed, 30 May 2012 10:11:45 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=15783 Concerns over economic challenges beyond 2014
The Afghan Upper House of the Parliament on Tuesday summoned the ministers of Finance, Economy, Trade, Agriculture and adviser for economic affairs to president Hamid Karzai in order to brief the Afghan senators regarding economical plans of the Afghan government beyond 2014. Afghan finance minister Hazrat Omer Zakhilwal said the economic growth in Afghanistan was Read the full article...]]>
Concerns over economic challenges beyond 2014

The Afghan Upper House of the Parliament on Tuesday summoned the ministers of Finance, Economy, Trade, Agriculture and adviser for economic affairs to president Hamid Karzai in order to brief the Afghan senators regarding economical plans of the Afghan government beyond 2014.

Afghan finance minister Hazrat Omer Zakhilwal said the economic growth in Afghanistan was unstable and the foreign aid will be reduced after 2014.

Afghan Commerce and Trade Minister also expressed concerns regarding the challenges towards investments in Afghanistan.

Hazrat Omer Zakhilwal said the international community will emphasize for self sufficiency of Afghanistan in Tokyo conference since the foreign aid will be gradually reduced from 2014 to 2025.

Afghan Commerce and Trade Minister Anwar-ul-haq Ahadi warned of economic challenges beyond 2014 and urged the Afghan government to step up actions for supporting Afghan traders to improve domestic income.

In the meantime Afghan Economy Minister Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal said the government lacks a proper economic growth policy and proper steps have not been taken to improve the economy of the country during the past 10 years.

However Afghan Agriculture Minister Mohammad Asif Rahimi said a number of national projects will be implemented which will help Afghanistan to become less dependent on foreign aid.

He said Afghan Agriculture ministry require $432 million for the implementation of water projects which should be shared with the international community in Tokyo conference.

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Roshan launch global mobile money transfer with Western Union http://www.khaama.com/roshan-launch-global-mobile-money-transfer-with-western-union-274 http://www.khaama.com/roshan-launch-global-mobile-money-transfer-with-western-union-274#comments Mon, 21 May 2012 17:15:08 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=15439 Roshan launch global mobile money transfer with Western Union
Afghanistan’s leading telecommunication company Roshan on Monday announced the launch international money transfer facility along with the global payment services Western Union. Roshan Telecom officials on Monday said, the newly launched Western Union Mobile Transfer service will facilitate the subscribers of Roshan Telecom Company, M-Paisa customers to receive money from abroad using the service. Karim Read the full article...]]>
Roshan launch global mobile money transfer with Western Union

Afghanistan’s leading telecommunication company Roshan on Monday announced the launch international money transfer facility along with the global payment services Western Union.

Roshan Telecom officials on Monday said, the newly launched Western Union Mobile Transfer service will facilitate the subscribers of Roshan Telecom Company, M-Paisa customers to receive money from abroad using the service.

Karim Khoja Chief Executive Officer of Roshan Telecom Company said, “To partner with such a recognized global brand such as Western Union is another example of innovation that Roshan brings to Afghanistan.”

He also said, “Together, Roshan and Western Union are enabling distant families to be connected, and also offering peace of mind for those with relatives in Afghanistan, who have previously struggled to send money back home. The launch of this service is another step to making financial inclusion a reality for the almost 97 percent of Afghans who do not have access to traditional financial services, and is a continued demonstration of our mission to support economic development and empowerment throughout Afghanistan.”

Roshan launched M-Paisa using technology from Vodafone, one of the world’s leading international mobile communications groups. Today, since the launch of the mobile money service in November 2008, M-Paisa has over 1 million customers enabled to receive their salaries, pay bills, receive and repay microfinance loans, send and receive money and purchase airtime directly from their Roshan phone.

Roshan (Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd) is Afghanistan’s leading total communications provider with nearly 6 million active subscribers and a network that covers over 230 cities and towns in all of the country’s 34 provinces.

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Safi Airways sign Codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways http://www.khaama.com/safi-airways-sign-codeshare-agreement-with-etihad-airways-973 http://www.khaama.com/safi-airways-sign-codeshare-agreement-with-etihad-airways-973#comments Sat, 19 May 2012 08:57:37 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=15331 Safi Airways sign Codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the UAE, has signed a codeshare agreement with Safi Airways, the leading international airline of Afghanistan. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways will gain better access to Kabul following the signing of a codeshare agreement with Safi Airways of Afghanistan for seat booking in each others airlines. Under the deal, effective Read the full article...]]>
Safi Airways sign Codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the UAE, has signed a codeshare agreement with Safi Airways, the leading international airline of Afghanistan.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways will gain better access to Kabul following the signing of a codeshare agreement with Safi Airways of Afghanistan for seat booking in each others airlines.

Under the deal, effective since Tuesday 15 May, Etihad Airways has placed its two-letter ‘EY’ code on the four weekly services which Safi Airways has operated between Abu Dhabi and the Afghan capital, Kabul, since February 2012.

The new agreement will also give air travellers in Afghanistan greater and easier access to the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s network of 86 destinations.

Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, Mr Peter Baumgartner said, “Etihad continues to expand its code-share partnership across the world in line with its strategic network development plans.

“These codeshare agreements will also provide customers of both our airlines with greater access to Etihad Airways’ expanding global network.”

“The codeshare with Etihad Airways is part of our long term strategic plan to consolidate our presence within the GCC and our ultimate goal to maximise connections to and from Afghanistan,” Safi Airways chief commercial officer Lloyd Carswell said.

Etihad Airways has 34 other code-share agreements in place. The new code-share services between the two capitals commenced yesterday.

This comes as Safi Airlines earlier in the month of April signed a codeshare agreement with Gulf Air, commencing from 23 April, the two airlines will code share on six flights per week, each airline operating three as well as producing joint marketing for the route.

Safi Airways, the leading international airline of Afghanistan has passed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). The IOSA programme is recognised worldwide and accepted as the main evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline. The audit itself determines the level of conformity that an airline has with IOSA standards, and permits an airline that meets all standards to become registered with IATA as an IOSA Operator.

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Oil extraction at northern Amu River to begin in 5 months http://www.khaama.com/oil-extraction-at-northern-amu-river-to-begin-in-5-months-249 http://www.khaama.com/oil-extraction-at-northern-amu-river-to-begin-in-5-months-249#comments Tue, 15 May 2012 16:23:18 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=15142 Oil extraction at northern Amu River to begin in 5 months
According to ministry of mines of Afghanistan oil extraction in northern Amu River will be launched within the next 5 months. The officials further added around 5,000 barrels of oil will be extracted daily during the phase of extraction and will be further boosted to 45,000 barrels a day. Amu River is located in northern Read the full article...]]>
Oil extraction at northern Amu River to begin in 5 months

According to ministry of mines of Afghanistan oil extraction in northern Amu River will be launched within the next 5 months.

The officials further added around 5,000 barrels of oil will be extracted daily during the phase of extraction and will be further boosted to 45,000 barrels a day.

Amu River is located in northern Faryab and Sar-i-Pul province of Afghanistan where the area is enriched with approximately 87 million barrels of oil.

The oil extraction for Amu River was awarded to a China’s national petroleum corporation (CNPC) and the company has already started its preliminary operation in the area.

The Afghan government has recently started works on Afghanistan’s major natural minerals including oil, copper and iron.

Recently a Canadian firm based in Dubai was appointed by the Afghan government start investigation on oil deposits at Andkhoi and Aqina districts.

Based on the contract the Canadian firm will start its operations to find out further oil deposits in northern regions of the country.

According to Afghan mines ministry the value of the investigation is around $6.5 million and will be paid through development budget of the Afghan government.

In the meantime the bidding process for the extraction of Afghan-Tajik oil deposit and the interest bidders are due to present their tender document within the next four months.

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World Bank announce $150M annual funds to Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/world-bank-announce-150m-annual-funds-to-afghanistan-200 http://www.khaama.com/world-bank-announce-150m-annual-funds-to-afghanistan-200#comments Sat, 28 Apr 2012 16:30:47 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=14361
The World Bank officials in Afghanistan on Saturday announced its long term committment to Afghanistan and vowed to provide $150 million annual funds to the Afghan government. A spokesman for the World Bank in Afghanistan Abdul Rauf Zia on Saturday said the decision has been taken based on the World Bank strategies and will be Read the full article...]]>

The World Bank officials in Afghanistan on Saturday announced its long term committment to Afghanistan and vowed to provide $150 million annual funds to the Afghan government.

A spokesman for the World Bank in Afghanistan Abdul Rauf Zia on Saturday said the decision has been taken based on the World Bank strategies and will be provided to the Afghan government for the next three years.

According to World Bank internal resources, economic growth and employment opportunities have been considered as the appropriate replacement to international donations which will reduce after 2014 when NATO troops leave Afghanistan.

Reduction in international donations will have a negative impact over economic growth of Afghanistan which has been predicted to reduce from 4% up to 6% after 2014, World Bank officials said.

Abdul Rauf Zia spokesman for the World Bank said the funds which will be provided by the World Bank will be spent by the Afghan government to improve administration of the government organizations in order to provide balanced services and create employment opportunities.

In the meantime World Bank officials emphasized the funds provided by the international community during the past 10 years were not properly spent in Afghanistan.

The World Bank is one of the largest donor organizations which has provided millions of funds to Afghanistan during the past 10 years.

Spokesman for the World Bank Abdul Rauf Zia also said the implementation of natural resources extraction projects will also play a vital role to create employment opportunities in Afghanistan.

On the other hand World Bank officials expressed concerns regarding security transition and violence in the country which could have a negative impact on women in Afghanistan.

The World Bank has provided more than $2 billion funds to the Afghan government since 2001.

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Safi Airways sponsors book ‘From the Creek to the Skies’ http://www.khaama.com/safi-airways-sponsors-from-the-creek-to-the-skies-book-354 http://www.khaama.com/safi-airways-sponsors-from-the-creek-to-the-skies-book-354#comments Sun, 22 Apr 2012 11:47:54 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=14041 Safi Airways sponsors book ‘From the Creek to the Skies’
April 22nd 2012: Under the patronage of H.H Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum – a new book ‘From the Creek to the Skies’ was launched at Le Meridien Airport Hotel. The leading international airline of Afghanistan, Safi Airways was the Platinum sponsor of the book written by Ghassan Suleiman Amhaz. ‘From the Creek to Read the full article...]]>
Safi Airways sponsors book ‘From the Creek to the Skies’

April 22nd 2012: Under the patronage of H.H Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum – a new book ‘From the Creek to the Skies’ was launched at Le Meridien Airport Hotel. The leading international airline of Afghanistan, Safi Airways was the Platinum sponsor of the book written by Ghassan Suleiman Amhaz.

‘From the Creek to the Skies’ is the English version of the  book first published in Arabic – Civil Aviation in Dubai – History and Future (1937 – 2020), that throws focus on the aviation sector and was written by the same author. The book will be distributed throughout the UAE.

“It is a great honour for Safi Airways to be a part of this project,” said Lloyd Carswell, Chief Commercial Officer of Safi Airways.  He further added, “Safi Airways is keen to support improvement and development in the aviation sector within the region and as an airline we felt it necessary to support this book.”

The award and certificate were presented to Ghulam Safi, Chairman of Safi Airways by H.E. Mohammed A. Ahli, Director General of DCAA.

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Afghanistan launch electronic payment for electricity bills http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-launch-electronic-payment-for-electricity-bills-753 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-launch-electronic-payment-for-electricity-bills-753#comments Wed, 18 Apr 2012 16:27:28 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=13954 Afghanistan launch electronic payment for electricity bills
Kabul Electricity officials on Wednesday announced to implement electronic system for collecting electricity bill in Afghanistan in the near future. Kabul Electricity Corporation, Breshna Power Company officials which provides electricity in Afghanistan announced they have signed an agreement with a state bank to facilitate the services for the Afghan citizens to pay their electricity bill Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan launch electronic payment for electricity bills

Kabul Electricity officials on Wednesday announced to implement electronic system for collecting electricity bill in Afghanistan in the near future.

Kabul Electricity Corporation, Breshna Power Company officials which provides electricity in Afghanistan announced they have signed an agreement with a state bank to facilitate the services for the Afghan citizens to pay their electricity bill through their bank accounts.

The officials further added electricity consumers will be able to pay their electricity expenses through short message service (SMS) by their mobile phones in the next phase of the services.

Afghan Breshna Company has also signed a separate agreement with a telecom company to implement the service, officials said.

Electicity consumers in Afghanistan are currently paying their bills after receiving a printed bill and have to wait in lines for several hours to complete the payment procedures.

In the meantime Breshna Power Company said they are hopeful to reduce corruption and bribery by implementing the new electronic payment system.

The officials also said the program will be implemented in capital Kabul during the first phase and will be further implemented in other provinces of Afghanistan during the next six months.

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Afghanistan earns $400M transit fee on TAPI gas pipeline http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-earns-400m-transit-fee-on-tapi-gas-pipeline-747 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-earns-400m-transit-fee-on-tapi-gas-pipeline-747#comments Wed, 18 Apr 2012 07:41:21 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=13915 Afghanistan earns $400M transit fee on TAPI gas pipeline
Officials in the ministry of mines of Afghanistan announced Afghanistan has reached to an agreement over transit fees for Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline with the three nations. According to a press release issued by the ministry of mines of Afghanistan, the decision was taken by high level delegation of the four Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan earns $400M transit fee on TAPI gas pipeline

Officials in the ministry of mines of Afghanistan announced Afghanistan has reached to an agreement over transit fees for Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline with the three nations.

According to a press release issued by the ministry of mines of Afghanistan, the decision was taken by high level delegation of the four countries following a meeting in Islamabad.

The statement further added, Afghanistan will receive $400 million annually as transit fees taking into consideration the price of gas in global markets.

Afghan mines ministry officials also added an agreement is due to be signed between the four nations during the month of May to finalize the documents of TAPI gas pipeline project.

However reports suggest India and Afghanistan have failed to agree on transit fee for gas passing through Afghan territory under the $7.6-billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project, officials said today.

Consequently, Islamabad and New Delhi too could not agree on the transit fee for the segment of the pipeline passing through Pakistan, which has linked its fee structure to any India-Afghanistan agreement.

The Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline (TAP or TAPI) is a proposed natural gas pipeline being developed by the Asian Development Bank.[1][2][3] The pipeline will transport Caspian Sea natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then to India.

The 1,735 kilometres (1,078 mi) pipeline will run from the Turkmenistan gas fields to Afghanistan. Most of sources reports that the pipeline will start from the Dauletabad gas field while some other sources say that it will start from the Iolotan gas field.

In Afghanistan, the TAPI will be constructed alongside the highway running from Herat to Kandahar, and then via Quetta and Multan in Pakistan. The final destination of the pipeline will be the Indian town of Fazilka, near the border between Pakistan and India.

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Safi Airways sign codeshare agreement with Gulf Air http://www.khaama.com/safi-airways-sign-codeshare-agreement-with-gulf-air-739 http://www.khaama.com/safi-airways-sign-codeshare-agreement-with-gulf-air-739#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2012 11:02:05 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=13871 Safi Airways sign codeshare agreement with Gulf Air
Gulf Air and Afghanistan’s international carrier Safi Airways has signed a codeshare agreement Kabul-Bahrain route as of April 23, Gulf Air officials announced. Under the agreement, both airlines will jointly market and promote six flights per week with each airline operating three flights. Accordingly, Gulf Air, which has been operating a twice-weekly service to Kabul, Read the full article...]]>
Safi Airways sign codeshare agreement with Gulf Air

Gulf Air and Afghanistan’s international carrier Safi Airways has signed a codeshare agreement Kabul-Bahrain route as of April 23, Gulf Air officials announced.

Under the agreement, both airlines will jointly market and promote six flights per week with each airline operating three flights.

Accordingly, Gulf Air, which has been operating a twice-weekly service to Kabul, will add one more flight per week, a statement from the airline company said.

Gulf Air chief executive Samer Majali quoted by The Gulf Daily News said, “Our commitment to strengthening our regional network and connecting regional markets is reinforced in our partnership with Safi Airways.”

Mr. Majali further added, “With a total of 12 weekly flights now between Bahrain and Kabul, travellers can take advantage of our fast and easy connections through Bahrain to fly to any of the 50 destinations across Gulf Air’s network.

He also said, “Kabul is a key market for Gulf Air, where we have been witnessing a high-demand since we launched our service in June 2011 and we hope to further develop the market to cater to the fast-growing traffic from Kabul by connecting across the entire Gulf Air network.”

“Gulf Air flights between Bahrain and Kabul serve to enhance and strengthen the airline’s regional network while catering to a large migrant Afghan population worldwide that extends from the US, to the UK, Germany and the UAE,” he added.

The combined capacity will provide greater flight options for passengers in Kabul to travel to their preferred destinations with short transit times at Bahrain airport in both directions.

The frequency, in particular, allows convenient two-way connections via Bahrain for Gulf Air passengers flying to/from Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Paris, Rome, London, Bangkok, Manila, Jeddah, Riyadh and Cairo on Gulf Air and to US and Canada through its codeshare partner American Airlines.

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Afghanistan India sign MoU on ore investments http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-india-sign-mou-on-ore-investments-063 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-india-sign-mou-on-ore-investments-063#comments Wed, 11 Apr 2012 08:40:19 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=13521 Afghanistan India sign MoU on ore investments
According to a statement released by Afghan Presidential Palace, Afghan president Hamid Karzai held a meeting with the Indian Minister of Steel, Shri Beni Prasad Verma and his accompanying delegation. The source further added, a number of Afghan high level government officials including Afghanistan Mining Minister Shahrani also attended the meeting to hold talks Mr. Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan India sign MoU on ore investments

According to a statement released by Afghan Presidential Palace, Afghan president Hamid Karzai held a meeting with the Indian Minister of Steel, Shri Beni Prasad Verma and his accompanying delegation.

The source further added, a number of Afghan high level government officials including Afghanistan Mining Minister Shahrani also attended the meeting to hold talks Mr. Verma who is the first Indian minister on economic affairs to visit Afghanistan.

President Karzai was briefed by Shri Beni Prasa Verma on the content of a Memorandum of Understanding the two countries forged in developing cooperation on iron and steel sector, the statement added.

During his meeting with President Hamid Karzai, Minister Verma described as instrumental the exploration of natural resources for the development of Afghanistan economy and underlined that his country was prepared to invest in steel production, iron ore and coal.

President Karzai thanked India for all the assistance it has made in Afghanistan and encouraged more Indian investment in the areas of mining in Afghanistan.

The President also asked the Indian ambassador to Kabul present in the meeting for its country’s increased cooperation in health sector, where the Ambassador said his country was looking forward to receiving Afghan Health Minister in the near future to further explore the issue.

The MoU signed between India and Afghanistan signifies the two countries’ strong desire in expanding the level of its cooperation on mineral assets, such as iron ore and steel and encourages Indian private investment in the mentioned areas.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed by Indian Minister for Steel Beni Prasad Verma and Afghan Minister for Mines Wahidullah Shahrani on this occasion

Shahrani told a press conference in Kabul that the agreement allows Indian state and private companies to extract iron ore and invest in future steel production in Afghanistan.

Verma noted in the same press conference that India is likewise interested to invest in natural gas and oil in Afghanistan.
The MoU signified India’s strong desire in joining a global race to secure mineral assets, such as iron ore, and more lately, gold and copper in Afghanistan. In November, Kabul awarded to a consortium of seven Indian companies, led by state-owned Steel Authority of India (SAIL), the mining rights to develop the huge Hajigak deposit in Central Afghanistan.

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TAPI gas pipeline project challenges and barriers http://www.khaama.com/tapi-gas-pipeline-project-challenges-and-barriers-056 http://www.khaama.com/tapi-gas-pipeline-project-challenges-and-barriers-056#comments Sun, 08 Apr 2012 09:25:23 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=13442 TAPI gas pipeline project challenges and barriers
Official sources in the Afghan government said Pakistan has presented a number of conditions to Kabul and Washington in order to implement Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline project. The sources further added, the main barriers which prevents the implementation of TAPI project are the demands by the Pakistan government and the named Read the full article...]]>
TAPI gas pipeline project challenges and barriers

Official sources in the Afghan government said Pakistan has presented a number of conditions to Kabul and Washington in order to implement Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline project.

The sources further added, the main barriers which prevents the implementation of TAPI project are the demands by the Pakistan government and the named project will not be implemented until Islamabad’s demands are not fulfilled.

The TAPI gas pipeline project is believed to have suffered negative impacts due to political issues between Washington, Iran and Pakistan.

An Afghan government official speaking on the condition of anonymity said, Islamabad has presented a number of conditions to Kabul and Washington for the implementation of the TAPI project.

The source further added, Pakistan is using the TAPI project to put pressures on Kabul and Washington.

Pakistan’s main conditions according to Afghan official sources include an end to Durand Line and Baluchistan issues and long term financial support of Washington to Islamabad.

In the meantime a spokesman for the Ministry of Trade and Commerce of Afghanistan on Saturday denied the reports and said there have been developments and they are optimistic regarding the start of the project.

Wahidullah Ghazi Khel said, representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Turkmenistan are expected to meet each other in Turkmenistan to discuss the implementation of the TAPI project.

He said, “The ministry of Finance and Ministry of Mines of Afghanistan are closely working on TAPI project. Representatives from the countries are expected to hold talks on TAPI project during the month of May.”

Presentation of conditions for TAPI project by Islamabad comes amid recent reports suggesting Iran’s efforts to interfere in TAPI gas pipeline project and pave the way for selling its natural gas to Pakistan and India.

According to Ministry of Trade and Commerce of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India last month purchased the amount of gas required from Iran without considering the requests by Washington to prevent gas deal with Iran.

In the meantime an official source in the ministry of petroleum of Pakistan quoting Afghan officials has said that Afghanistan has agreed to hand over around 700 million cubic meters of gas to India and Pakistan, which is gained by Afghanistan while TAPI gas pipeline project is implemented.

However Afghan Trade and Commerce Ministry spokesman denied the reports and said Afghanistan has not agreed with any other nation in this regard so far.

He said, “Afghanistan has never sold its shares to Pakistan and India and such negotiations have not taken place since Afghanistan itself require gas.”

TAPI gas pipeline project was signed between Pakistan, India, Turkmenistan and India at the mid of 2011 at Ishaqabad in Turkmenistan.

The project was expected to start during the current year. According to Afghan officials, the length of the TAPI gas pipeline is around 1,735 kilometers and 735 kilometers of the TAPI gas pipeline is due to cross Afghanistan.

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Special tribunal to be formed to assess Kabul Bank crisis http://www.khaama.com/special-tribunal-to-be-formed-to-assess-kabul-bank-crisis-020 http://www.khaama.com/special-tribunal-to-be-formed-to-assess-kabul-bank-crisis-020#comments Wed, 04 Apr 2012 06:19:15 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=13232 Special tribunal to be formed to assess Kabul Bank crisis
Economic Assembly of the Afghan government cabinet has decided to form a special tribunal to assess the issue of Kabul Bank crisis which collapsed nearly two years ago. According to a statement released by Afghan presidential palace, president Hamid Karzai chaired on Tuesday a meeting of senior government officials to discuss all matters pertaining to Read the full article...]]>
Special tribunal to be formed to assess Kabul Bank crisis

Economic Assembly of the Afghan government cabinet has decided to form a special tribunal to assess the issue of Kabul Bank crisis which collapsed nearly two years ago.

According to a statement released by Afghan presidential palace, president Hamid Karzai chaired on Tuesday a meeting of senior government officials to discuss all matters pertaining to the Kabul Bank issue.

The source further added, the meeting discussed in details the progress that has so far been made in recovering the loans that the Bank was yet to receive from its borrowers.

After a thorough discussion, it was decided that a Special Prosecutor’s Office and a Special Tribunal be set at earliest to conduct investigation and bring to table those who have illegally taken loans from Kabul Bank and who are involved in the Bank’s financial crisis, the statement added.

Afghan presidential palace officials following the statement also added, the Economic meeting also set a two-month deadline for the full repayment of the loans illegally received from the Bank.

The meeting was also attended by both the Vice-presidents, Ministers of Economy and Transport, the Attorney General, Governor of Afghanistan Central Bank, Presidential Senior Economic Advisor, DG NDS, Chief of the High Office of Oversight, deputy Minister of Finance and CEO of the Ariana Airlines.

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Afghan Central Bank: Deposits safe in closed Iranian bank http://www.khaama.com/afghan-central-bank-deposits-safe-in-closed-iranian-bank-844 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-central-bank-deposits-safe-in-closed-iranian-bank-844#comments Wed, 14 Mar 2012 04:36:15 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=12421 Afghan Central Bank: Deposits safe in closed Iranian bank
Officials in the Afghan Central Bank (Da Afghanistan Bank) on Tuesday announced that the public deposits in the Kabul branch of the Iranian Aryan Bank is secure despite the license of the named bank was cancelled by the Iranian government. Concerns sparked among the Afghans after a member of the Money and Credit Council on Read the full article...]]>
Afghan Central Bank: Deposits safe in closed Iranian bank

Officials in the Afghan Central Bank (Da Afghanistan Bank) on Tuesday announced that the public deposits in the Kabul branch of the Iranian Aryan Bank is secure despite the license of the named bank was cancelled by the Iranian government.

Concerns sparked among the Afghans after a member of the Money and Credit Council on Monday announced that the Iranian government has cancelled the license of Aryan Electronic Bank.

This comes as recent reports suggested the cancellation of Standard Chartered Bank sparked tensions among those Afghans who have deposits in this bank.

Khan Afzal Hadawal Deputy of the Afghan Central Bank on Tuesday called the concerns over the Aryan Bank as baseless and said all the deposits are safe taking into consideration all the insurance principals of the banks in Afghanistan.

He said, we have created a system known as deposit insurance which will help to overcome any issues that a bank faces in Afghanistan adding that we are monitoring all the financial institutions in Afghanistan, and all the deposits of the Afghans are safe and will be transferred to another bank.

However a number of financial experts are doubtful over the capability of the Afghan government to implement the regulations of the banking insurance in the country.

Aryan Bank was recently licensed by the Central Bank of Iran and had not formally launched its operations.  It is worth mentioning that the Aryan Bank  is separate from the Bank-e-Aryan.

Aryan Bank was formed with the initial capital of $10 million around 7 years ago in Afghanistan. The export bank of Iran in its website stated that they are the owners of the Aryan Bank.

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USD 111 million Aid to Afghanistan from Japan http://www.khaama.com/usd-111-million-aid-to-afghanistan-from-japan123 http://www.khaama.com/usd-111-million-aid-to-afghanistan-from-japan123#comments Sun, 11 Mar 2012 18:28:07 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=12360 USD 111 million Aid to Afghanistan from Japan
Japan has agreed to provide an aid of worth USD 111 million to Afghanistan for the purpose of various development and construction projects. The agreement was signed today between Afghanistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Jawid Ludin, and Reichiro Takahashi, Japan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan. 22 million of the aid will be allocated towards expanding hangars of the Read the full article...]]>
USD 111 million Aid to Afghanistan from Japan

Japan has agreed to provide an aid of worth USD 111 million to Afghanistan for the purpose of various development and construction projects.

The agreement was signed today between Afghanistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Jawid Ludin, and Reichiro Takahashi, Japan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan.

22 million of the aid will be allocated towards expanding hangars of the Kabul International Airport. Currently, Kabul airport’s hangar can hold 26 planes, but with the new plan the number will increase to 32 planes, according to Mr. Takahashi’s statement. He also added that at present 16,659 planes land and take off from Kabul airport yearly. The number will boost to 25,000 after the improvement of the highway.

Another 14.2 million will be spent on expanding Bamiyan’s airport highway and constructing its terminal.

A total of 7.5 million dollar will go towards providing tools and equipments to the Computer Science Department of Kabul University.

According to the information from Japan’s Ambassador, there are currently 550 students seeking education at this Department.

“This will be a great investment for the future generations of Afghanistan,” said the Ambassador.

28 million dollars of the aid will be dedicated to the construction and development of Kabul City roads. A 15 Km road will be built in the north of Kabul and another 5 Km road in various other parts of Kabul with the help of this aid.

The Ambassador also said that 7.8 million dollars shall be spent on the irrigation system of agricultural lands in Deh Sabz district of Kabul. With the implementation of this project, irrigation will be provided to 144 hectares of lands in the district and the agricultural production in the district will increase by 15%.

The remaining 31.5 million dollars will be devoted to the protection of economic structures of Afghanistan and fuel procurement.

The aid will be implemented with the support from the Afghan government through Japan International Corporation of Aids (JICA).

Mr. Takahashi said that the aim of the aid is to help stabilize the economy of Afghanistan.

Deputy Foreign Minister expressed his gratitude for Japan’s aid to Afghanistan and said that Japan has been one of the biggest contributors to the development of Afghanistan in the past 10 years. Although Japan faced an economic downturn due to losses caused by the tsunami, they are still committed to supporting Afghanistan.

According to information from Mr. Ludin, Japan’s assistance to Afghanistan has been above USD 4 milliard in addition to the USD 111 million aids.

www.wadsam.com

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Afghan Central Bank focuses on cash drive out limitation http://www.khaama.com/afghan-central-bank-focuses-on-cash-drive-out-limitation-804 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-central-bank-focuses-on-cash-drive-out-limitation-804#comments Sun, 04 Mar 2012 03:58:57 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=12125 Afghan Central Bank focuses on cash drive out limitation
The Central Bank of Afghanistan has decided to prevent currency drive out from the country by implementing a new regulation. Noorullah Delawari Chief of the Afghan Central Bank said, around $5 billion cash was taken out of the country during the recent years. He said, currency transfer to outside of the country was doubled during Read the full article...]]>
Afghan Central Bank focuses on cash drive out limitation

The Central Bank of Afghanistan has decided to prevent currency drive out from the country by implementing a new regulation.

Noorullah Delawari Chief of the Afghan Central Bank said, around $5 billion cash was taken out of the country during the recent years.

He said, currency transfer to outside of the country was doubled during the past 2 years and was increased from $777 million to $2 billion.

He also said, majority of the currency was taken out of the country through Kabul Airport and a number of ports on the Afghan borders.

Chief of the Afghan Central Bank Noorullah Delawari expressed concerns regarding the transparency of the billions of dollars which were taken out of the country during the past few years.

It is yet not clear by whom the mentioned these currencies have been taken out and what was the motive behind it.

Noorullah Delawari said, we were unware regarding incoming and outgoing of the currencies and it was not possible to determine by preparing a report at the airport.

He said, it has been decided that an individual can drive out at least $20,000 in cash through the airport or other ports of the country, and excessive amount of money more than this should be transferred through banks.

In this case we will be able to have a knowledge where the currencies came from and where it went, Delawari said.

Afghan Central Bank Chief Noorullah Delawari said, the decision was also approved by the Afghan ministers cabinet and is compulsary to be implemented.

This comes as the International Donor Countries have paid billions of Dollars for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, but the Afghan government is accused of failure in providing a transparent accountability of these currencies.

In the meantime International Non-governmental organizations run by the donor countries are also accused of corruption and embezzlement of the foreign aid.

According to reports majority of the foreign aid was wasted in various projects as a result of the corruption while a number of the government officials and influential individuals were also involved wastage of the aid.

On the other hand opium cultivation, production and smuggle was one of the main income source in Afghanistan besides the foreign aid in Afghanistan during the past ten years, where billions of dollars achieved as a result of the illicit drugs trade were taken out of the country.

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Is the Sustainability of China’s Growth Guaranteed? http://www.khaama.com/11957 http://www.khaama.com/11957#comments Wed, 29 Feb 2012 04:02:13 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=11957 Is the Sustainability of China’s Growth Guaranteed?
China is seeing a 10% growth on average for the past 3 decades and is believed to become the world’s largest exporter and manufacturer. China moved from a state controlled economy to a more liberal economy in 1978 by encouraging foreign trade and investment, increasing formation of rural enterprises and private businesses, educating its workforce, Read the full article...]]>
Is the Sustainability of China’s Growth Guaranteed?

China is seeing a 10% growth on average for the past 3 decades and is believed to become the world’s largest exporter and manufacturer. China moved from a state controlled economy to a more liberal economy in 1978 by encouraging foreign trade and investment, increasing formation of rural enterprises and private businesses, educating its workforce, and investing in industrial production. This strategy has clearly proven to be working for China, as it is standing second after the U.S. for having the largest economy in the world. It is the capital investment, i.e. new machinery, better technology and infrastructure that has helped China to raise its output.

However, China’s economic data shows the growth to be cooling.

China’s economy expanded at its weakest pace in 2-1/2 years, with the sagging real estate and export sectors heralding a sharper slowdown in coming months and fresh pro-growth measures from the government.

It is time for China to embrace some market-oriented reforms for the sustainability of its growth. World Bank in one of its researches has pinpointed certain reforms that China has to undertake.

  • Enact structural reforms to promote a market-based economy. This could be achieved by redefining the role of government, reforming state enterprises, developing the private sector and promoting competition
  • Quicken the pace of innovation, both internally and by participating in global research projects
  • Encourage investment in green projects and increase efficiency of resource use
  • Promote social security for all
  • Strengthen the fiscal system by mobilizing additional revenues and boosting local government financing
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Developing Countries to the Rescue of the Eurozone http://www.khaama.com/developing-countries-to-the-rescue-of-the-eurozone-11806 http://www.khaama.com/developing-countries-to-the-rescue-of-the-eurozone-11806#comments Sun, 26 Feb 2012 11:48:54 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=11806 Developing Countries to the Rescue of the Eurozone
Brazillian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said that developing nation would be willing to provide more money to ease the eurozone’s debt crisis, in return for more power within the International Monetary Fund. Minister Guido Mantega made this statement at a G20 meeting in Mexico. He also called on eurozone countries to contribute more of their Read the full article...]]>
Developing Countries to the Rescue of the Eurozone

Brazillian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said that developing nation would be willing to provide more money to ease the eurozone’s debt crisis, in return for more power within the International Monetary Fund. Minister Guido Mantega made this statement at a G20 meeting in Mexico.

He also called on eurozone countries to contribute more of their own funds. UK Chancellor George Osborne echoed his statement. Mr Mantega said: “Emerging countries will only help under two conditions; first that they strengthen their firewall and second for the IMF [voting rights] reform be implemented.”

Mr. Mantega and other G20 finance ministers want eurozone nations to put more funds into the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the fund used to bail out nations struggling with their sovereign debt. Countries including the United States, Canada and Japan increased pressure on the eurozone to boost its firewall to avoid contagion. They suggest the 17-nation bloc combine its temporary European Financial Stability Facility with the permanent European Stability Mechanism, to come into force in July, to provide a war chest of around 750 billion euros ($1 trillion).

The powerhouse of the European Union said such proposals made “no economic sense”. “Let me be clear: it doesn’t make any economic sense to follow the calls… for endlessly pumping money into the rescue funds nor setting up the ECB printing press,” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told a business reception.

“This would create disincentives for countries to carry on consolidating and reform and would not improve the eurozone’s economic outlook,” he added. Germany and other EU nations are piling heat on non-European members, China, Japan and the US, to gain support for an additional USD 500 billion of resources for the IMF.

 Eurozone countries have already committed an additional 150 billion euros in bilateral loans but the United States has repeatedly refused to put in more money.

 The spat over eurozone firewall overshadowed G20 meeting. Mexico hopes to focus its presidency of the G20 on creating a stronger financial system for the future with structural reforms, better checks on banks and promoting the green economy.

Author: Samadi. Kabul, Afghanistan. www.wadsam.com

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Japan’s Trade Deficit Surging in the First Quarter http://www.khaama.com/japans-trade-deficit-surging-in-the-first-quarter123 http://www.khaama.com/japans-trade-deficit-surging-in-the-first-quarter123#comments Mon, 20 Feb 2012 09:40:15 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=11529 Japan’s Trade Deficit Surging in the First Quarter
Japan’s trade deficit hit its highest in January with exports dipping 9.3% from a year earlier, while imports rising 9.8%. There are number factors that resulted in such a high trade deficit in Japan. Japanese car makers have been among the worst hit. The nuclear impact is certainly the biggest factor due to which fuel Read the full article...]]>
Japan’s Trade Deficit Surging in the First Quarter

Japan’s trade deficit hit its highest in January with exports dipping 9.3% from a year earlier, while imports rising 9.8%. There are number factors that resulted in such a high trade deficit in Japan. Japanese car makers have been among the worst hit.

The nuclear impact is certainly the biggest factor due to which fuel imports went up. The earthquake and tsunami on 11 March last year caused substantial damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, as a result Japan’s nuclear plants have been shut and utility providers are relying on traditional thermal power stations to generate electricity for which natural gas and coal are needed to operate. These commodities are mostly imported which has pushed the trade deficit up.

The appreciation of the yen against the US dollar has made Japan products less attractive to foreign buyers, as they have to pay more for them.

The delay in the global economy recovery has also adversely affected Japan’s trade deficit, as it has been hurt by a slowdown in its key export markets such as the US and the Eurozone.

Author: Samadi. Kabul, Afghanistan

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Afghan carpets secure first position in Dubai exhibition http://www.khaama.com/afghan-carpets-secure-first-position-in-dubai-exhibition-588 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-carpets-secure-first-position-in-dubai-exhibition-588#comments Wed, 08 Feb 2012 10:51:32 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=11079 Afghan carpets secure first position in Dubai exhibition
Afghan carpets were recognized as the best rugs and secured the first position during a Middle East exhibition in Dubai. The exhibition was organized from January 5, 2012 to February 5, 2012 and was participated by 14 countries. Afghan Commerce and Trade Minister Anwar-ul-haq Ahadi while speaking during a press conference on Wednesday said, the Read the full article...]]>
Afghan carpets secure first position in Dubai exhibition

Afghan carpets were recognized as the best rugs and secured the first position during a Middle East exhibition in Dubai.

The exhibition was organized from January 5, 2012 to February 5, 2012 and was participated by 14 countries.

Afghan Commerce and Trade Minister Anwar-ul-haq Ahadi while speaking during a press conference on Wednesday said, the carpet which was awarded with the first position during the exhibition belonged to a private Afghan company, Tanveer.

Mr. Ahadi further added, Afghan carpets are globally recognized and is one of the ancient crafts of Afghanistan.

This comes as the Afghan Carpet Association earlier expressed concerns for the reduction of Afghan carpets production and export.

Afghan Commerce and Trade Minister Anwar-ul-haq Ahadi confirmed the report but denied that Afghan carpets production and export had fallen to 77%.

He also added, there has been a slight reduction in Afghan carpets production and export due to global economic crisis specifically in European countries.

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Concerns over economic crisis beyond 2014 in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/concerns-over-economic-crisis-beyond-2014-in-afghanistan-571 http://www.khaama.com/concerns-over-economic-crisis-beyond-2014-in-afghanistan-571#comments Mon, 06 Feb 2012 05:59:46 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=11003 Concerns over economic crisis beyond 2014 in Afghanistan
Afghan Finance Minister Dr. Omer Zakhilwal warned that Afghanistan is threatened by a serious economical crisis beyond 2014. Speaking in the Afghan House of Representatives during while presenting the budget for 1391 to Afghan senate house Mr. Zakhilwal said, a major financial responsibility will be handed over to the Afghan government in the meantime Afghanistan Read the full article...]]>
Concerns over economic crisis beyond 2014 in Afghanistan

Afghan Finance Minister Dr. Omer Zakhilwal warned that Afghanistan is threatened by a serious economical crisis beyond 2014.

Speaking in the Afghan House of Representatives during while presenting the budget for 1391 to Afghan senate house Mr. Zakhilwal said, a major financial responsibility will be handed over to the Afghan government in the meantime Afghanistan understakes security responsibilities.

He feared that the Afghan government will not have enough financial sources beyond 2014.

According to reports the budget for 1391 has been estimated at 224.5 billion Afghani ruppees.

The general budget for the forthcoming year has been estimated at 134.3 billion Afghani ruppees where 77.3 billion of the budget is comprised of domestic income while 56.9 billion is comprised of foreign donatiosn.

In the meantime development budget for 1391 has been estimated at 9.2 billion Afghan ruppees.

The government income has been predicted to be 87.9 Afghani ruppees for the upcoming year.

According to Afghan finance minister, the original deficit budget for development projects will be 12.5 billion Afghani ruppees.

Afghan finance minister also expressed concerns for the lack of professional and expertise for the proper implementation of projects during next year.

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Afghan copper mine income to increase by $163 Million http://www.khaama.com/afghan-copper-mine-income-to-increase-by-163-million-567 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-copper-mine-income-to-increase-by-163-million-567#comments Sun, 05 Feb 2012 05:26:26 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=10978 Afghan copper mine income to increase by $163 Million
According to officials in the Ministry of Mines of Afghanistan, the budgeted income as a result of the Ainak copper mine is expected to reach $163 million by the end of the Afghan year once the Chinese Comapny MCC pays an additional payment of $107 million to the Afghan government. The officials further added, the Read the full article...]]>
Afghan copper mine income to increase by $163 Million

According to officials in the Ministry of Mines of Afghanistan, the budgeted income as a result of the Ainak copper mine is expected to reach $163 million by the end of the Afghan year once the Chinese Comapny MCC pays an additional payment of $107 million to the Afghan government.

The officials further added, the Chine Comapny MCC is required to pay $560 million to Afghan government until 2014 and before copper extraction based on the agreement which was signed between the Afghan government and MCC.

The officials also said, MCC has paid $133 million out of the $808 advance payment to the Afghan government.

Afghan mines minister Wahidullah Shahrani said, MCC paid $80 milllion to Afghan government when they signed agreement in 2008 and the company paid $53 million at the beginning of Afghan calendar year 1390, and the company is required to pay $107 million before the end of 1390.

According to officials in the ministry of mines of Afghanistan, the preliminary work on Ainak copper mine has been started and is in progress.

MCC is required to pay $808 million as advance payment to Afghan government before launching copper extraction.

Ainak copper mine located in eastern Logar province is considered to be one of the biggest natural resources of Afghanistan which has gained a major foreign investment.

According to Afghan mines ministry officials, the samples of Ainak copper mine has been sent to China for decomposition purposes to China which was taken earlier by MCC and Russian officials.

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