Business – Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan News Agency The largest news and information source in Afghanistan Tue, 27 Jun 2017 08:03:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 First leather industry starts work in Herat to curb imports worth $350m Wed, 24 May 2017 14:22:29 +0000 Read the full article...]]> The first leader production firm started work in western Herat province of Afghanistan with an aim to curb import of leather products from outside the country worth almost $350 million on annual basis.

The factory was inaugurated on Tuesday in the presence of the provincial governor Mohammad Asif Rahimi in Herat Industrial park.

The factory has been built with an investment amounting to $6 million and 3 hundred thousand.

The local officials are saying that the opening of the factory will provide work opportunities for hundreds of the residents of Herat province.

Hotak, a representative of the factory, said this is the first leather processing factory launched in Afghanistan which will use raw materials from the domestic market.

He said around $350 million flow out of Afghanistan on annual basis for the import of leather products.

Provincial governor Rahimi hailed the private sector for the investment to launch the factory and said the first leather processing factory starting work in Afghanistan is a good news as he insisted on the factory officials to make sure that the products are produced with a high quality.

Insisting on further development of industrial park in Herat province, Mr. Rahimi said another industrial park will be opened in this province in the near future.

According to the local officials, around 25 manufacturing firms have started operations in Herat industrial park since last one year.

]]> 0
Roshan to launch 4G services in Afghanistan Tue, 09 May 2017 15:56:47 +0000 Read the full article...]]> The Roshan Telecommunications service provider in Afghanistan announced Tuesday that the company will soon launch the fourth generation internet 4G services in the near future.

A statement by Roshan Telecom said “Roshan has already invested over $100 million in its 3G network since launching services in 2013 and this reinforces the company’s commitment to providing its customers with the best data service experience.”

 “Today’s 4G services announcement forms part of a new program that Roshan is launching to invest in improving and upgrading our data network to reflect the significant growth in data usage that Afghanistan has seen over the last few years,” said Shireen Rahmani, Chief Operating Officer. “Roshan’s leadership in 4G services will serve as a catalyst for economic growth and provide broad social benefits for both private and public sectors that will positively impact the people of Afghanistan, including support for the development of eGovernment.”

The statement by Roshan further added that the launch of 4G services will enable Roshan to provide an enhanced-quality mobile broadband experience over its robust network, offering customers the fastest internet speed for accessing data-intensive applications, video streaming, and other innovative and high-definition services.

]]> 1
Afghanistan and Australia to sign key agreements during Ghani’s visit Mon, 03 Apr 2017 06:05:04 +0000 Read the full article...]]> The Afghan and Australian officials are expected to sign key agreements as President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani is expected to hold talks with the country’s officials today.

The Office of the President, ARG Palace, said the agreements covering economic cooperation will be signed in the presence of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and the Australian Prime Minister.

President Ghani arrived in Canberra on Sunday evening accompanied by a delegation of high level government officials.

ARG Palace said President Ghani will meet with the Australian Prime Minister, Australian Governor General, Foreign and Defense Ministers.

He is also expected to hold talks with the Australian Intelligence Chief, Afghan Experts based in Australia, researchers and some other Afghans based in Australia during his visit.

The Minister of Economy Abdul Satar Murad, Mines and Petroleum acting minister Nargis Nehan, Deputy Energy and Water Minister Amanullah Ghalib, Presidential Adviser on Public Relations and Strategic Affairs Shah Zaman Maiwandi, and senior presidential adviser Abdul Hamid Helmandi are accompanying President Ghani during his visit to the three nations.

President is expected to visit Indonesia and Singapore by concluding his visit in Australia.

]]> 0
Afghanistan to profit $1 billion annually for transit from TAPI pipeline Wed, 07 Dec 2016 14:56:05 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan will get more than $1 billion in profit only from the transit of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline once the project kicks off, it has been reported.

Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov quoted by Trend News agency has said “More than 12,000 jobs will be created for our Afghan brothers.”

 The long delayed $10 billion Trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline was formally inaugurated last year with the state-run gas company – Turkmengaz, named project consortium leader for TAPI Pipeline Company Limited in August, working on the construction of the pipeline.

The United States government and Asian Development Bank will support the mega project that will run more than 700 km across Afghanistan on its way to Pakistan and India.

The pipeline is expected to last for 30 years with a proposed annual capacity of 33 bcm of gas which would be filled with gas from Turkmenistan’s mammoth Galkynysh field.

It is estimated that the gas pipeline will become operational once the construction work has been completed in December 2018.

The pipeline will run more than 700 km across Afghanistan on its way to Pakistan and India which would be filled with gas from Turkmenistan’s mammoth Galkynysh field, the world’s second-largest reservoir of natural gas.

]]> 3
Trump vows support to help unearth Afghanistan’s massive natural resources Sat, 03 Dec 2016 15:30:43 +0000 Read the full article...]]> trump-and-afghanistanThe president-elect of the United States Donald Trump vowed support under his upcoming administration to help unearth Afghanistan’s massive natural resources which include some of the world’s rare earth elements.

Trump made the commitment during a tlelphone conversation with the Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.
Trump said Afghanistan has considerable natural resources and his administration will be prepared to assist Afghanistan in this sector.

He said Afghanistan has a great potential in economic development and the country’s natural resources can play a key role in this regard.

President Ghani and Trump also discussed security issues and other regional issues including fight against terrorism, the Office of the President, ARG Palace, said.

In his turn, Trump pledged support to review Kabul’s requirements in security related issues and assist the Afghan government accordingly.

ARG Palace said the US President-elect Donald Trump invited President Ghani to visit the United States so that the issues of the bilateral interest can be discussed.

President Ghani promised to visit the United States and in his turn invited Trump to visit Afghanistan which was welcomed with Trump saying he will visit the US forces as well as the Afghan officials as soon as there is an opportunity for the visit.

]]> 1
Tiles factory in Mazar city to resume production with India’s support Mon, 21 Nov 2016 07:36:53 +0000 Read the full article...]]> mazar-tiles-factoryThe tiles factory in northern Mazar-e-Sharif city will resume production in the near future as the project to resume the operations of the factory is close to conclusion with the support of India.

The Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Manpreet Vohra informed regarding the finalization of the project during a meeting with the acting provincial governor of Balkh province Ata Mohammad Noor.

Ambassador Vohra also informed Noor regarding the progress of the asphalt work of the main road of Balkh international airport.

Noor in his turn thanked the Indian government and people for their support to Afghanistan and emphasized on continued mutual cooperation between the two nations.

India has played a crucial role by participating in the rebuilding of Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.

Since 2002, the Government of India has committed USD 2 billion dollars to the socio-economic rebuilding of the Afghan state and society in accordance with the development priorities of the Government and the people of Afghanistan.

In its latest commitment to support the reconstruction of the country, India pledged an additional $1 billion in aid.

India’s foreign secretary S Jaishankar told reporters early in September that the $1 billion aid will be for Afghanistan’s capacity and institution building.

]]> 1
Draft Agreement Finalized to Link Afghanistan with Black, Mediterranean Sea Thu, 17 Nov 2016 08:47:54 +0000 Read the full article...]]> lazuli-route-draft-agreement-finalizedThe draft agreement for Lazuli route was finalized between Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey to link Afghanistan with Black and Mediterranean Sea.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said the draft agreement was finalized during a meeting at the ministry of transport of Azerbaijan.

MoFA further added that the Lazuli route is an initiative of the Afghan government that will link the country to Black Sea and Mediterranean.

According to MoFA, the transit route will bring a considerable reduction in time and cost of transportation besides opening transit route to South Asian Countries to have access to Central Asia, Caucasus, and European countries.

With the finalization of the draft agreement for Lazuli route, the top officials of the mentioned countries are now able to sign and execute the agreement, MoFA added.

This comes as a railway network was inaugurated in mid-October this year to help connect Afghanistan to European countries and China via Central Asia.

The railway network, Lazuli railway, will link Afghanistan with the European countries and China via Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey.

The railway network was inaugurated days after the first ever cargo train from China arrived in the main Hairtan port located in North of Afghanistan, boosting hopes among the Afghan officials to find access to alternative routes for transit.

]]> 2
Afghanistan launches fish farming in mega $300m Salma Dam built by India Sat, 29 Oct 2016 12:17:19 +0000 Read the full article...]]> salma-dam-fish-farmingAfghanistan has launched the fish farming (pisciculture) in the mega Salam Dam built with the financial support of India in western Herat province of Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock of Afghanistan (MAIL) said at least 50,000 fingerlings were released in the dam to start the fish farming.

MAIL further added that the step has been taken to start fish farming besides the dam produce electricity and irrigates hundreds of acres of land in Herat.

According to the officials, the fish chicks will start producing more fishes after two years and will produce thousands of tons of fish.

The officials also added that 1.5 million Afghanis have been invested for the establishment of the fish farm in Salam Dam.

The landmark Salma Dam project was inaugurated by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in western Herat province of Afghanistan earlier in the month of June this year.

The reservoir of the dam is 20 kilometer long and 3 kilometer wide and has a storage capacity of 640 million cubic meters of water.

The officials earlier said the dam is expected to produce 42 megawatt of electricity and will irrigate around 80 hectares of agricultural land.

]]> 3
Lazuli railway network to link Afghanistan to Europe and China soon Wed, 19 Oct 2016 13:04:14 +0000 Read the full article...]]> lazuli-railway-networkThe Lazuli railway network is due to be inaugurated in the near future to link Afghanistan with the European countries and China via Central Asia.

Mohammad Shaker Kargar, the special envoy of the President for Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), said the inauguration of the railway network will act as an alternative to link the country with the global market.

He said the railway network will resolve the inevitability the country is currently facing in terms of transit being dependent to other nations and will help expedite the transit process.

According to Kargar, the railway network will link Afghanistan with the European countries and China via Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey.

This comes as the first ever cargo train from China arrived in the main Hairtan port located in North of Afghanistan on earlier last month, boosting hopes among the Afghan officials to find access to alternative routes for transit.

In the meantime, the construction of a railway line between Afghanistan and Iran officially kicked off near the western Herat province of Afghanistan last month.

The railway line will be established from Iran to Ghoryan district and will further go towards Zindjan district and Herat Airport.

Earlier this year the leaders of Afghanistan, India and Iran signed the Chabahr port agreement in Tehran, the capital city of Iran.

Afghanistan is expected to have sea-land access through the strategic Chabahar port in Iran by the end of this year as the work on the port already begun by a joint venture of Kandla Port Trust (KPT) and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) last year.

]]> 0
First ever cargo train from China arrives in Hairatan port of Afghanistan Wed, 07 Sep 2016 09:57:54 +0000 Read the full article...]]> China cargo train arrives in AfghanistanThe first ever cargo train from China arrived in the main Hairtan port located in North of Afghanistan on Wednesday, boosting hopes among the Afghan officials to find access to alternative routes for transit.

The train carrying loads of consignments arrived in Hairatan carrying a sign (Central Asia Trains).

The cargo train apparently left Nantong in China and travelled several days to reach to its final destination in the strategic Hairatan port of Afghanistan.

“First ever Cargo Train from #China arrived in Hairatan Port of #Afghanistan today. Gawadar port of #Pakistan won’t longer be our only option,” Javid Faisal, spokesman for Chief Executive Officer’s Office said.

Hairatan port is a small city located to the border between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industries of Afghanistan.

This city is located in the north of Balkh province and is one of the necessary business ports of Afghanistan. Border line between these two countries is Ammo River.

In the year of 1982 bridge of Dosti (Friendship) between mentioned countries was built by the USSR Soviet that links Afghanistan with the Middle East countries china and Russia.

Hairatan route was the safest business way in Afghanistan during 33 years of war.

]]> 3
Safi Airways operations suspended due to AFN 1.15 billion outstanding debts Sun, 04 Sep 2016 14:26:55 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Safi Airways operations suspendedThe operations of a major airline in Afghanistan, Safi Airways, was suspended due to a large outstanding debt and taxes payable by the airline, the Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority (ACAA) said Sunday.

According to a statement by Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority (ACAA), the decision to suspend the operations of the airline was taken by the Ministry of Finance of Afghanistan.

The statement further added that the airline has an outstanding debt payable amounting to AFN 1,152,774,691.

The Civil Aviation Authority said the outstanding debts are payable as per the tax declarations of the company for the solar year 1390 to 1393.

The airline did not take any step to clear the outstanding debts and taxes despite the Civil Aviation Authority prepared a draft signed by the other airlines to clear the outstanding dues in installments, ACAA said, adding that

According to ACAA, the officials of the airline will can be put on exit control list and the assets of the airline could be put on sale as per the 24th article of department of taxes affairs.

The Civil Aviation Authority said a formal letter has been sent to the airline to prevent the sale of its tickets and services until it does not meet the conditions and clear its outstanding debts, warning that the airline would be responsible for any actions it takes to resume operations.

]]> 2
Afghanistan signed over 80 mining contracts with private firms Wed, 03 Aug 2016 05:49:55 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Afghan Natural MinesThe Afghan government has signed over 80 mining contracts with the private sector in a bid to boost the extraction of mines and prevent illegal extraction of the mining.

Officials in the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum told reporters in Kabul on Tuesday that the government is more focused on transparency when the contracts were signed.

Mohiuddin Noori, a spokesman for the Ministry of Mines and Petoleum, said the government has concluded 84 agreements since the beginning of the new solar year.

He said the contracts have been signed on key conditions to include transparency as per the new terms and conditions, control and supervision of the contracts, generation of revenue by the contracts for the private sector and the government, and the feasibility to implement the contracts in the region.

Noori further added that the government has stepped up efforts to prevent the illegal mining with the help of the security institutions.

This comes as reports emerged earlier suggesting that the illegal extraction of mines in the country specifically the Lapis Lazuli mining pours millions of dollars to the militant groups in the country.

The mineral resources in the mountains of Afghanistan have been estimated to be around $1 trillion to $3 trillion which include world-famous lapis lazuli, a deep blue, semi-precious stone that has been mined in northern Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province for thousands of years.

]]> 1
WTO membership to integrate Afghanistan into global economy: DG Azevêdo Sun, 31 Jul 2016 04:31:01 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan WTOThe Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Roberto Azevêdo has said the full membership of Afghanistan will integrate the country into the global economy.

“I am proud to welcome Afghanistan to the WTO as our newest member,” Azevêdo said.

He said “This is an historic day for the country and its integration into the global economy. We arrived at this point thanks to the commitment of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and the government of Afghanistan.”

“I congratulate them on this achievement, particularly given the very challenging circumstances,” DG Azevêdo continued. “WTO membership will be a foundation stone in the country’s future development. I also want to commend all WTO members for their support in this process, and their commitment to helping LDCs to participate in the multilateral trading system.”

Afghanistan’s accession package was approved by the Working Party members on 11 November 2015 and by Ministers at the Nairobi Ministerial Conference on 17 December 2015.

Afghanistan has also submitted its instrument of acceptance for the TFA, becoming the 90th WTO member and the ninth LDC member to do so.
Afghanistan will benefit from special flexibilities in the TFA allowing developing countries and LDCs to determine when they will implement individual provisions of the Agreement and to identify provisions that they will only be able to implement upon the receipt of technical assistance and support for capacity building.

The TFA will enter into force once two-thirds of the WTO membership has formally accepted the Agreement.

]]> 0
Afghanistan formally becomes 164th member of World Trade Organization Sat, 30 Jul 2016 04:46:52 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan-got-membership-in-World-Trade-Organisation-665x360The United States welcomed Afghanistan as the 164th member of the World Trade Organization amid optimisms that the country will enjoy new opportunities for multilateral trade.

“We welcome Afghanistan today as the 164th member of the World Trade Organization, or WTO. Afghanistan will enjoy new opportunities now for multilateral trade and expand its potential for future development and prosperity,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporter.

Kirby further added “We applaud Afghanistan for the years of effort required to meet this milestone achievement and we look forward to working together with that country as a full member of the WTO going forward.”

Afghanistan formally gained accession to World Trade Organization (WTO) during the Ministerial Conference of WTO late in December last year.

The terms of accession by Afghanistan to World Trade Organization was formally adopted during the 10th Ministerial of WTO organized in Nairabi, the capital city of Kenya.

Afghanistan was given time until 30th of June to ratify the decision by the Ministerial Conference of WTO to become the 164th Member of the World Trade Organization.

The World Trade Organization is a global trading organization that accounts for about 95 percent of the commerce of the world and the membership of WTO is expected to provide a number of rights for the country including the critical right to transit besides opening lucrative markets.

]]> 0
Govt allocates 144 acres of land for the establishment of 6 factories Tue, 05 Jul 2016 13:06:29 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Factories construction AfghanistanThe Afghan government has allocated 144 acres of land for the construction of six factories as an agreement was signed for the handover of the land.

The Office of the President, ARG Palace, said the agreement was signed in the presence of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

According to a statement by ARG, the agreement was signed between the officials of Afghanistan’s Independent Land Authority, Afghanistan Aviation Authority, and the Alokozay Group.

Finance Minister Eklil Ahmad Hakimi said 144 acres of land will be handed over Alokozay Group following the completion of the formal process of the documents by the cabinet and Lower House of the Parliament.

He said Alokozay Group has committed $350 million for the establishment of 6 factories in the land, which includes printing press, tissues, carton manufacturing plant, and three other factories will produce food items.

According to Hakimi, the companies will directly provide job opportunities for at least 2,000 people, while 10,000 others will also benefit as job opportunities will be provided to them indirectly.

Hakimi further added that the group has also pledged to construct a aviation academy for the Civil Aviation Authority with an investment of $5 million.

]]> 0
Afghanistan, India and Iran signed Chabahar agreement Mon, 23 May 2016 12:21:53 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Chabahar portThe leaders of Afghanistan, India and Iran signed the Chabahr port agreement in Tehran, the capital city of Iran today.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and The Iranian President Hassan Rouani signed the agreement.

The Afghan President directly travelled to Tehran today to sign the agreement after concluding a two-day official visit to Qatar.
The signing of the agreement opens an international transportation and trade corridor.

The draft agreement for Chabahar port was finalized during a meeting organized in Ministry of External Affairs of India in mid-April this year.

Afghanistan is expected to have sea-land access through the strategic Chabahar port in Iran by the end of this year as the work on the port already begun by a joint venture of Kandla Port Trust (KPT) and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) last year.
Access to Afghanistan’s Garland Highway can be made from

Chabahar port using the existing Iranian road network and the Zaranj-Delaram road, constructed by India in 2009.

The port will be also used to ship crude oil and urea, saving India transportation costs. It will also cut transport costs and freight time for India to Central Asia and the Gulf by about a third.

]]> 0
Afghanistan, India and Iran to sign Chabahar port agreement on Monday Sun, 22 May 2016 11:24:40 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Chabahar portAfghanistan, India and Iran will sign the Chabahar port agreement on Monday to establish an international transport and transit corridor.

The agreement is expected to be signed by the leaders of the three countries as the Indian Prime Minister and President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani are due to visit Tehran.

“Afghanistan, India & Iran will sign the Chabahar Agreement on Establishment of the International Transport & Transit Corridor tomorrow,” President Ghani said in a twitter post.

Meanwhile, a Twitter post by the Indian Prime Narendra Modi, stated “I am looking forward to my visit to Iran today & tomorrow, at the invitation of President Rouhani.”

Modi further added “My meetings with President Rouhani and Hon’ble Supreme Leader of Iran will provide an opportunity to advance our strategic partnership. I also look forward to the conclusion of the Chahbahar Agreement during my visit.”

The draft agreement for Chabahar port was finalized during a meeting organized in Ministry of External Affairs of India in mid-April this year.

Afghanistan was represented by representatives from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Commerce and Industries Ministry, Ministry of Finance, Ministry Transportation and Aviation Directorate of Railway Network and Embassy of Afghanistan in India.

Afghanistan is expected to have sea-land access through the strategic Chabahar port in Iran by the end of this year as the work on the port already begun by a joint venture of Kandla Port Trust (KPT) and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) last year.

Access to Afghanistan’s Garland Highway can be made from Chahbahar port using the existing Iranian road network and the Zaranj-Delaram road, constructed by India in 2009.

This would establish a direct road access to four of the major cities of Afghanistan – Herat, Kandahar, Kabul, and Mazar-e-Sharif.

The port will be also used to ship crude oil and urea, saving India transportation costs. It will also cut transport costs and freight time for India to Central Asia and the Gulf by about a third.

]]> 0
$1.17 billion CASA-1000 project to be inaugurated next month Sun, 24 Apr 2016 06:48:06 +0000 Read the full article...]]> CASA-1000The $1.17 billion CASA-1000 power project will be inaugurated by the officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan next month.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said the Ministers of Power and Energy of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan finalized the document and decision on the implementation of the project.

A statement by MoFA said the project will be inaugurated on 12th May as per the request of Tajikistan officials.

The statement further added that the inauguration ceremony will be attended by high level government officials of the four nations as well as representative of the donor countries and financial supporters of the project.

The Afghanistan Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah will attend the ceremony for the inauguration of the project.

According to MoFA, the CASA-1000 project will pave the way for the transmission of electricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan and Pakistan through 1,250 kilometers of high voltage transmission line.

Two converter stations have been considered for the project including a 1300 megawatt AC-DC Convertor Station at Sangtuda Tajikistan.

Another high voltage transformer will be built in Pul-e-Khumri city of Baghlan province to ensure supply of 300 mega watt of electricity to Afghanistan.

MoFA said the World Bank, United States, United Kingdom, European Investment Bank and Islamic Development Bank have committed to support the project.

Afghanistan will have an income of $45 million from the the project, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

]]> 0
Is Privatization of New Kabul Bank an Ultimate Solution? Thu, 07 Apr 2016 12:15:15 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Kabul Bank

Mohammad Sabir Sidiqee

There are number of reasons a public company go private. The acquisition process can easily create significant financial benefit for shareholders as well as top management decision makers. There are merits and demerits for a public sector company to go private as well as short and long run issues to be considered before deciding to take such an important economic decision that ultimately affect government role in socio-economic decision makings, unemployment rate and will at the end of the day result to implement “Laissez-fair” policy.

Kabul Bank was the first of its kind, a commercial bank in Afghanistan that was established in 2004. The bank famed in much unnoticed short span of time. Kabul Bank was a good treasure for common people as well as civil servants and also military forces including Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police forces. Kabul Bank kept accounts in Afghanis, United States Dollars, and Euro currencies. Kabul Bank used to provide various banking facilities to its customers across Afghanistan through its chain of operational branches. Customers could open current, saving, deposit accounts in currencies such as; US dollar, Afghanis and Euros. Kabul Bank was proving Automatic Teller Machines in order to facilitate cash withdrawals for its customers throughout Afghanistan. The Bank prior turning as New Kabul Bank was fully under supervision of Da Afghanistan Bank (Afghanistan’s Central Bank).

In September 2010, Kabul Bank collapsed. This was the worst banking experience when the nearly collapse news was spread caused by widespread corruption and fraud at Kabul Bank. Nearly half of the deposits were withdrawn that was almost half of the 300,000 Afghan military forces salaries provided by the bank. The mysterious questions so far are “Who was responsible?” for this major sit back and “What caused it?”

International Media’s reaction to collapse of Kabul Bank in 2010;

  • The Guardian Newspaper: “Kabul Bank’s Collapse in 2010 was the worst banking scandals in history”
  • Los Angeles Times: “Independent investigators and journalists uncovered widespread corruption in Kabul Bank”
  • The New York Times: “Audit says Kabul Bank Began as Ponzi Scheme”

Why Kabul Bank collapsed and why No one is held responsible?

 As per international organizations’ reports, Da Afghanistan Bank and its leadership was the key role players were in 2010 responsible for this horrible economic nightmare in the banking history of Afghanistan. This mother of banks functioning as an apex in the banking industry of Afghanistan was established in 1939, but in 2001 the formal Afghan banking and financial system was near to nonexistent and its one and only function was to print Afghani currency. The collapse of Kabul Bank is majorly highlighted to the pathetic leadership and puny supervision and ineffective regulation practices with corrupt and politically dependent governors. Within the structure of Da Afghanistan Bank; the Central Bank to the country that hold the nerves of Afghan Economy, Financial Supervision Department that is still responsible for the assurance of healthy banking sector by controlling and regulating licenses for banks and other informal financial institutions as HAWALA dealers and money exchange services dealers, exist. This extremely important department at Da Afghanistan bank then could not conduct regular background checks on banks and their operations as well as banks’ shareholders specifically of Kabul Bank due to known and unknown reason. Some reports by international investigation agencies suggest that, political pressure on this department as well lack of banking sector supervision expert. Kabul Bank was issued license in 2004, since its establishment Financial Supervision Department did not go to confirm consistency of Kabul Bank’s operations with the submitted licensure application. As per report on Kabul Bank scandal up to two and half years Financial Supervision Department of Da Afghanistan Bank did not at all conduct any on-site examination and did not at all supervised the operations of then Kabul Bank. The verification methods of Financial Supervision Department of Da Afghanistan Bank were very narrow and orthodox to filter the information and accounting records and data provided by Kabul Bank Officials. According to some of the world class report on Kabul Bank, FSD had then failed to ensure legal compliance of Kabul Bank’s expanded branches and could not ensure the required permits are legally OK in case a new branch was opened. FSD also failed to impose fine and whenever Kabul Bank was failing to maintain a Minimum Required Reserve MRR (The reserve requirement (or cash reserve ratio) is a central bank regulation employed by most, but not all, of the world’s central banks, that sets the minimum fraction of customer deposits and notes that each commercial bank must hold as reserves).

Kabul Bank was seized by the government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in 2010 after a fraud of USD 900 million was revealed which then led the International Monetary Fund IMF as a precautionary measure halt its hundreds of millions of dollars loans to Afghan government.

After the establishment of National Unity Government (NUG) Mohammad Ashraf Ghani president to National Unity Government ordered to reopen the case related to Kabul Bank and various stakeholders responsible in its collapse. They were presented to court where some of them are now being sentenced with different periods in jail. Their assets were seized in order to realize Bank’s loans.

Will Privatization of New Kabul Bank unknot the tie?

The answer to this very important industrial economic question is worldwide answered by the cost-benefit analysis of privatization process. This is analyzed by advantages and disadvantages of privatizing a public industrial firm.

  • Disadvantages of Privatization of New Kabul Bank;

Private companies do not care about common persons’ interest as their only motive to operate in a market is to earn profit, which is with complete contrast to government companies which continues to do social responsible works. Privatization of New Kabul Bank will create a mass of unemployed individuals within Afghan society because privatization of a public company emphasizes on performance which indirectly result in work pressure that is resulted from application of buyer private company. In this part individuals who have been doing work for years without much pressure will find it much difficult to adjust to new sittings and may end up resigning or termination. The privatization of New Kabul Bank is highly subject to the risk of decisions which result in short run benefits but may not end up for long run goals.

The major Disadvantages are;

  1. Profits and public interest will overlap
  2. Government is dealing with its asset
  3. Conflict of Interest between public and private managers
  4. Private-Natural Monopoly
  5. Public Interest will be at high risk
  6. Afghan Government will lose-out on potential dividends
  7. Afghan government will encounter problems related to private regulation monopolies
  8. Fragmentation of Industries
  9. Short-termism of Afghan public firms
  • Advantages of Privatization of New Kabul Bank;

The biggest advantage of privatization of New Kabul Bank will once it is privatized, there will be no government and political interference and one will not have do undue favor to them which in itself is an economic and industrial boost when it comes to doing business and increasing profitability. It will increase the overall efficiency of private sector and reduces the bureaucracy which is the main culprit because typically in government organizations and public companies as New Kabul Bank work and services happens at its own leisurely pace which results in delay in decision making and therefore reduces the effectiveness and competence of public sector enterprise.

The Major Advantages of Privatization of New Kabul Bank are;

  1. Improvement in Banking Industry’s Efficiency in Afghanistan
  2. Privatization of New Kabul Bank reduce political interference in the banking industry
  3. Short-termism
  4. Competition in the banking industry of Afghanistan will increase
  5. Afghan government will raise revenue from the process
  6. Government will realize its due loans on Kabul Bank dismissed shareholders
]]> 0
AISA-MoCI merger not favor of Afghanistan’s economy, Haqjo says Thu, 07 Apr 2016 03:48:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]> HaqjoThe Head of Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) Mohammad Qurban Haqjo said President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s decree on merger of AISA with the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) is not favor of the economy of Afghanistan as the country is going through a sensitive moment.

Haqjo appeared in a press conference after President Ghani issued a decree to merge AISA with the Ministry of Commerce and Industries.

He said President Ghani has issued the decree during a high meeting of the economic council where proposals regarding the legal identity of AISA were discussed.

According to Haqjo, AISA has been facing the issue of legal identity since its formation and for this reason AISA, Ministry of Commerce and Industries and The World Bank prepared separate proposal forms.

Haqjo further added that MoCI proposed to merge AISA with the ministry but AISA’s proposal was change it to a corporation or an independent government directorate.

The World Bank had a similar proposal as AISA but with a difference in its proposal which included issuance of licenses from the Ministry of Commerce and Industries but the process work of the license should done in AISA, Haqjo added.

He said President Ghani chose the proposal of MoCI without listening to his views during the economic council meeting, insisting that AISA’s proposal was the most practical proposal.

Haqjo said the decision by President Ghani and not allowing him to offer his views were surprising for him, emphasizing that he has brought more reforms since has taken charge of AISA in the past 8 months and has reduce the cost by a large extent besides creating a professional working team.

He also criticized President Ghani for remaining reckless towards his proposals in the past 8 months, saying that the president did not give him an appointment despite various attempts.

Meanwhile, Haqjo said AISA remains committed to cooperate in merging the organization with the Ministry of Commerce and Industries as per the decree of President Ghani.

]]> 0
New Kabul Bank eligible buyers to submit proposals including a Pakistani firm Wed, 06 Apr 2016 07:27:09 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Kabul BankThe Ministry of Finance of Afghanistan announced Tuesday that two companies have been identified as eligible buyers of the New Kabul Bank which was once the country’s largest private bank.

According to the officials, a Pakistani firm is among the two companies which are interested to purchase the bank.

Director of treasury at the Ministry of Finance, Mohammad Aqa Kohistani, told reporters that the two firms were identified as eligible buyers after receiving bids for the privatization of the bank.

A firm to qualify for the purchase of the bank was supposed to have $20 million in account, banking license, and a professional team of employees as well as technical proposals.

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.

Kabul Bank was one of Afghanistan’s largest private financial institutions founded in 2004 by Sherkhan Farnood, who was an international prominent poker player. Khalilullah Ferozi, the former chief executive of the bank, was another key staff.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani ordered to reopen the scandal case of Kabul Bank shortly after taking office as the new President of country.

]]> 1
Online business in Afghanistan Tue, 05 Apr 2016 05:06:28 +0000 Read the full article...]]> online business

aaBy Mohammad Sabir Sidiqee,

More or less, 30 – 40 percent of trade transactions are taking place online world wide in developed economies. This is because; this very important method of buying and selling products and services are much convenient compared to 19th century. Markets have become more intangible and are now spread across the web as virtual market place where consumers and sellers come from different societal segments and perform their business transactions to maximize their satisfactions and profits respectively.

Data from global economic mirror and different business research institutes show that, those economies enhancing and developing online businesses are performing good compared to those which are not even thinking of it. Technological evolutions throughout history, especially in 20th century have broadened the horizon of doing business in its extremely convenient ways possible.

Data from trading economics suggest that, Asian countries such as; Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines earn more than USD 5 billion and add this amount to their GDP.

The situation in Afghanistan is much different. With 36 percent of its population living below the poverty line, Afghanistan is only second to Bangladesh as Asia’s poorest country. Poverty is most heavily concentrated in the rural areas of Afghanistan. While 90 percent of urban households have access to electricity, only 29 percent of rural households do. Business deals are still taking place in its extreme orthodox methods. Buyers and sellers come from different segments and with significantly different expectations and fix the prices in accord with demand and supply forces. There is not fixed pricing structure in 90 percent of the Afghanistan local business deals.

After the international community’s interference in Afghanistan’s socio-economic development and the commencement of nation building process with direct aids of United States of America, technology have become an indispensable matter of livelihood for Afghans.

Communications in Afghanistan (telephone, internet, television and radio broadcast services)

 Telecommunication industry is under the control of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT). It has rapidly expanded during the Karzai administration that took over in late 2001, and has embarked on wireless companies, internet, radio stations and television channels. The Afghan government signed a $64.5 agreement in 2006 with China’s ZTE on the establishment of a countrywide optical fiber cable network. The project began to improve telephone, internet, television and radio broadcast services throughout Afghanistan. As of 2014, about 9 percent of the country’s population has access to communication services.

There are about 18 million mobile phone users in the country. EtisalatRoshanAfghan Wireless and MTN are the leading telecom companies. Etisalat became the first company planning to launch 4G services in 2014. It is predicted that over 50 percent of the population will have access to the internet by 2015. In 2014, Afghanistan leased a space satellite from Eutelsat, called AFGHANSAT 1.

Internet in Afghanistan:

Afghanistan was given legal control of the “.af” domain in 2003, and the Afghanistan Network Information Center (AFGNIC) was established to administer domain names. As of 2010, there are at least 46 internet service providers (ISPs) in the country. Internet in Afghanistan is also at the peak with 1 million users as of 2009.

According to the Ministry of Communications, the following are some of the different ISPs operating in Afghanistan:

  1. Global Services (P) Limited
  2. Rana Technologies
  3. Global Entourage Services
  4. AfSat
  5. Afghan Telecom
  6. Is Afghanistan a better market to Enter as an Online Business Investor?

According to Doing Business Report of World Bank 2015, Afghanistan scored 183 in terms of ease of doing business. For any country to ease and attract domestic and foreign direct investment, it is mandatory to develop rules and regulations, apply technology and relax some of the traditional methods of doing business. The simple formula for the business prosperity is (Regulations Practice + Technical Application + Information Technology = Business Prosperity).

Among the more encouraging trends shown by Doing Business data of World Bank, over the past decade is the gradual improvement in Afghan Economy’s performance in the areas tracked by some macroeconomic indicators. Moreover, Afghan economy with the weakest regulatory institutions and the most complex and costly regulatory processes tend to focus on the areas where their regulatory performance is worse, slowly but steadily beginning to adopt some of the better practices seen among the best performers.

Afghan government still has not been able to draft and develop cyber Law which will directly provide insight to doing online business in Afghanistan. There are some basic online trading local companies as .

According doing business report of the World Bank, there are opportunities and obstacles to start and exit any business in Afghanistan at the same time while an investor decides to heavily invest keeping in mind the short-run profit. Online Business can sustain if the investor is patient enough and consider long run profits and benefits. This is because online business culture shall be first adopted by the population then business growth will be ultimately witnessed by the investors and company share holders.

Any online businesses that are going to enter the Afghan online market should follow below principles;

  • Government support (on time response from government authorities)
  • Initiative & Innovative business concept
  • Demand based provision of products and services
  • Effective business strategy
  • Differentiating Factors of your business (What’s new in your business idea and products and services?)
  • Sufficient Budget structure
  • Marketing strategy
  • When and how to enter the market?
  • Website design
  • On time services delivery process and strategy
  • Publicity
]]> 0
Funds arranged for construction of 29 dams Wed, 30 Mar 2016 05:13:20 +0000 Read the full article...]]> President GhaniPresident Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said that government is ready to launch infrastructure projects in the country.

In a meeting with representatives of Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Ghazni, Logar provinces and nomads at Presidential Palace, President Ghani said that funds have been arranged to start the construction of 29 dams this year.

He added that last year was the year of Afghanistan’s survival but this year would be the year of stimulation.

“Last year there was shortage of funds, the international community was also leaving the country but ultimately they have been convinced to continue their assistance with Afghanistan in different sectors,” he said.

The President further said that starting late May ‘beginning of Jawza’, Afghanistan would be exporting 600 tons of fruits to other countries.

While talking about security, The President said that Afghanistan went through seven chapters of fighting last year.

“The enemy planned to bring several provinces under its control but our national security and defense forces fought with them with full courage,” he said.

“Afghanistan would be defended and rebuilt with a strong resolve,” The President noted.

“600 new graduates of the military academy went to Helmand province for this purpose.”

]]> 0
HEC to receive comprehensive plan for production of quality medicines in 2 months Sun, 27 Mar 2016 11:16:05 +0000 Read the full article...]]> NPCPresidential Palace says the High Economic Council (HEC) will receive draft of a comprehensive plan for the production of quality medicines in two months.

Discussions were held on supply of medicines and medical products to Kabul and provinces in the latest meeting of the National Procurement Commission (NPC) on Saturday.

President Ghani who was charring the meeting assigned the ministries of public health, finance, justice, economy, defense, interior and other related institutions to also make necessary recommendations to HEC for attracting more investments in health sector.

Meanwhile, NPC approved a contract worth of AFG 39 million and rejected two others. Five contracts were recommended for further modification.

This was first meeting of the NPC in the Solar Year 1395 which began a few days ago.

The commission reviewed 900 contracts in the year 1394 out of which it approved 725 worth of 136 billion Afghanis.

A saving of 14 billion Afghanis has been made in these contracts.

]]> 0
ADB to assist Afghanistan in key infrastructure projects Tue, 15 Mar 2016 10:26:29 +0000 Read the full article...]]> EklilThe Asian Development Bank (ADB), one of the largest donors to Kabul, has vowed to assist Afghanistan in key infrastructure projects.

The promise was made during a meeting between Minister of Finance and a delegation of ADB led by the banks Director General for Central and West Asia Department.

Eklil Hakimi and Sean M. O’Sullivan who is responsible for the ADB’s operations in 10 countries including Afghanistan discussed the bank’s ongoing projects and expected contributions in the sector of Transport, Energy and Agriculture and Natural Resources.

The two sides also talked about ADB’s role in key national projects such as the Kabul Ring Road, TAPI Gas Pipeline, Energy Transmission and Generation as well as design and implementation of key Railway projects, regional connectivity, trade and transit.

The delegation assured Hakimi that ADB will be playing an important role in the implementation of key infrastructure projects in Afghanistan.

ADB has contributed $4 billion to Afghanistan since 2002.

]]> 0
Russia to supply 1.5 million tons of oil to Afghanistan annually Sun, 13 Mar 2016 04:25:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Russia oil supply to AfghanistanThe Russian authorities are mulling to supply up to one and half million tons of fuel to Afghanistan annually in a bid to help the country with its fuel consumption demand.

Russia’s Deputy Minister of Energy Yury Sentyurin has said Russia could easily supply 1 to 1.5 million tons of oil products to the Afghanistan on annual basis.

According to the Russian officials, the contribution by Russia will help Afghanistan with its demand of 6 million tons of oil on annual basis.

Sentyurin said Afghanistan consumes more than 3 million tons of petroleum products for its own personal needs and uses another 3 million for the coalition forces, according to the local media reports.

Insisting that Russia does not intend to supply Afghanistan with all of the 6 million tons of oil products, Sentyurin said “I do not think that we need to monopolize the market. We have proposed a strategic idea to our Afghan partners to form a strategic national reserve.”

Russia has also offered to carry out further exploration work in northern Afghanistan, according to a report by the state-run news agency Sputnik.

The report further added that this feat could be undertaken by the company, ‘Zarubezhgeologiya’. The proposal was made in the framework of the Russian-Afghan intergovernmental commission.

Russia has stepped up efforts to expand trade, economic and social relations with Afghanistan and recently agreed to turn a long-standing debt payable by Afghanistan into a non-refundable aid.

Meanwhile, the Afghan officials are keen on resumption of activities by Russian companies in the country, mainly the housing industry, considering the expertise of the Russian companies that could play a vital role in improving the economy of the country.

]]> 0
Kam Air starts direct commercial flights to Bamyan for the first time Wed, 09 Mar 2016 09:31:14 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Kam AirA commercial airline has started direct flights between Kabul and the central Bamyan province, the local officials said Wednesday.

The first flight by Kam Air carried passengers from capital Kabul to Bamyan province using Saab 340 aircraft, a Swedish twin-engine turboprop aircraft that can carry up to 40 passengers.

Deputy provincial governor Mohammad Asif Mubaligh welcomed the opening of the new route to Bamyan province by Kam Air, saying the local authorities are hopeful that the move will encourage other airlines to start services in this province.

Speaking during a ceremony for the launch of the flights by Kam Air, Mubaligh said the start of the flight will also help reduce the ticket fares.

Bamyan is located in central parts of the country and is among the relatively peaceful provinces where terrorist related incidents are rarely reported.

However, the main route connecting Kabul to Bamyan province has been at all time volatile during the recent months where numerous kidnapping cases have been reported.

The anti-government armed militants are often stopping passenger cars in the route through Maidan Wardak province and kidnap the travellers.

Scores of passengers have been abducted during the recent months by anti-government armed militants amid deteriorating security situation and several of them have been killed by the militant.

]]> 0
Afghan Saffron production increases by 17 % Mon, 07 Mar 2016 15:28:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Afghan-saffronMinistry of Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock announced on Monday an increase of 17 percent in the outcome of Saffron cultivation in the country.

4,000 kilograms of Saffron was produced in Afghanistan last year but the figure jumped to 4,675 KGs this year with majority of this being produced in western Herat province.

This shows about 17 percent increase in the production of Saffron.

Distribution of Saffron crocus bulbs, equipment and training 335 students on how to plant and collect Saffron, and as well the expert advisory have been identified as the main reasons for the increase, the ministry said.

The Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock also says that they have been able to extend the Saffron cultivation program to 23 provinces with the assistance of aiding NGOs.

Government and aiding NGOs recommend Saffron to farmers as an alternative for poppy.

The International Taste & Quality Institute in the Belgian capital of Brussels named Afghanistan’s saffron the best in the world for the third consecutive year in mid 2015.

The award, in the form of a three star certificate, was given to Afghanistan saffron after testing some 300 samples.

]]> 0
Roshan inaugurates the opening of its newly redesigned store in Kabul Wed, 02 Mar 2016 10:20:57 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Roshan AfghanistanRoshan, Afghanistan’s leading communications company, opened its newly redesigned customer service and sales center in Kabul’s main business hub in the city’s 10th district.

The revamped store offers a unique customer experience and a new shopping lifestyle, something which has had no precedent in Afghanistan.

The store includes a spacious modern coffee shop operated by the Afghan-owned company Breads and Butter Catering Services, free Wifi connection and a new counter from Cartridge World, a U.S. based international franchise offering all types of home and office printing services.

It has a new mobile handset retail chain store from the Afghan company United Mobile where customers can choose from a wide range of affordable and high quality phones.

Roshan’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Altaf Ladak said in a statement: “This is the first time in Afghanistan where our customers get to experience more than just shopping for new products and services. They get to experience a new lifestyle.”

More importantly, the opening of the redesigned store brings in half a dozen new jobs and creates new opportunities for our customers and the people of Afghanistan. It also highlights Roshan’s support to help Afghan businesses expand and grow.

Roshan has 9 flagship stores, 4600 points of sale, 400 sale booths and 120 customer service centers across all 34 provinces of Afghanistan to serve over its 6.5m customers.

About Roshan

Roshan (Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Corp) is Afghanistan’s leading total communications provider with over 6.5 million active subscribers and a network that covers over 287 districts and cities 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 in 2003, Roshan has invested over $600 million in Afghanistan and is the country’s single largest investor and taxpayer, contributing approximately five percent of the Afghan government’s overall domestic revenue.

Roshan directly employs 900 people, 19 percent of whom are women, and provides indirect employment to more than 35,000 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.

]]> 0
$2.5 million loss to DABS due to power cut Wed, 24 Feb 2016 09:06:01 +0000 Read the full article...]]> powerDa Afghanistan Breshna Shirkat (DABS) which operates and manages electric power generation, import, transmission, and distribution throughout the country on commercial basis says it lost $2.5 million because of power cut to Kabul.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DABS said the company used 100,000 liters of fuel every night for 28 consecutive days to provide electricity to Kabul residents since the power cables supplying Uzbekistan’s electricity to the capital had been damaged.

On the top of it, the company used thermal power and received 50 megawatt additional electricity from Uzbekistan, Qudratullah Dilawari added.

According to Dilawar, other companies and factories also suffered millions of dollars loses due to the blackout.

The electricity of capital Kabul was restored late on Monday evening after weeks of blackout following the destruction of electricity pylons in gun battle between government forces and Taliban militants in northern Baghlan province.

]]> 0
NPC approves 25 contracts worth of AFG636 million Sun, 21 Feb 2016 11:16:45 +0000 Read the full article...]]> arg

The National Procurement Commission (NPC) on Saturday approved 25 contracts worth of 636 million Afghanis.

NPC meeting chaired by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani reviewed 36 contracts of 11 ministries and government entities but the remaining were either rejected or recommended for technical rectification.

The commission saved AFG290 million in 21 contracts on maintenance of facilities of the Army Corps.

The meeting was also attended by second Vice-President Mohammad Sarwar Danish, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah, Minister of Finance Eklil Ahmad Hakimi and Minister of Justice Abdul Basir Anwar.

This was 41st weekly meeting of NPC which has so far approved around 600 contracts worth of 96 billion Afghanis.

In these contracts, the commission has saved 13 billion Afghanis.

]]> 0
Nangarhar’s provincial administration gets new building Thu, 11 Feb 2016 14:09:26 +0000 Read the full article...]]> IMG_0362Nangarhar’s provincial administration has gotten a new three-storey building with modern facilities.

The building has offices, conference room, kitchen and bathrooms, installed with power system, water supply and sewage.

Minister of Urban Development Affairs and Housing Syed Sadat Mansoor Naderi and Governor of Nangarhar province Saleem Khan Kundozi inaugurated the building during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday.


Kundozi said that the building would be equipped with office supplies and officials of the provincial administration would pretty soon officially launch duties in their new offices.

The project began on 9 April 2013 by Gurbat Aitbar Construction Company with a development fund of AFG 26,593,970 of the government and ended on 20 January this year.

Its implementing partner was the Afghanistan Stabilisation Program (ASP) which is a national program for improving security and governance.


For the urban development of Nangarhar, Minister Naderi said during the ceremony that he has prepared three strategic development plans for this province.

“The Ministry of Urban Development is committed to providing business opportunities for investors in Jalalabad,” he added.

The Urban Development Minister further said that development plans for seven big cities including one for Nangarhar have been forwarded to the President for approval after which they would be implemented.

He also said that issues with municipalities have been resolved and mayors would be provided further facilities in accordance with new rules.

]]> 0
Daesh smuggles Afghanistan’s timber to Pakistan, report Tue, 09 Feb 2016 06:52:49 +0000 Read the full article...]]> wood4A report published by the Voice of America (VOA) reveals that the loyalists of the Islamic State (IS) who have named Afghanistan and Pakistan region as the province of Khorasan are involved in timber smuggling.

Local officials and tribal elders in the eastern region of the country have told VOA that the terrorist group has imported tree-cutting machines to their areas.

Armed men associating themselves with IS-Khorasan or Daesh have been seen in Achin, Naziyan and Dehbala districts of eastern Nangarhar province cutting trees with the imported machines for smuggling to Pakistan.

Local residents have been cited by VOA as saying that timber-loaded trucks are sent to Pakistan daily. Some of the timber is sold in local markets in Afghanistan.

“Smuggling takes place … in areas alongside the Durand Line,” Malak Hashem, a tribal elder in Naziyan, told VOA, referring to the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Tribal leaders say the Afghan government is turning a blind eye to the smuggling.

“The government has done nothing in this regard,” Malak Afsar, a tribal elder in Achin, told VOA. He added that timber is transported to market by locals who work as middlemen for IS.

A spokesman for the provincial government said the cutting of trees has not been raised with local government.

However, the acting director of Nangarhar’s agriculture directorate said he has heard the reports, but says the tree cutting continues only in one district.

“Dehbala is the only district where the tree cutting is still going on, and we are communicating with local elders in the district to stop it,” said the director, who goes by the name Engineer Shakir.

]]> 0
Afghanistan, China would soon ink agreement for railway construction Sun, 07 Feb 2016 05:30:36 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ARGChina would soon ink an agreement with Afghanistan for starting work on the railway to connect the two countries.

These comments were expressed by Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing in a meeting with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani at the Presidential Palace “ARG” on Friday.

Jing said after the visit of China’s vice President to Afghanistan, the impression of his country’s leadership positively changed.

“After the official visit of President Ghani to China, the political, economic and security relationship between the two countries further improved.” Jing added.

President Ghani praised China for its support to Afghanistan and underscored the importance of its role in peace-talks as part of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group mechanism for finding a solution to the Afghan conflict.

The President said he is confident that relationship and friendship between Afghanistan and China would unprecedentedly strengthen which is in the best interest of both nations.

]]> 0
NPC approves 12 contracts worth of AFG 1.6 billion Sun, 07 Feb 2016 04:21:43 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ARG

The National Procurement Commission (NPC) in its recent meeting approved 12 new contracts worth of 1.6 billion Afghanis.

The projects involve asphalting of a 15 km long road in Sheberghan, extension of 120 kilometers power transmission line in Farah, provision of preventive health services in Balkh, Kandahar, Herat, Badakhshan, Ghazni, Kabul and Kundoz provinces.

They also include provision of flight-check services at Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif airports.

The NPC meeting which was chaired by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and attended by second-Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish, ministers of finance, economy and justice rejected four contracts and sent back nine others for further review or technical modification.

This was the 40th meeting of the commission. It has approved 572 contracts worth of 94.6 billion Afghanis so far.

]]> 0
Damaged power cables in Baghlan to be repaired in two days Thu, 04 Feb 2016 10:39:38 +0000 Read the full article...]]> get_imgSecurity forces have been stationed in Dand Shahab-ud-Din area of Baghlan province in order to pave the way for the repair of power cables damaged during the recent clashes.

Local officials say Dand Shahab-ud-Din is a larger area and that security forces would clear it so that engineers can go and repair the damaged wires.

Abdul Sattar Bariz, governor of Baghlan province said that the system would be repaired in two days.

The power cables delivering electricity from Tajikistan to capital Kabul were damaged during severe clashes between security forces and Taliban militants last week.

Although, officials said the cables were damaged by Taliban but the group rejected the claim in a statement saying that they won’t harm public utility projects.

]]> 2
CEO Abdullah invites Indian businessmen for investment in Afghanistan Thu, 04 Feb 2016 06:48:58 +0000 Read the full article...]]> abdullah-meets-nuristani

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah during his official visit to India has invited Indian businessmen for investment in Afghanistan, The Himalayan Times reports.

“Our geographical position as a land bridge offers immense opportunities to investors in terms of trade, transit and connectivity,” Abdullah said in a meeting with top industry bodies in New Delhi on Wednesday.

“It is imperative to harness this potential. The mutual goodwill that exists between our peoples and the leaders must translate into a mutually beneficial relationship.”

CEO Abdullah also talked to Indian investors about the Chabahar port and said that it would act as a key route to India-Afghanistan trade.

He hoped that a proposed Afghanistan-Iran-India transit agreement centred around the strategic Iranian port of Chabahar would ‘happen in near future’.

“The development of Chabahar port in Iran is key to India-Afghanistan trade. It can act as a gateway towards opening new energy and trade routes not only in Afghanistan but in Central Asia as well,” he said.

Iran has been seeking international investment to help complete the port, which Kabul says will provide a gateway for Indian companies seeking to do business in Afghanistan and Central Asia, as well as in Iran.

The port will help India compete with China, which is investing heavily in the Pakistani port of Gwadar, in the race to boost business interests in the region. New Delhi has been a key supporter of Kabul’s post-Taliban government.

]]> 0
Construction of international-standard terminal in Kundoz airport 70 % completed Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:35:48 +0000 Read the full article...]]> kunduz-airportThe construction of a new international-standard terminal in Kundoz airport has been 70 per cent completed.

Manager of the airport told Azadir Radio during an interview that tight work has been underway to wind up the project which started by the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation with AFG70 millions budget about two years ago.

Sayed Anwar Sadat further said that the public utility project would boost trade and improve economy in northeastern region of the country upon its completion.

For the first time, terminal of Kundoz airport was constructed a year after the establishment of the airport during King Mohammad Zahir Shah’s era in 1958.

Due to fighting in the country, the terminal badly damaged but later repaired.

]]> 0
Taliban cut power supply cables as military offensive intensifies in Baghlan Wed, 27 Jan 2016 08:02:47 +0000 Read the full article...]]> get_imgTaliban militants have cut cables supplying power to Kabul amid a heavy crackdown against them by the security forces in parts of northern Baghlan province.

More than two dozen insurgents have been reportedly killed and wounded during the crackdown since Tuesday.

Two commanders of the group Qari Bashir and Qari Juma Gul are among the over 15 militants killed in the operation.

Local officials say Taliban have retreated from many areas and the operation still continues near the provincial capital Pul-i-Khumri. More than 2,000 troops are part of the operation.

Meanwhile, officials at the ‘Da Afghanistan Breshna Shirkat (DABS)’ say militants have severed power cables in Bagh Shamal area.

The power cables supply Uzbekistan’s electricity to Kabul.

This comes as Taliban said during the Pugwash conference in Qatar that they won’t harm public utility projects.

]]> 0
Afghanistan among three corrupt countries of 2015 Wed, 27 Jan 2016 06:06:23 +0000 Read the full article...]]> coruptionAfghanistan has been listed third after Somalia and North Korea in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2015 of Transparency International.

In Afghanistan, millions of dollars that should have gone on reconstruction have been reportedly wasted or stolen, seriously undermining efforts to sustain peace, the report states.

It adds that child labour remains a sad reality in environment where citizens are trapped in poverty and corrupt officials can be paid off.

Other causes of the devastation fuelled by corruption include human trafficking, child mortality, poor education standards, environmental destruction and terrorism.

Transparency International says problem of corruption is global and can be beaten with joint efforts.

“The 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index clearly shows that corruption remains a blight around the world. But 2015 was also a year when people again took to the streets to protest corruption. People across the globe sent a strong signal to those in power: it is time to tackle grand corruption,” Jose Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International said. “Corruption can be beaten if we work together. To stamp out the abuse of power, bribery and shed light on secret deals, citizens must together tell their governments they have had enough.”

]]> 0
President Ghani off to Switzerland for World Economic Forum Wed, 20 Jan 2016 05:55:29 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Ghani talkingPresident Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has left Kabul for Davos-Klosters, Switzerland to take part in the annual meeting of World Economic Forum from 20 to 23 January, a meeting that brings together some 2,500 top business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals, and journalists to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world.

“Pres.@AshrafGhani left #Kabul this morning at the head of a senior delegation to attend World Economic Forum Meeting in #Davos, Switzerland,” stated a post on the official twitter account of the Presidential Palace “ARG” this morning.

Reports suggest that President Ghani will also hold a separate meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the sideline of the forum.

As per the report of the Voice of America (VOA), the meeting would take place at 11:00 am (local time) in Davos on Thursday.

Although, further details regarding the meeting have not been released but it is likely that Afghanistan’s reconciliation process with Taliban would be center of the discussions.

]]> 0
President Ghani hails removal of sanctions on Iran as in best interest of the region Wed, 20 Jan 2016 03:59:25 +0000 Read the full article...]]> President GhaniPresident Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in a phone to his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani stressed on the diplomatic relations between the two countries and solving issues through dialogues.

President Ghani also praised the removal of sanctions on Tehran and hoped that the new step would deliver good messages to the region.

The United States lifted a wide range of sanctions against Iran after the UN atomic watchdog announced that the country has met its commitments to roll back its nuclear programme based on the July 2015 agreement.

On July 14, Iran and the P5+1 group of countries comprising the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom plus Germany, signed the JCPOA to guarantees the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Hassan Rouhani has hailed the removal of sanctions as a victory.

“#ImplementationDay–I thank God for this blessing & bow to the greatness of the patient nation of Iran. Congrats on this glorious victory!” states a post on the official twitter account of Rouhani.

Minutes after Secretary of State John Kerry, after a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, announced in Vienna that the deal has come into force, a White House official described the development as “historic” and an “inflection point in Iran’s relations with the world since concerns developed about the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme.”

“Today… the United States, our friends and allies in the Middle East, and the entire world are safer because the threat of the nuclear weapon has been reduced,” Kerry said.

The sanctions removed are secondary that restrict the dealings of other countries with Iran.

Primary sanctions that bar U.S citizens and companies from business with Iran will remain.

The move was made because of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) implementation which has officially started on January 16.

]]> 0
Wolesi Jirga approves budget for fiscal year 1395 Mon, 18 Jan 2016 10:30:24 +0000 Read the full article...]]> parliamentThe budget for fiscal year 1395 which was rejected in December finally passed Wolesi Jirga or the Lower House of Parliament with majority of votes.

It was rejected for imbalance of funds allocation. Lawmakers had said that all provinces were not considered equally.

But during today’s session, majority of lawmakers accepted the budget and used their votes in its favour.

146 MPs were available during the session. Only eight red cards were raised to oppose the budge but the rest of the MPs raised green cards to approve it.

The approval was announced by Abdul Rawouf Ibrahimi, speaker of the house, after the voting.

444, 606 billion Afghanis have been allocated for the year 1395 out of which AFG168,552 billion is for development projects.

]]> 0
Pakistani flour losing market in Afghanistan Wed, 30 Dec 2015 06:09:35 +0000 Read the full article...]]> flourPakistani flour has been losing market in Afghanistan and is replaced with the export of Tajikistan.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce has decided to send a high level delegation comprising officials and businessmen to Afghanistan to address issues that are responsible for Pakistan losing its traditional flour export market in Afghanistan.

According to Pakistan’s The Express Tribune news, the decision was taken at a high level meeting on Tuesday, which was attended by officials from Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Ministry of Finance, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Ministry of Science and Technology and representatives of provincial food departments of Sindh and Punjab.

In the meeting, Punjab government sought federal government’s intervention to regain the market as Pakistan has huge quantity of surplus wheat and flour.

Four reasons were singled out in the meeting affecting the market of Pakistani flour in Afghanistan.

Non-availability of fortified wheat, a lobby is actively spreading propaganda against Pakistan’s wheat, all time high prices of flour/wheat and certain taxes on both sides of the border.

According to the media, it was decided that a delegation be sent to Afghanistan to discuss the issue with Afghan authorities, importers and other concerned stakeholders.

]]> 2
NPC would focus on infrastructure projects in next financial year Tue, 29 Dec 2015 07:38:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> NPCThe National Procurement Commission (NPC) would focus on infrastructure projects in next financial year.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has instructed ministries and other related institutions to be prepared and plan for the better and on time implementation of the process and projects which would also create job opportunities for people.

A statement released by the Presidential Palace on Monday states that the instructions were given during the recent NPC meeting which was also attended by second-Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah, ministers of finance, economy and justice.

12 contracts related to the Ministry of Public work, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, Office of Administrative Affairs and Kabul Municipality worth of 121 million Afghanis were also approved during the meeting.

]]> 0
Final announcement for privatizing 100% shares of New Kabul Bank Sun, 27 Dec 2015 11:06:32 +0000 Read the full article...]]> New-Kabul-Bank-Up-for-BidingGovernment has issued a final announcement for privatizing 100% shares of New Kabul Bank (NKB) saying it is in “the final stages”.

The announcement posted on the Ministry of Finance website urges interested investor to

“Banks, Funds, financial institutions and professional investors who have experience of investing in and managing banks in developing economies and who are interested in participating in the privatization of NKB should respond to this advertisement no later than 03:00PM Kabul Time on Thursday 28 January 2016,” the announcement states, adding that further information will be provided to qualified investors.

According to the announcement, Key features of NKB are SWIFT and Western Union licenses , More than 100 operating locations, Correspondent banking relationships with major European (EU) and other international banks,  IT development and backup center in Dubai,  Customer Deposits – approx USD 330 Million and  Leading in alternate channels Banking products.

Kabul Bank which was one of Afghanistan’s largest private financial institutions was seized by government in 2010 after the exposure of a staggering $900 million fraud, which led the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to temporarily halt its hundreds of millions of dollars of loans to the country.

Government has managed to collect nearly 60 percent of the outstanding debts from the defaulters and efforts have been made to collect the remaining loans.

]]> 0
Afghan government identifies 227 new defaulters of Kabul Bank Tue, 22 Dec 2015 15:31:46 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Kabul BankThe Afghan government has identified 227 new defaulters of Kabul Bank five years after the collapse of the bank which was once one of the biggest private banks of the country.

Officials in the Afghan Attorney General Office (AGO) said Tuesday that the government will start collecting the outstanding debts as a new list of defaulters has been prepared.

AGO spokesman Basir Azizi told reporters that the Ministry of Interior (MoI) has been asked to summon the defaulters who have been identified by the former Chief Executive Officer of the bank.

Azizi further added that Attorney General Office has issued an order to summon the defaulters after they received the list from Khalilullah Ferozi.

According to Azizi, the Afghan government has managed to collect nearly 60 per cent of the outstanding debts from the defaulters, calling it a major achievement for the Attorney General Office.

He also added that those individuals who were sentenced to jail by the court are still serving in the jail.

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.

Kabul Bank was one of Afghanistan’s largest private financial institutions founded in 2004 by Sherkhan Farnood, who was an international prominent poker player. Khalilullah Ferozi, the former chief executive of the bank, was another key staff.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani ordered to reopen the scandal case of Kabul Bank shortly after taking office as the new President of country.

]]> 0
Afghan opium processed into heroin in Turkish labs for Europe Tue, 22 Dec 2015 10:20:33 +0000 Read the full article...]]> heroinThe director of Russia’s Federal Narcotics Control Service said on Tuesday that Turkish laboratories are processing Afghan opium into heroin for deliveries to Europe.

According to Russia’s Sputnik news, Viktor Ivanov said that Russian and Afghan drug police confiscated more than 600 kilograms (over 1,300 pounds) of opium in a joint operation in December.

“The cargo traveled along the route of Badakhshan-Doshi-Bamiyan-Herat, then further through Iran and into Turkey, where the opium was processed in well-equipped laboratories … into high quality heroin, and then was to be sent to Europe and Russia,” according to Sputnik, Ivanov said during an anti-narcotics committee meeting.

Last week, Ivanov said that large shipments of Afghan heroin were being transited through Turkey into the Balkan states and on into the European Union.

Ivanov says the drugs from Afghanistan generate profits estimated at $150 billion annually for the people involved in the operations with them.

His comments come as Afghanistan has been designated among 22 countries as “major drug transit and/or major illicit drug producing countries” for 2016.

President Barack Obama said in September that “Illegal poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is among the most difficult international drug-control problems.”

]]> 1
ADB to provide $275 million to Afghanistan for Energy Infrastructure Sat, 19 Dec 2015 08:50:10 +0000 Read the full article...]]> 4The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing $275 million to Afghanistan for energy infrastructure.

The grant was signed between the Minister of Finance Eklil Ahmad Hakimi and ADB Country Director for Afghanistan Thomas Panella on Saturday to strengthen Afghanistan-Turkmenistan power interconnection which will improve energy supplies in country.

Earlier on 4 December 2015, ADB’s Board approved a $1.2 billion grant to reinforce ongoing energy projects in Afghanistan and to provide new funds to boost energy supply, improve power sector efficiency, and promote cross border trade in energy. The funds will be disbursed in multiple tranches with the first tranche of $275 million earmarked for release in 2015, comprising cofinanced funds from the governments of Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. This first tranche includes constructing over 300 km of a 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission line connecting Sheberghan to Dashte Alwan, and over 60 km of a 220kV line from Andkhoy to Sheberghan. Support will also be given to prepare future projects, develop a business plan and tariff framework for the state power utility, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat.

The remaining tranches are expected to follow through to 2025. Subsequent tranche assistance will focus on further transmission network upgrades, as well as support for domestic renewable energy projects and measures to boost both domestic gas production and imports via the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.  Assistance for building up the human resource capabilities of relevant agencies, and to introduce regulatory reforms, will also be provided.

“Insufficient energy supplies and a demand–supply imbalance constrain growth and income opportunities and create economic disparities that can fuel insecurity and discontent,” said Thomas Panella. “This assistance will support the government’s national energy supply program of more than $10 billion, which aims to expand power supply to boost economic growth and cut poverty;” confirmed the Finance Minister.

Afghanistan has seen energy demand grow by almost twice its economic growth rate from 2005 to 2012, and it taps around 80% of its total supplies from neighboring countries. The reliance on energy imports, small size of the domestic market, limitations in transmission and distribution networks, and governance and financing weaknesses leave energy security highly vulnerable. The national grid is also not synchronized with the systems of the four countries (Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) which Afghanistan imports power from, resulting in higher costs and reduced reliability of supply.

ADB is Afghanistan’s largest development partner in the energy sector with cumulative grant assistance in energy sector to date of nearly $2.2 billion, all of which is on budget with the government. ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.

]]> 0
World Trade Organization approves Afghanistan’s terms of accession Thu, 17 Dec 2015 15:38:55 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan got membership in World Trade Organisation

Afghanistan formally gained accession to World Trade Organization (WTO) during the Ministerial Conference of WTO on Thursday.

The terms of accession by Afghanistan to World Trade Organization was formally adopted during the 10th Ministerial of WTO organized in Nairabi, the capital city of Kenya.

Afghanistan will become the 164th Member of the World Trade Organization once it ratifies today’s decision by the Ministerial Conference of WTO until 30 June 2016.

The World Trade Organization is a global trading organization that accounts for about 95 percent of the commerce of the world and the membership of WTO is expected to provide a number of rights for the country including the critical right to transit besides opening lucrative markets.

Congratulating Afghanistan on gaining accession to WTO, the US Ambassador to Afghanistan, P. Michael McKinley said “As we acknowledge the importance of this development, we want to congratulate Afghanistan in becoming a member of the WTO.”

“The government of Afghanistan has not only met most of the requirements for membership but has undertaken reforms that will benefit Afghan consumers and businesses. By joining the WTO, Afghanistan also becomes more attractive to investors and facilitates the growth of trade and economic ties with the region. Afghanistan’s people and businesses will benefit from greater job opportunities, administrative transparency, and confidence in the future,” Ambassador McKinley added.

]]> 1
Germany announces €350 mln for Afghanistan’s reconstruction in 2016 Wed, 02 Dec 2015 09:39:25 +0000 Read the full article...]]> GermanyGermany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier has said that his country remains committed to support Afghanistan.

After attending meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels on Tuesday, Steinmeier announced a fund of 350 million euros for Afghanistan’s reconstruction in 2016.

Steinmeier said that his country will also continue its role in training, advising and assisting the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) and institutions under the umbrella of NATO’s Resolute Support mission, adding that the number of German troops would be increased to 980.

He added, however, the Afghan government should also fulfill its commitments to the international community and accelerate its pledges of reform, fighting corruption and the peace negotiation process with Taliban.

Peace talks between Afghan government and Taliban have been stalled since the death of Mullah Mohammad Omar, the Supreme Leader of Taliban, was confirmed after first round of the negotiation in Pakistan in July.

But the process is expected to revive as per the agreement of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif.

The agreement was reached during a meeting on the sideline of the climate change conference in Paris on Monday.

]]> 0
$10b Trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline project work to begin on 13th December Thu, 26 Nov 2015 07:30:49 +0000 Read the full article...]]> The groundbreaking ceremony of the long delayed $10 billion Trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline will take place in Turkmenistan on 13th December, it has been reported.

Work on 1,735-km Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project will start on 13th December, according to the Turkmenistan ambassador to Pakistan, Atadjan Movlamov.

High level Afghan government officials including, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani who was invited by his counterpart President Berdymuhamedov earlier this month, will attend the ceremony.

The state-run gas company – Turkmengaz, which was named project consortium leader for TAPI Pipeline Company Limited in August, will kickoff the construction of the gas pipline.

Having a vital for the economic growth of the regional countries, project will create job opportunities for tens of thousands people in the region besides pouring millions of dollars in revenue to Afghanistan every year.

The United States government and Asian Development Bank will support the mega project that will run more than 700 km across Afghanistan on its way to Pakistan and India.

The pipeline is expected to last for 30 years with a proposed annual capacity of 33 bcm of gas which would be filled with gas from Turkmenistan’s mammoth Galkynysh field.

It is estimated that the gas pipeline will become operational once the construction work has been completed in December 2018.

]]> 0
10 % Telecom Service Tax within commitments to international community Sat, 21 Nov 2015 10:51:00 +0000 Read the full article...]]> HakimiMinistry of Finance says the deduction of 10 % fees on every recharge of SIM card is based on the commitments Afghanistan has made with the international community for self-sufficiency.

“This is part of the commitments we have with world. When the National Unity Government (NUG) came into shape and presented document of self-sufficiency, we promised to gradually move towards self-sufficiency,” Minister of Finance Mohammad Eklil Hakim who was summoned to Saturday’s session of the Lower House or Wolesi Jirga said.

He said that the decision was already taken and applied when he took charges as the Minister of Finance.

About the collection of income tax, Hakimi said that AFG104 million have been collected as the revenue so far this year and more tax money is dropping into the government treasury.

Minister Hakimi further said that the attention of the United Nations (UN) and donor countries have been drawn to Afghanistan and pretty soon the UN will start working on a three-year project with Afghanistan.

]]> 2
Germany starts eight disaster prevention projects in Badakhsha’s remote areas Wed, 18 Nov 2015 09:00:21 +0000 Read the full article...]]> 151118_Pic_BNDP_Projects_BDKGermany has started eight disaster prevention projects in four remote districts of northeastern Badakhshan province.

The projects started last week include protection walls, irrigation canals and forestation measures which will protect the villagers and their land, orchards and houses from floods and other natural disasters of Shahr-i-Buzurg, Shukai, Kofab and Khowahan districts.

Funded by Germany’s AFG 16 million through the Badakhshan Natural Disaster Prevention (BNDP) programme, the eight projects were chosen and managed by the Community Development Councils (CDCs).

“One of the major challenges our communities are facing is flooding. The villages lack forests and proper protection walls to protect their lands and they do not have irrigation canals to water their farmland properly. Every year, residents in our villages lose valuable farming income due to floods. Until a few centuries ago, evergreen forests covered a wide area of our province. Nowadays, illegal logging and overgrazing are the main factors in the decline and disappearance of forests,” said Khowahan District Governor Ghafran Zaki.

Addressing the challenges of major natural disasters in Badakhshan province including flooding, avalanches and earthquakes, Germany and Afghanistan agreed to run the Badakhshan Natural Disaster Prevention (BNDP) programme in four districts.

The districts were chosen by their vulnerability based on a newly developed risk map which identifies the most exposed places in Badakhshan. Based on these findings, suitable prevention measures are designed including small infrastructure but also capacity development projects.

BNDP is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

]]> 0
Turkmenistan completes a section of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway Wed, 18 Nov 2015 04:04:23 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan railway networkA section of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway construction which falls within the Turkmen soil has been completed, it has been reported.

According to a statement released by the government of Turkmenistan, the construction of the railway has been completed up to the border of Afghanistan.

The statement further added that the length of the Atamyrat-Imamnazar-Akina section is 88 kilometers.

Two railway bridges are under construction along the railway line, the statement, said adding that the work on constructing two railway stations will start there.

The construction of the railway network once completed is expected to act as n important link in international transportations between the Asian countries, the statement added.

Construction of two railway sections, including 85-kilometer long Atamyrat-Imamnazar on Turkmenistan’s territory and 38-kilometer long section running from Imamnazar to Andkhoy settlement in Afghanistan, has been envisaged at the initial stage.

On the Afghan territory, the construction work on a 3-kilometer long railway line running from Imamnazar to Akina settlement has also been planned.

The statement said “Implementation of a number of joint infrastructure projects in Afghanistan will give a strong impetus to the further development of Afghanistan’s economy, will allow to resolve the important social issues and ensure the population’s employment.”

]]> 0
NPC approves 10 contracts worth of AFG822 million Mon, 16 Nov 2015 05:59:21 +0000 Read the full article...]]> NPCThe National Procurement Commission (NPC) has approved 10 contracts worth of AFG822 million.

A statement released by Presidential Palace “ARG” on Sunday states that these contracts belong to the Office of Administrative Affairs, public work, defense and interior ministries

 According to the statement, 18 projects related to Da Afghanistan Bank, Office of Administrative Affairs, agriculture, public work, higher education, defense and interior ministries were reviewed in the NPC meeting on Saturday evening but 10 of them were approved.

AFG1052 million were saved in three contracts of the ministries of defense and interior compare to previous years.

This year, NPC has saved more than AFG9 billion in contracts compared to previous years.

The meeting was chaired by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and attended second Vic-President Mohammad Sarwar Danish, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah, Minister of Finance Eklil Hakimi, Minister of Justice Abdul Basir Anwar and Minister of Economy Abdul Sattar Murad.

]]> 0
Finance Ministry signs grant of $250 mln with World Bank to improve roads across Hindukush Sat, 14 Nov 2015 14:39:02 +0000 Read the full article...]]> mofMinister of Finance Eklil Ahmad Hakimi on Saturday signed a grant of $250 million with World Bank to improve transport links across the Hindukush mountain range, including the rehabilitation of the Salang road and tunnel.

World Bank is supporting the new project – the Trans-Hindukush Road Connectivity Project – through its International Development Association (IDA) fund which is for the poorest countries.

The project will develop the existing mountain crossings into dependable, all-season roads that will allow the movement of vital passenger traffic and goods across the Hindukush mountain range throughout the year.

There are currently only two road crossings over the mountain range, with the Salang highway carrying most of the cross-Hindukush traffic. The other road is unpaved secondary crossing between Baghlan and Bamiyan.

The project will carry out civil works for the upgrading the unpaved Baghlan-Bamiyan road (152 km) to a paved road, as well as rehabilitate the Salang road and tunnel (87 km).

The Trans-Hindukush Road Connectivity Project will be implemented over the next seven years under the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Works (MPW).

MPW has appointed a high ranking official to ensure close oversight of project implementation and its coordination with stakeholders.

Given the wider impact of this project on Afghanistan as a whole, an Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee is being set up to ensure inter-sectoral coordination and to obtain specific support from other agencies in areas such as land acquisition and security. The Committee will be chaired by senior staff from the Presidential office and will include high-level representatives from various ministries and agencies as needed.

“The preparation phase of this project has shown that our ministry is not only capable of designing such an important project, but also has the capacity to implement it effectively,” said Minister of Public Works Mahmoud Baligh. “As we start implementation, our focus remains to ensure that the trans-Hindukush route is always open for traffic, even while we build the Bamyan to Baghlan road and rehabilitate the Salang pass.”

“The Hindukush mountain range’s geographic location as a barrier between Afghanistan’s southern and northern parts makes it crucial to have an all-weather road across its high passes,” said Bob Saum, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan. “We hope the new project will help to economically empower the people of Afghanistan and boost trade and economic activity both within Afghanistan and beyond. Connecting villages to cities and provinces to each other is vital for generating jobs and getting the economy moving, and is therefore a key element in supporting the government’s poverty alleviation efforts.”

Ministry of Finance says this project is crucial for economic development of Afghanistan and that its procurement process would be implemented with transparency and accountability.

Being a mountainous country, more than 90 percent of Afghanistan’s freight and almost 85 percent of intercity passenger traffic are carried by road. And, while existing highways provide international links to Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, the country suffers from significant gaps in terms of connectivity and accessibility. Nearly 63 percent of the population lives more than two kilometers away from an all-season road. These gaps in transport infrastructure result in relative isolation of parts of the country and negatively affect regional and internal integration and trade.

Built in the 1960s, and located between 2,500 and 3,400 meters above sea level, the Salang pass is a critical road that connects Afghanistan’s northern provinces and the Central Asian countries with the rest of the country and beyond to the countries of South Asia.

]]> 0 Afghanistan agrees to terms of WTO for membership Thu, 12 Nov 2015 04:46:21 +0000 Read the full article...]]> WTOAfghanistan has agreed to the terms of World Trade Organization (WTO) for membership.

WTO members negotiating Afghanistan’s accession agreed by consensus, and referendum, on the terms of the country’s WTO membership on 11 November 2015, paving the way for the ninth least-developed country to join the organization since 1995. Afghanistan’s Accession Package will be submitted to ministers for a formal decision at the WTO’s Tenth Ministerial Conference in Nairobi on 15-18 December, says the inter-governmental organization which regulates international trade.

“I commend the leadership of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, under which the Government of Afghanistan has worked very hard to close this negotiating chapter. This is really positive news for Afghanistan and the WTO. WTO membership will help to create new trading opportunities and boost economic development. I praise WTO members for promoting the integration of another LDC into the rules-based multilateral trading system and I look forward to formally welcoming Afghanistan to the organization at our Ministerial Conference in Nairobi.” WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo is quoted as saying.

The organization quotes President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani as being delighted for the historic step towards the modern economy of the country.
“I am delighted that WTO members today — November 11 — voted in favour of the Accession Package of Afghanistan.  This is a significant and historic step forward as Afghanistan seeks to build a modern economy. Our country’s accession to the WTO will serve as a catalyst for domestic reforms and transformation to an effective and functioning market economy that attracts investment, creates jobs and improves the welfare of the people of Afghanistan.  I praise WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo for his support for Afghanistan and for his leadership of the World Trade Organization.”

Out of the original 48 least-developed countries (LDCs) on the United Nations list, 34 are WTO members. Out of the nine LDCs that have negotiated their membership terms since 1995, two accession packages (for Afghanistan and Liberia) were finalized in 2015 and will be presented to the Nairobi for formal adoption. Six more LDCs are negotiating to join the WTO. They are Bhutan, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Sao Tome & Principe, and Sudan.

]]> 0
President Ghani orders review of ‘Smart City’ project Sun, 08 Nov 2015 05:02:35 +0000 Read the full article...]]> President Ghani

Following the criticism of the release of Khalilullah Ferozi, accuse of Kabul Bank scandal, Presidential Palace has ordered the cancelation of a contract with him.

A statement released by the Presidential Palace on Saturday states that on the basis of the legal advice of the Kabul bank clearance committee and the good will to expedite the collection process of the loans of Kabul Bank, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by the Ministry of Urban Development with Nabi Zada Wardak and Khalilullah Ferozi on 13th of Aqrab of the current year (November 4, 2015).

For further precision and care aimed at compatibility of this MoU with the applicable law of the land and given the binding nature of the court’s verdicts regarding the sentenced individuals under the Kabul Bank’s case, the President of Afghanistan has issued the order to urgently and thoroughly review the project.

“All parts of the court’s verdict on conviction of Khalilullah Ferozi and his liability to pay back the loans are unalterable and binding. It is binding by the text of the constitution that no institution apart from the judicial branch of the country is authorized to amend the court’s verdict,” the statement states.

The press release adds that Kabul Bank clearance committee has been ordered to review the grounds for transferring the 68 Jeribs of land allocated by Ferozi for the project “Smart City” as a compensation for the outstanding debts.

Although, the press release issued by the Presidential Palace mentions the Ministry of Urban Development Affairs and Housing but documents received by Khaama Press reveals that Ali Mohammad, legal advisor to the President, had requested the implementation of this project.

“On the basis of the law and regulations related to Nabi Zada Wardak Construction Company, contribute to allow the construction of the city in accordance with standards,” an official letter sent by Ali Mohammad to the Ministry of Urban Development Affairs and Housing states.

Ali Mohammad who was also present at the inauguration ceremony of ‘Smart city’ said that the purpose is to receive the outstanding debt of Kabul Bank.

Sayed Sadat Mansour Naderi, Minister of Urban Development Affairs and Housing earlier told reporters in Kabul that Ferozi has not invested money into the project but the land belongs to him and that the decision was made by the government.

]]> 0
After the successful completion of first 100-Day Action Plan, MUDA presents second plan Thu, 05 Nov 2015 10:20:46 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Minister Naderi

The Minister of Urban Development Affairs and Housing on Tuesday presented his second 100-Day Action Plan to public after the successful completion of the first one.

Sayed Sadat Mansour Naderi said in a press conference that the achievements accomplished through the first 100-Day Action Plan were initiating work on ‘affordable housing’ and housing system, the completion of the first phase of Khwaja Rawash residential project, completion of Khushahal Khan project, organizing the unplanned settlements and thorough review of the sources of income for the ministry.

Besides this, Naderi said that steps have been taken towards registering the properties and issuing official documents to land owners.

The Minister of Urban Development Affairs and Housing said that his next 100-Day Action Plan includes keeping up the activities of the last plan with the addition of finalizing the 5-year strategic program of the ministry, administrative reform and fighting corruption.

Going into the specifics, Naderi said that an accurate assessment of the provinces in regards to the urban development and housing, strategic urban development plans for Kapisa, Samangan, Logar, Ghazni, Farah and Khost provinces are other core factors of this plan.

Naderi further said that under the new plan, progress will be made on the affordable housing projects with the assistance of China and Russia and completion of construction work on the new parliament under the new plan.

About the land of ‘New Kabul’ city that is seized by people, Naderi said that the Ministry of Urban Development Affairs and Housing has made a decision in accordance with law to determine fate of the issue in coming hundred days.

The major achievements Minister Naderi accomplished during last 100 days of his work named as “100-Day Action Plan” include the pledge of China for building 10,000 apartments, Russia’s promise for building 1,000 apartments annually besides sending construction equipment worth of $25 million and laying the foundation stone of a modern city in Kabul.

]]> 0
Drone crashes in Kabul Wed, 04 Nov 2015 18:01:32 +0000 Read the full article...]]> droneAn Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) crashed in a mountainous area south of capital Kabul on Wednesday.

An Interior Ministry official has told media on condition of anonymity that the incident took place shortly after 05:00 PM.

He said that no casualties were caused by the crash.

Media agencies also cites an official of NATO’s Resolute Support mission as saying that the crash is being investigated.

The official has requested not be identified as he was not authorized to talk to media about it.

Meanwhile, Taliban have claimed that the drone was shot down by them.

A post on Taliban’s website states that the drone was brought down by ‘Mujahideen’ while it was carrying out surveillance in Sahak area.

]]> 0
Foundation stone of a modern city laid in Kabul Wed, 04 Nov 2015 09:36:16 +0000 Read the full article...]]>


The foundation stone of a modern city, named as “Smart City”, was laid during a ceremony in capital Kabul on Wednesday.

Smart City is being constructed by private companies on 68 Jeribs of land on Sarak-e-Chehal Metra of Kabul airport. The initial investment of the city is $95 million but its revolving capital is $900 million.

An agreement has been inked between the construction companies and the Ministry of Urban Development Affairs and Housing (MUDA) based on which $50 would go to government’s treasury for every cubic meter land of the city.

MUDA Minister Sayed Sadat Mansour Naderi said in the ceremony that a total of about $75 million would be given to government for the land.


“Including tax and other services, government receives approximately $100 million from this project,” he said. “About 2,500 people will also find jobs through this project.”

Naderi added that besides a number of countries, private companies have also shown willingness to invest in urban development and housing projects in the country and that Smart City is the first step taken by the private sector in this regard.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s special advisor on reforms and good governance Ahmadzia Masoud who also took part in the ceremony said that Smart City is a major step towards the economic growth of the country.

This is first time the Ministry of Urban Development Affairs and Housing is securing such a huge income for government through private sector, he added.

]]> 1
China signs three important accords with Afghanistan Tue, 03 Nov 2015 09:11:43 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ARGLeading a high ranking government delegation, Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao arrived for an official visit in Kabul on Tuesday.

The delegation signed three important agreements–Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)–with Afghanistan in the areas of security and education.

China had already promised delivering four security scanners and building 10,000 apartments in Kabul, but the formal MoUs were signed during today’s press conference.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani who appeared in front of reporters with Li Yuanchao in Presidential Palace said that the security scanners would be used by police and NDS personnel to scan people and vehicles in Kabul.

President Ghani added that the apartments China is building would be distributed to the families of martyrs and government officials.

China had promised 3,000 scholarships last year, they pledged 50 more scholarships for every year, President Ghani said.

Chinese delegation is coming to Kabul on the eve of the 60th anniversary of China-Afghanistan friendship.

“Today we are celebrating 60th Anniversary of China-Afghanistan Friendship in Kabul. We welcome Chinese Vice-President’s participation,” Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah said in a post on his official twitter account soon after the Chinese delegation landed in Kabul on Tuesday.

]]> 0
Pentagon wasted $43 mln on useless gas station in Afghanistan Tue, 03 Nov 2015 07:49:13 +0000 Read the full article...]]> This picture taken 26 December 2011 shows the Pentagon building in Washington, DC. The Pentagon, which is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense (DOD), is the world's largest office building by floor area, with about 6,500,000 sq ft (600,000 m2), of which 3,700,000 sq ft (340,000 m2) are used as offices. Approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel work in the Pentagon. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STAFF/AFP/Getty Images)

The Pentagon has wasted $43 million of the American taxpayers on a useless gas station in northern Afghanistan, according to a report published by the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR).

The humble facility in Sheberghan, capital of northern Jawzjan province, which was supposed to provide cheap natural gas to local Afghan drivers, cost $43 million to build — and the US Department of Defense (DoD) footed the bill.

“The Department of Defense charged the American taxpayer $43 million for what is likely the world’s most expensive gas station,” head of SIGAR John Sopko said.

The station was conceived of and paid for by DoD’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) that has since been disbanded. “We do capitalism,” said Paul Brinkley, the program’s former head. “We’re about helping companies make money.”

An equivalent facility in neighboring country ‘Pakistan’ would cost only $500,000.

 “It’s hard to imagine a more outrageous waste of money than building an alternative fuel station in a war-torn country that costs 8,000% more than it should, and is too dangerous for a watchdog to verify whether it is even operational,” Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said in a statement. “Perhaps equally outrageous however, is that the Pentagon has apparently shirked its responsibility to fully account for the taxpayer money that’s been wasted — an unacceptable lack of transparency that I’ll be thoroughly investigating.”

The Pentagon has told SIGAR that it is finding officials of the shuttered task force, that was provided $800 million to help promote private sector in Afghanistan, to answer questions.

]]> 0
ADB, donor countries announce $858 mln grant for Afghanistan Sun, 01 Nov 2015 10:28:53 +0000 Read the full article...]]> 01112015-ADBThe Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is the leading and largest infrastructure development partner of Afghanistan, together with donor countries have announced a new grant of $858 million for Afghanistan.

The new grant was announced during a recent visit of Afghanistan’s Deputy Finance Minister Mustafa Mastoor to the headquarters of ADB where he met the bank’s president Takesiko Nako, Vice President, Executive Director for the United States Robert Orr and other members of the executive committee.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the announced grant would be used on infrastructure building from the year 2017 to 2020.

In a meeting with Mastoor, ADB leadership also expressed keen desire in remaining a reliable partner to Afghanistan and assured Bank’s continued support and engagement in the country for many years to come.

The important financial contributions of ADB and donor countries will promote economic growth, energy transmission, private sector investment, and build and run infrastructure to promote security and development in Afghanistan.

]]> 0
China to fund construction of 10,000 apartments in Kabul Sun, 01 Nov 2015 06:12:54 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Urban Development Affairs Minister Sadat Mansoor Naderi

People’s Republic of China will fund construction of 10,000 apartments in Kabul under affordable housing scheme which would be provided to government officials on long-term instalments.

Minister of Urban Development Affairs and Housing said the project will be executed by Ministry of Urban Development Affairs of Afghanistan and will be the second biggest housing project in Afghanistan after the assistance of former Soviet Union.

Sayed Sadat Mansour Naderi said upon the completion of this project, a high number of government officials who do not have own homes would find permanent shelters.

“These residential units would be constructed in a comparatively small area and would be provided to government officials, who do not have own homes or apartments, on long-term installments,” he said.

“The implementation of this project would be a big step towards the institutionalization of the concept of ‘affordable housing’ in Afghanistan which can solve the problem of homelessness. It is also one of the characteristics for the economic growth and to help improve the living condition of working-class people to middle-class.”

Naderi said more than $100 billion have been spent in different areas in past 10 years which has not brought a direct positive change in the lives of poor people or those with no shelter.

“But the construction of 10,000 residential units by China is a biggest and memorable grant for the people of Afghanistan,” he said.

Ministry of URban Development Affairs Project

“Young couples who newly marry cannot afford to buy own houses because of high prices and no system of mortgage. But the Ministry of Urban Development Affairs and Housing in coordination with other institutions would generate a system to provide residential units to people with no advance payments and on cheap and long-term installments,” Naderi said, adding that “a part of their salaries would be deducted for the long-term installments and they would become the owners of permanent shelters.”

This comes as hundreds of thousands of families from villages and towns have moved into the cities across the country and live in rental homes from long time. Because of high prices in cities they have not been able to buy own permanent shelters.

]]> 3
NATO, donor countries to renew commitments to Afghanistan Tue, 27 Oct 2015 07:53:14 +0000 Read the full article...]]> forcesNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and other donor countries are due to renew their commitments with Afghanistan, said Minister of Finance during Monday’s session of the Wolesi Jirga or the Lower House of Parliament where he was summoned.

Mohammad Eklil Hakimi said the leaders of donor and NATO member countries would hold a meeting in Polish capital Warsa in coming to months and announce their support for Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANSDF).

He said that the participants of the meeting would figure out ways on assisting Afghan security forces for coming three years, 2017 to 2019.

Hakimi further said that after the Warsa meeting, another international meeting would be held in Belgium where finance ministers of the donor countries would announce their assistance for the development projects of Afghanistan for three years.

Afghanistan is preparing a strategy in accordance with the needs for that meeting, he said.

Meanwhile, the Government of Afghanistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have agreed on a three-year medium-term economic project which will be finalized in near future.

Ministry of Finance says that this project will restore the confidence of Afghanistan to IMF and as a result the expected assistance of the international community would be delivered to Afghanistan.

]]> 0
Finance Minister: This year’s revenue unprecedented to last ten years Mon, 26 Oct 2015 15:45:06 +0000 Read the full article...]]> PARLAMAN-21The Minister of Finance says that the revenue collected this year is unprecedented to last ten years.

Mohammad Eklil Hakimi who was summoned to Monday’s session of the Wolesi Jirga or Lower House of Parliament said that in last ten months nearly 100 billion Afghanis have been collected at government’s treasury.

“In the year 1393, the total revenue was 99 billion Afghanis,” he said, adding that “two months are still left to complete the current year and the revenue is 94 billion Afghanis.”

As per the prediction of the Ministry of Finance, 20 billion Afghanis would come to the government’s treasury in coming two months and the total revenue of this year would be 114 billion Afghanis, Hakimi said.

Hakimi added that the discretionary and non-discretionary development budget consumption is now 35 percent but by the end of the year it will be 60 percent.

]]> 0
NPC approves 15 contracts worth of 1,160,000,000 Afghanis Thu, 22 Oct 2015 10:34:00 +0000 Read the full article...]]> NPCThe National Procurement Commission (NPC) has approved 15 contracts worth of 1,160,000,000 Afghanis.

A statement released by the Presidential Palace states on Thursday states that these contracts were approved in NPC meeting chaired by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani last night.

According to the statement, all of the 15 food contracts belong to the Ministry of Interior.

“Also, 212 million Afghanis have been saved in the mentioned contracts.” The statement adds.

Second vice-President Mohammad Sarwar Danish and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah also took part in the meeting.

The National Procurement Commission had earlier saved over $300 million in government contracts.

]]> 1
City Bank of Iran ready to assist Afghanistan establish similar bank Wed, 14 Oct 2015 07:55:14 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Dr. Hussain Porzandi - IranBank Shahr or the City Bank of Iran that delivers essential funding for development and infrastructure projects across Iran is ready to assist Afghanistan establish a similar bank.

The ethos of the bank is innovation in service which applies to both the retail banking services and way to support urban development.

“We have been able to draw trust of people in our seven years of service through our modern ways of banking. We raised our capital from $58 million to $550 million throughout this period,” said head of the bank in a meeting with visiting Afghan delegation.

Bank Shahr officials said if Afghanistan agrees they are ready to assist the country establish a similar bank to work for the city development and construction.

Sadat Mansoor Naderi at Bank Shahr IranAfghanistan’s Minister of Urban Development and Housing Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi who is leading the delegation to Iran welcomed the offer.

“The development of your bank shows strong administration and commitment of service. I welcome and back your offer to provide similar facilities for the people in my country.” Naderi said.

Minister Naderi arrived in Iran on Saturday for the recruitment of Iranian investment for the housing projects in Afghanistan, expansion of cooperation for the roads and urban development, experience sharing, and looking at the affordable housing projects there.

]]> 0
Luxury Afghan jewelry finds way to US and UK Tue, 13 Oct 2015 10:19:26 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Luxury jewelry handcrafted by Afghan men and women in Kabul have found way to United Kingdom and United States with the help of a popular London-based jewelry designer Pippa Small. Photo: Kirsty Hume models the Turquoise Mountain collection for Pippa Small (credit: Tierney Gearon)

She has shops in Notting Hill as well as Los Angeles in United States of America and has developed a large following for her statement-making bohemian jewelry which works with the natural contours of gem stones for a “river-tumbled, imperfect feel”, according to a report by Valeri Denny published in American business magazine Forbes.

Inspired by a group of nomadic people called the Kuchi with the women having big swinging skirts with lots of jewelry, her latest line ‘The Turquoise Mountain Collection’ includes strong, bold pieces handcrafted by the artisans.

“I’ve been working with this group for about seven years now. I went out initially to design a collection with a charity to go with the Bactrian collection, a horde of gold from the second century around the time of Alexander the Great. The gold had been hidden by the museum director in Kabul when the Taliban came through. He buried it and when the Taliban fell, he had opened where he hidden it. They’re beautiful exquisite pieces that have touring around the world. The charity thought because it was touring, they’d have a craftsman make jewelry that they could sell in the museums,” she told Valeri.

She said “I found a group of craftsmen at Turquoise Mountain and went back twice a year to make collections with those craftsmen that I’d sell to Barney’s. We did a few collections for Monsoon, which since it’s on the high street is great for volume, great for them to get consistent orders so we’re working on our third collection for Monsoon.”

“After a few years, I thought it’d be great to create fusion line with Turquoise Mountain. I love the fact that it’s employing and a training presence for young women. It’s brilliant,” she added.

In response to a question regarding the design concept for The Turquoise Mountain collection, Pippa said “Whenever I work with a community, I try to draw on their aesthetic. I don’t see the point of working somewhere where there’s quite a traditional design feel and just saying “Why don’t you just make this?”. Then you may as well have it made in China. It’s about trying to include them, having their hand in it and including the cultural and historical references that are there. Whether it’s in Kenya or South Africa or Bolivia or Chile. So the Afghan collection has central Asian and Islamic influence, but this new collection has a little more contemporary feeling — a little more modern.”

Turquoise Mountain is a non-profit, non- governmental organization regenerating the old city of Kabul, and spurring the sustainable development of the Afghan crafts industry.

The organization was established in March 2006 by HRH The Prince of Wales in partnership with former President of Afghanistan HE Hamid Karzai.

Young Afghan men and women are trained in skilled trades by the group where Pippa has been working with this group for about seven years now.

According to Pippa, The Turquoise Mountain is doing is so important because they’re creating the business development side so the students have somewhere to work after they graduate from school. Currently, there are about 20 artisans employed by the group which includes 6 girls and 14 boys.

]]> 0
Iran shows willingness to assist Afghanistan in Urban Development and Housing Mon, 12 Oct 2015 08:00:48 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Sadat Mansoor Naderi visited Tehran Iran 1

Afghanistan’s Minister of Urban Development and Housing Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi is on a state visit to neighbouring Iran where he has met with Iranian officials and a number of businessmen who have shown willingness to assist Afghanistan in Urban Development and Housing.

The purpose of this visit is to recruit Iranian investment in housing projects in Afghanistan, expansion of cooperation for the roads and urban development, experience sharing, and looking at the affordable housing projects in Iran.

In a meeting with Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi, Naderi praised Iran for housing millions of Afghan refugees.

“Shared religious, cultural, historical and linguistic values between our countries are major factors for coexistence and friendly relations between the two countries,” Naderi said.

Naderi while pointing to Iran’s cooperation with Afghanistan from the past 13 years expressed optimism for the expansion of this cooperation in different areas including the Roads and Urban Development.

Akhundi Iran Urban Development Minister Meets Sadat Naderi

The meeting which was held on the evening of Saturday, Akhoundi emphasised Iran’s support for the government of Afghanistan.

“We emphasise on the expansion of bilateral relations. We have willingness to support the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. We can take more effective steps compared to the past. After the nuclear deal with P5+1, Iran has better opportunities for development.” Akhoundi said, adding that Iran’s priority is regional development and Afghanistan has a valued position in it.

“In regards to constructing ways, we have good achievements in flights and transport between the two countries. We are well prepared to expand Iran’s railway to Afghanistan and this railway would be the connecting point among the countries in the Central Asia, Iran and China,” he said.

Akhoundi further said that Iran is ready to share its experience with Afghanistan regarding the urban development, construction and reconstruction of unplanned settlements, preserving historical cities, and assist Afghanistan in producing construction materials.

Meeting with Iranian Company Afghan Minister Sadat Mansoor Naderi

In this visit, Naderi also met with the presidents and representatives of a number of construction companies and the exporters of technical and engineering services.

Naderi briefed the participants of the meeting on Sunday about the structure and working plans of the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing.

“It is true that Afghanistan is facing many challenges but besides all this, there are good opportunities for investment,” he told participants of the meeting.

He said that Afghanistan has good opportunities for investors and cheap manpower.

After the briefing, participants of the meeting showed willingness to invest in housing, road and urban development in Afghanistan which was welcomed by Naderi.

However, some of the participants who have already invested in Afghanistan talked the Minister about the problems they are facing. Naderi promised that practical steps would be taken to address their concerns.

Heading the delegation, Minister Naderi also visited the Bank Maskan on Sunday. Officials of the bank promised Afghan delegation that they are ready to train and share experience with bank workers of Afghanistan who are working in housing sector.

Iran Housing Bank members

]]> 0
Ministry of Finance signs pact of $7 million with Kuwait Fund for food security in Afghanistan Sat, 10 Oct 2015 09:57:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> image1-2A high level delegation of the Ministry of Finance and Da Afghanistan Bank led by Eklil Hakimi is participating in the International Monetary Fund – World Bank Annual Meetings held in Lima, Peru.

The three day meeting of the major development partners of Afghanistan began on Oct 09  and will continue until Oct 11.

Eklil Hakimi, Afghanistan’s Finance Minister who is leading the Afghan delegation signed an grant of $7 Million with Hesham Al-Waqayan, Deputy Director-General of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development on the sideline of the meeting.

Under the agreement Kuwait Fund will provide assistance for promotion of food security in Afghanistan.

In the meetings, Minister of Finance laid out government’s development plans for the immediate, medium and the long-term.

During the meetings the Afghan delegation also discussed government’s Post-SOM Reform agenda and preparations and plans for the upcoming High Level Conferences on Afghanistan planned to be help in Warsaw and Brussels.

In addition, the delegation met with high level development partners including the leaderships of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), United States Department of Treasury, and Head of DANIDA Denmark, amongst others.

The Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group each year bring together ministers of finance, central bankers, and development, private sector executives, and academics to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness. Also featured are seminars, regional briefings, press conferences, and many other events focused on the global economy, international development, and the world’s financial system.

]]> 0
Reports: Taliban Supreme Leader running businesses under fake names and owns a house in Dubai Tue, 06 Oct 2015 05:44:38 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Mullah Akhtar Mohammad MansourAmerican daily newspaper the New York Times has published a report indicating that the Supreme Leader of Taliban Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour is a businessman and running businesses in Dubai.

The report cites a person that knows Mullah Mansour as saying that the Taliban leader owns a cellphone company.

The news agency cites some intelligence officials as saying that Mullah Mansour is wealthy by any standard, partly because of his ties to Ishaqzai narcotics traffickers.

One Afghan intelligence official has said that some of the wealth of Mullah Mansour has been frozen by Pakistani officials.

One such time came this year when Pakistan was seeking to broker a round of talks between the Taliban leadership and the Afghan government and wanted Mullah Mansour to go along with it, the official said.

According the NYT, some of the time, he lives in a southern neighborhood of Quetta, Pakistan, known as Satellite Town, in an enclave where he and some other Taliban leaders from the same Pashtun tribe, the Ishaqzai, have built homes, according to interviews with a range of people who know him, including high-ranking Taliban leaders.

The NYT report further states that many of the people interviewed about Mullah Mansour, they spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid offending or prompting revenge.

The report reveals that Quetta is not his only option. Although he is on the United Nations no-fly list, Mullah Mansour has repeatedly taken flights in and out of Pakistan, according to a senior Afghan intelligence official. Often, his destination has been Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, where he has a house and several investments under different names, the official said.

Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour took over as the Supreme Leader of Taliban after Mullah Mohammad Mansour was confirmed dead lately.

According to the New York Times, some members of the Taliban regime are surprised of what Mullah Mansour is today.

NYT quotes Mullah Salaam Alizai, who according to the news agency was close to Mullah Omar during the Taliban government in the 1990s and later spent years as an insurgent commander and then joined government, as saying that Mullah Mansour is unpredictable and an opportunist.

“The kind of person who doesn’t have his own ideology, the kind of person who doesn’t care about how much destruction occurs,” he is quoted as saying in a phone interview.

 “If he is told to destroy one road, he will destroy 10, if he is told to kill one person, he will kill 100,” added Mullah Alizai, who reconciled with the government about eight years ago.

NYT has quoted another official of Taliban regime as saying that Mullah Akhtar was a hard-working administrator and that he was not a fundamentalist.

“Mullah Mansour was not a notorious figure and he was not fundamentalist, either,” Maulawi Qalamuddin, who is now on the Afghan government’s peace commission is quoted by the news agency as saying.

]]> 0
Head of Badakhshan’s Provincial Council: After attack on Kundoz, air ticket jumped from AFG 5,000 to 13,000 Wed, 30 Sep 2015 10:40:30 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Kundoz3Air ticket has jumped from AFG 5,000 to 13,000 in northeastern Badakhshan province after Taliban stormed the provincial capital of northern Kundoz province, head of the province’s Provincial Council says.

Abdullah Naji Nazari has told Killid Radio that as Kundoz fall to Taliban and some of the highways to Kabul closed, the price jumped to AFG 13,000.

He said even with this price, it is difficult to get a ticket.

According to Nazari, residents of Kundoz and Takhar are pouring into Faiz Abad, the provincial capital of Badakhshan, from where they try to fly to Kabul.

He said some people are ready to even pay AFG 20,000 but they are not able to get tickets.

However, spokesman for the aviation has told the media that they have not received complained of high price regarding any Airways.

Qasim Rahimi said that no one is allowed to increase the prices of the air tickets without their approval.

Reports suggest that after storming the city of Kundoz, Taliban do not allow civilians to leave or they city. They have also planted landmines on some routes.

Some residents made their way out of the city just before Taliban entered the city or at the first day of the seizure.

]]> 0
Alokozay Group Pledges Investment in Housing Development Sector of Afghanistan Fri, 18 Sep 2015 05:31:12 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Alokkozay Group and Syed Sadat NaderiThe Alokozay Group of Companies has pledged to investment in the Housing Development Sector in a bid to revive the operations of state-run housing industry.

One of Russia’s leading industries will provide technical support to Alokozay Group of Companies to invest in the housing sector.

According to the Ministry of Urban Development Affairs (MUDA) an agreement would be signed in the near future between the housing development authority and the Alokozay Group.

The agreement was reached during a meeting between the Minister of Urban Development Affairs Syed Sadat Mansoor Naderi and Chief Executive of Alokozay Group of Companies.

The meeting was held in Moscow on Thursday during Mr. Naderi’s official visit to Russia to expand Moscow’s economic role in Afghanistan.

Russia’s deputy minister for energy Yury Sentyurin visited Kabul earlier this month pledging expansion of Moscow’s economic projects in Afghanistan by investing in housing construction sector in the country.

During a meeting with Mr. Naderi, Sentyurin said Russia will invest in housing construction projects in Afghanistan by exporting latest Russian technologies and facilities to build affordable houses in Afghanistan.

This comes as a Memorandum of Understanding was concluded recently between the Afghan housing construction sector and Russian Industry to form a construction company.

The Ministry of Urban Development Affairs (MUDA) said the construction company will start operations under the name of Cardinal and will be based on 51 and 49 percent share.

Equipment worth $25 million will be imported in the housing construction sector of Afghanistan once the agreement has been finalized and signed.

]]> 0
MUDA Minister attracting more Russian investment in Afghanistan Wed, 16 Sep 2015 06:05:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]> IMG_4849

Sayed Sadat Mansour Naderi, the Minister of Urban Development Affairs and Housing leading a government delegation has left to Moscow to convince more Russian investment and discuss the practical steps of the agreements already made between the two countries over housing projects in Afghanistan.

Naderi has met with Russia’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Zamir Nabiyevich Kabulov, Minister of Urban Development and President of the Chamber of Commerce and talked to them about the economic cooperation.

He told Russian officials in a meeting that he is trying to strengthen the economy and living conditions in Afghanistan.

He urged Russians to invest in the housing projects in Afghanistan . Meanwhile, Putin’s special envoy Kabulov  said that security remains a biggest challenge in front of Russian investment in Afghanistan.

This visit is followed by an earlier meeting between Minister Mansour Naderi and Yury Sentyurin the Russian Deputy Minister for energy.

Sentyurin had promised that his country will expand its investment in the economic sector in Afghanistan to include housing construction projects.

Sentyurin had also promised that Russia will export its latest technologies and equipment to build affordable houses in Afghanistan.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been inked between Afghanistan’s House Construction Sector and Russian Industry for forming a construction company based on 49 and 51 percent share.

Once an agreement is reached, Russian equipment worth of $25 million will reach Afghanistan which will enable the construction company to build up to 1,000 apartments annually.

]]> 0
Afghan businessmen return to country after showcasing agri-products at the World Food Istanbul Tue, 15 Sep 2015 08:44:27 +0000 Read the full article...]]> IMG_0113

Agriculture plays a crucial role in the life of the Afghan family households. Surveys show that more than 60% of the Afghan population are directly or indirectly associated with agriculture. However, merely 4% of the total volume of private investment in the country has been concentrated over this sector, according to Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA). This sector can offer huge potential for economic growth of the country, creating new job opportunities, and turning Afghanistan as a potential hub for certain agri- products in the region.

During the last decade, the international community has largely worked on developing a sound agricultural infrastructure in the country. With the huge foreign aid, the sector has seen certain growth; however, a huge amount of gaps and deficiencies still exist in the sector.  Hence, projects such as Regional Agriculture Development Program (RADP- North) can help boost this sector and help the farmers increase their volume of outputs. The main goal of RADP-North- a project funded by USAID- is to advance food and economic security for rural Afghans in six Northern Provinces. To achieve this, the program strengthens the capacity of farmers leading to improved production in wheat, high value crop and livestock value chains. It focuses on enabling farmers to increase their commercial viability and competitiveness in response to market demand, thereby generating greater income opportunities and empowering families to meet their household needs.

As part of its initiatives to grow and promote Afghan agri- businesses, RADP- North facilitated participation of 11 Afghan agri- businesses at the “World Food Istanbul” exhibition, Turkey from 3rd- 6th September, 2015. World Food Istanbul is one of the biggest food exhibitions in the world where companies from across the world showcase their agri- products and investors from different corners of the world visit the exhibition in pursuit of establishing strategic business alliances and partnerships.

RADP- North in coordination with Pace Group designed a separate pavilion for the Afghan agri- businesses to differentiate them from the rest in the mega exhibition. The Afghan dry fruit SMEs showcased their products such as almonds, raisin, walnuts, pistachios, fine nuts and etc. The quality of the Afghan dry fruits was the central point of attraction in the exhibition which enticed thousands of visitors to visit the pavilion and show immense interest in tying business relationship with Afghan SMEs.

Furthermore, observing the interest of foreign businesses towards the Afghan dry fruits, a number of Business to Business meetings between Afghan and foreign dry fruits and food companies in Turkey was organized to provide them the opportunity to discuss certain business deals and pitch Afghan SMEs as potential suppliers for the international companies. The B2B matchmaking sessions helped the Afghan SMEs create good connection and contacts specially with Turkish companies who were very keen towards establishing business ties with the Afghan agri- businesses.

Moreover, RADP- North facilitated Afghan Agribusiness participants’ visit to the Turkish local markets for Dry and fresh fruits in Istanbul to get the clear idea of demands for Afghan dry fruits in Turkey. This helped the Afghan SMEs get clear picture of the Turkish market and analyze the potential of utilizing the market as a potential exporting source for the Afghan products.

Furthermore, with the vision to enhance the knowledge of the Afghan SMEs about the modern operations, RADP- North led the Afghan companies to prominent Turkish dry fruit processing factories. The participants visually experienced the modern ways to sort, wash, pack, and brand dry fruits. Such exposure visits will help in getting exposure to new technologies and processes that will enhance our production capacity and understand the quality and standard requirements of the international markets, said president of Nawroz Ltd- one of the participants.

The president of Milad Jehoon Sadat Company who was one of the participants at the exhibitions said our trip to Istanbul and participation at the World Food Istanbul was very effective and impactful over our businesses. He added that we have got in-depth understanding of the demands for the Afghan agri- products in Turkey, the process of exporting our products to the foreign markets, and more importantly through this exhibition we established good contacts with international companies from Turkey, UAE and other regional and beyond countries who have shown interest in purchasing dry fruits from us.  Such initiatives could help the agriculture sector of Afghanistan to further flourish and will lead the Afghan products in the international markets.

]]> 0
FORTUNE Magazine lists Roshan in its “Top 51 Companies Changing the World” Sun, 13 Sep 2015 16:37:01 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Roshan-AfghanistanSeptember 13, 2015 – Roshan, Afghanistan’s leading communications provider, is pleased to announce that it has been named as one of the “Top 51 Companies Changing the World” by FORTUNE Magazine, one of the world’s leading business magazines. Fortune has compiled a list of 51 global companies that have affected major social or environmental concerns in a positive way by integrating them into their business strategy.

Roshan was the only company from Afghanistan listed, and was joined by some of the world’s most prominent and innovative companies – including Google, Facebook, Toyota and Nike – that are working to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.

“We are truly honored to receive this award, having pioneered a business model in Afghanistan that breaks down the traditional distinctions between commercial success and social contribution. For Roshan, Afghanistan’s development is more than just connected to our profit – it is inseparable,” said Karim Khoja, CEO of Roshan.

“We believe that it is the responsibility of private enterprise to drive the change this country needs. Businesses operating here must be prepared to invest significantly in the development of Afghanistan and its next generation of leaders, as only then will the country have a chance to succeed,” Mr. Khoja added.

Roshan was chosen by FORTUNE for its “network of compassion” – expanding telecommunications access to more than 6.5 million Afghans, investing more than $600 million back into the country, working to improve communities particularly in the fields of Telemedicine and education, and becoming a “foundational cornerstone for a new, developing Afghanistan.”
FORTUNE also singled Roshan out for operating as an ethical and responsible enterprise, despite the challenges faced in conducting business in Afghanistan.

]]> 0
Russia pledges major investment in Afghanistan housing Sat, 05 Sep 2015 10:44:53 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Sadat Mansoor Naderi and Yuri Sentyurin

Russia has pledged to expand Moscow’s economic projects in Afghanistan by investing in housing construction sector in the country.

The commitment was made during a meeting between Russia’s deputy minister for energy Yury Sentyurin and Afghanistan’s minister of urban development affairs Syed Sadat Sadat Mansoor Naderi.

Sentyurin further added that Russia will invest in housing construction projects in Afghanistan by exporting latest Russian technologies and facilities to build affordable houses in Afghanistan.

This comes as a Memorandum of Understanding was concluded recently between the Afghan housing construction sector and Russian Industry to form a construction company.

The Ministry of Urban Development Affairs (MUDA) said the construction company will start operations under the name of Cardinal and will be based on 51 and 49 percent share.

Equipment worth $25 million will be imported in the housing construction sector of Afghanistan once the agreement has been finalized and signed.

According to MuDA the investment and import of equipment will enable the Cardinal Company to build up to 1,000 apartments annually.

A delegation of the Afghan officials led by urban development minister Syed Sadat Mansoor Naderi will is expecting to visit Russia to review the technologies and equipment besides signing the agreement between the two nations.

Russia’s investment in housing sector is seen as a critical step forward considering Russia’s previous engagements in Afghanistan which included construction of 11,000 housing units in the form of blocks in Macroryan.

Other major projects constructed by Russia include Salang tunnel, construction of housing factory, Naghlo dam, Kabul polytechnic university, Kabul Jangalak Takhnikom, Mazar-e-Sharif electricity factory, Silo factories in Kabul and Mazar and Ghaziabad-Hada farm in Jalalabad city.

]]> 0
$220 million new Afghan parliament to be inaugurated in 5 months Sun, 12 Jul 2015 10:57:34 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan New Parliament House

Officials in the Ministry of Urban Development Affairs said Sunday that the new Afghan Parliament building will be inaugurated within the next five months.

The new parliament building is currently being built by the government of India which is expected to cost around $220 million.

According to MUDA officials, the new building consists of four sections, including A,B,C and D.

The officials further added that Section-A is the main parliament hall where the lawmakers in the Lower House of the Parliament – Wolesi Jirga will hold parliamentary sessions.

Afghan Urban Development Affairs Minister Syed Sadat Mansoor Naderi visited the construction site along with the Indian ambassador in Afghanistan Mr. Amar Sinha to review the construction works.

Section-B is comprised of a four storey building which will include two halls for general sessions, separate dining halls for the Lower and Upper House of the Parliament.

Minister of Urban Development Affairs

A library will also be included Section-B of the new parliament building which will include a computer room.

The Section-C of the new parliament building is known as the entrance hall which will have a dome constructed of stainless steel and glass which will have five halls for parliamentary commissions in the second floor.

The new parliament building is being built in 40.6 hectares of land and is five times bigger than the current parliament building.

The new building also consists of 20 lifts, 15 stairs and toilets for men and women in 35 locations.

Marbles from Chesht-e-Sharif district have been used for the floor works of the new parliament building. A big administration building, a mosque that could house 400 prayers, a modern library, VIP guesthouse and 350 apartments for the lawmakers have also been considered in the new parliament building.

]]> 0
Roshan among Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015 in “Social Good” Wed, 25 Mar 2015 11:32:49 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Roshan AfghanistanFast Company, one of the leading business magazines in the world, recently released its annual Top 50 and Top 10 ranking of the Most Innovative Companies worldwide for various business and innovation categories in which Roshan Telecommunication Company from Afghanistan was ranked number 7 at the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in “Social Good”.

Fast Company recognized Roshan for its ethical business practices and work on social and economic development across Afghanistan.

The Top 10 Most Innovative Companies list usually includes very prominent international corporations, including tech giants such as Apple and Google. This is the first time that an Afghan company has been included in Fast Company’s ranking, bringing prestige and honor to Afghanistan and especially to the country’s telecom industry.

Karim Khoja CEO of Roshan says “Being named one of the world’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Social Good is a proud moment for us as a leading Afghan telecom company and for Afghanistan that our innovative work and social contributions has been recognized globally,”

Roshan started its operation in 2003 and its investment is now more than $600 million in telecom infrastructure in Afghanistan.

Roshan has more than 1,100 employees of whom 20 percent are women.

]]> 2
Logistics Performance of Afghanistan Mon, 22 Dec 2014 18:45:16 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Dropping freedom

By: Abdul Rashid Faizi

Logistics is part of the value chain that plans, implements and controls the efficient flow of goods, services and information from the source to the consumer. Logistics sector is an important pillar of the economy; it is the engine of any economy. Logistics is having many positive effects on the economy. Studies show that there is positive correlation between growth of logistics and the wealth of nations. In addition, logistics investment and efficient logistics system causes economic growth. Transport and logistics also leads to higher incomes, employment gains, and lower poverty rates. Also researchers have found a positive association between logistics system and volume of bilateral trade.

One of the well developed and main accepted measures for the logistics performance of a country is the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index (LPI). The World Bank ranks the logistics performance of 160 countries to help them benchmark and identify the challenges and opportunities they face in their performance on trade logistics. The LPI is a weighted average of the country’s score on the following six dimensions: customs’ efficiency, quality of infrastructure, international shipments, logistics competences, track and tracing of consignments, and timeliness of shipments. The measure indicates the relative ease and efficiency with which products can be moved into and inside a country. In the last ranking (2014), Afghanistan was ranked at the 158th position, among 160 countries. This shows an extremely poor performance and a lot more needs to be done to improve the logistics performance of the country.

Given the locational advantage of Afghanistan and importance of logistics sector for economic growth; the government must consider this sector as key for growth of the economy. It is the vision of Afghanistan to be regional logistics hub and recently president Ghani has addressed to transform the country into regional corridor. However, in order to achieve this long term goal, there is a need for a sequence of strategies and their implementation. In order to improve the logistics performance the government and private sector needs to focus on investing and improving the following areas:

  1. Quality of Trade and Transport Infrastructure: This includes improvements in quality of roads, airports, railways, warehousing, and telecommunications and IT services. Infrastructure is known as the backbone or the ‘hardware’ of the logistics system. Transport infrastructure is critical for the physical movements and storage of shipments.
  2. Improving the Custom’s Efficiency: In logistics customs play a crucial facilitating role. Customs institutions are the government authorities to implement the policies related to import and export, collect customs duties and facilitate movement of people, goods and cargo into and out of the country.
  3. Improving Logistics Competences: Nowadays quality is an important base for the service sector. Considering this we could say that, one of the most important logistics business guarantors is the quality of the provided services.

Countries like the UAE-Dubai which have world class logistics sector, have achieved such visions mainly by huge investments in those area. Moreover, by tackling policies related to the above mentioned areas the country will be able to capitalize on the returns of the logistics sector. Otherwise, the claim made on the transformation of Afghanistan into regional logistics hub is like a vision impossible to achieve.

In conclusion, reliable logistics sector is important for economic growth and poverty reduction in our country. Unfortunately, Afghanistan is having the worst logistics sector in the world. The ability to establish a decent logistics sector depends on quality infrastructure, efficiency of logistics institutions, and quality of logistics services. Afghanistan could only achieve its logistics vision by improving the quality of mentioned areas of logistics sector.

]]> 1
How to Use PayPal in Afghanistan Sat, 06 Dec 2014 07:51:43 +0000 Read the full article...]]> How to Use Paypal in Afghanistan

By: Assad Ullah Saffa

If you are working as an Affiliate marketer, Freelancer, Blogger, or somehow monetizing online, you probably need to use PayPal in order to get paid.

In Afghanistan most of people use Google Adsense in their websites for monetizing online, and the payment is via check or PayPal, but as we all see PayPal doesn’t support Afghanistan.

In the past 13 years Afghanistan had a remarkable growth in banking sectors, but still we have some banking guarantee problems. That is why PayPal is not supporting Afghanistan Banking System.

So in this case don’t worry if we live in a country which is not supported by PayPal we can still use it as a payment method to get paid.

In order to get paid by PayPal you need a third-party to transfer money from PayPal to your Bank Account or your Prepaid Card.

Here is the instruction of using a third-party (PayOneer) for withdrawing money from PayPal to our own Bank Account:

  1. If you don’t have a verified PayPal account, Sign up to PayPal and then chose United States or Canada as your residence country.
  2. Go to this third party website and Sign Up.
  3. Chose Afghanistan as your country and upload your National ID Card (Tazkera) or Passport.
  4. They will send you several emails, and you need to respond each one of them.
  5. It will take a while and they will send you a Master Card in Post Office.
  6. Verify your card and then they will give you a bank account from Bank Of America.
  7. Go to PayPal and click on Withdraw.
  8. Chose Withdraw to bank account.
  9. Use the banking information from your account.
  10. It will take from 3-7 days for your money transfer to happen.
  11. After that you can use your prepaid Master Card in Afghanistan International Bank (AIB) ATM’s or you can chose to get paid in your Local Bank Account.
  12. If you want to get paid directly in your bank account ask them to activate this service.

Sign up Now and earn 25$ in your card just after adding your first 100$

]]> 5
First Afghan Web Directory Launched Mon, 01 Dec 2014 06:41:28 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan Web Directory

A web designing company has launched the first business directory in Afghanistan, an initiative aimed to further facilitate contacts between the companies and individuals through the rich source of online information.

The directory – AFG. DIRECTORY has been launched with the support of Barg Sabz Web Designing Company.

According to the company officials, AFG.DIRECTORY is a professional business listing interface where it enables organizations and companies to upload one page information which includes company logo, company background, portfolio and contact details.

“AFG.DIRECTORY is a project of Barg Sabz Web Designing; it is a local directory which helps organisation and individuals to find the details of the companies or organisation they are are looking for,” Assadullah Mossni, one of the directors of Barg Sabz said.

Web Directory for Afghanistan - NEws

Mossini further added, “A team of around 10 people will be handling the Directory in a professional manner. We have marketing personnels who visit the local companies in person and asks them to register their business with us by making a reasonable annual payment.”

“Currently we start the project from Kabul and will gradually take it to provinces,” said Shujauddin Eysanyar, the sales manager of Barg Sabz Web Designing Company.

AFG.DIRECTORY is said to be the first online business listing portal with an intention to cover the country.

The launch of the online business directory comes as there have been a significant advancement in access to internet since 2002 with the launch of modern technologies such third generation (3G) mobile internet further facilitating better access to internet.

The directory link:

]]> 3
AGO freezes assets of Mahmood Karzai and Haseen Fahim Tue, 25 Nov 2014 15:50:59 +0000 Read the full article...]]> mahmood karzaiThe assets of Mahmood Karzai and Haseen Fahim have been frozen by the Attorney General Office (AGO) over the the outstanding payment of loans from Kabul Bank which collapsed in 2010.

Basir Azizi, spokesman for the Atttorney General Office said Tuesday that the assets of Abdul Ghafar Dawi were also freezed following the verdict by the appellate court.

Mahmood Karzai has said that his assets were frozen based on the court order but he has paid all outstanding loans.

According to Attorney General Office, Haseen Fahim and Abdul Ghafar Dawi are prepared to return the outstanding loans.

In the meantime, Azizi said the acting finance minister Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal could face prosecution if former Central Bank chief and head of the New Kabul Bank did not appear in the court.

He said the two officials are currently outside of Afghanistan and were given bail by Zakhilwal.

Kabul Bank scandal case was reopened after President Ghani issued a decree to reopen the case of Kabul Bank scandal on the first week of his presidency.

Kabul Bank was one of Afghanistan’s largest private financial institutions founded in 2004 by Sherkhan Farnood, who was an international prominent poker player. Khalilullah Fruzi, the former chief executive of the bank, was another key staff.

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.

]]> 0
Digital World: Why is Printing Still So Important for Big Businesses? Mon, 27 Oct 2014 15:02:08 +0000 Read the full article...]]> digital printingSince social media and technology burst onto the scene, marketing firms have been debating whether or not printing is still relevant. While a lot of companies have moved their advertising campaign completely online, there is still very much a place for printing in big businesses. Digital printing has particularly made its mark on the business world due to its increased quality and cost cutting benefits.

The marketing benefits of digital printing

There are a number of reasons why digital printing is still better than online marketing. As mentioned by Forbes, printed copy tends to have a lot more credibility and tangibility. It is also more engaging. When reading content on websites, consumers often skim through the words, taking a maximum of 15 seconds to take in the information. When they have printed copy in front of them, they tend to spend a lot more time reading through the content.

It can often be difficult to target specific niches online too. Getting an ad printed out in a specialised publication can be a lot more effective at reaching your target audience. There is also the fact that printed copy provides more credibility. It is seen as more legitimate if it’s actually written on printed paper or a billboard, rather than just a pop up banner on a screen.

The importance of quality printing

Big businesses have a reputation to maintain. Therefore it is vital you choose a reliable, high quality printing service, such as Format b1 Landa S10 Nanographic Printing which is great for commercial printing and folding carton production. No matter what type of content you are printing, you need to ensure the colours, format and font are perfect. Digital printing has improved quality and many large organisations will now only work with printing companies that produce top quality results.

While there is a lot of focus on online marketing, offline communications are still really important for large companies. Events are a good way to network and advertise your business. However, before hosting an event you need to send out invitations. These need to be captivating, high quality and dramatic in order to grab the reader’s attention.

Which industries benefit the most?

While printed content is ideal for all types of businesses, there are some industries that particularly benefit. They include:

  • Fashion industry- sheets etc.
  • Home improvement/DIY
  • Automotive industry
  • Hospitality

These are just some of the reasons why printing is still massively important for big businesses. Using the latest digital printing techniques can help to save your business a lot of money, as well as help you to create the highest quality results. Image is everything in business and large company’s need to ensure they are using high quality printing services to give out the best impression.

Debbie Fletcher has contributed this article to Khaama Press. 

]]> 0
Apple Inc unveils new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Tue, 09 Sep 2014 18:03:02 +0000 Read the full article...]]> iphone 6 and iphone 6 plusTwo new iPhone models were introduced by the world’s largest tech company – Apple Inc during an event in Cupertino, California on Tuesday evening.

Having fingerprint sensors and mobile wallet services for allowing smartphones to be used like contactless debit and credit cards.

The iPhone 6 come with a 4.7-inch screen and iPhone 6 Plus with a 5.5-inch display, having equal or better battery life than the iPhone 5S.

The new phones are also thinner – 6.9mm for the iPhone 6 and 7.1mm for the iPhone 6 Plus and comes with new “Retina HD” screens covered in ion-strengthen.

The camera of the new phones has also been improved by Apple Inc, fitting the new iPhones with an eight-megapixel camera using focusing technology often found in dSLR cameras, for fast and accurate photos.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said the new devices were “the biggest advancement in the history of iPhone.”

The company is also expected to introduce its first new product, a smartwatch later on Tuesday.

]]> 1
Business environment worsening in Afghanistan, ACCI survey reveals Wed, 13 Aug 2014 11:27:30 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan business environmentThe Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) has revealed that the business environment has worsened in Afghanistan during the last three months.

ACCI in its latest survey report released on Wednesday has said that the business climate in general has deteriorated during last three months, with considerable number of companies reported to be closed.

The report further added that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have suffered more from the volatile and unstable business condition which means they are more vulnerable to changes in business climate caused by politics, security and climate factors.

“At least 9.9 percent of the employees of the surveyed companies had lost their jobs in a most favorable season of the year, which is unprecedented in our surveys,” the report said.

The companies in general had a too optimistic outlook in March 2014 compared to their judgment on the real situation in July 2014 regarding the future order books, the survey said.

According to ACCI survey the most important factor for business development is considered to be security; it is followed by lack of market and demand, poor infrastructure, administrative burdens and lack of access to finance.

The overall business climate indicator in March 2014 for Kabul, Balkh, Kandahar and Nangarhar regions altogether valued (27) points and in July 2014 it decreased to (-0.02), the report said.

The Business Climate is an indicator for GDP growth tendencies. The indicator usually is leading; it indicates GDP changes in advance (on average a few months if no unexpected change in frame conditions occurs).

Th report also added that the regional business climate in July 2014 shows that Nangarhar (18.18) enjoys the best climate, followed by Kandahar (10, 34) and Herat (4.02). Balkh (-21.11) stands at the lowest point of the regional ranking followed by Kabul (-7.5).

The integrated business climate in Kabul, Balkh, Kandahar and Nangarhar show lower value compared to the last survey in March 2014, the report said, adding that, “This negative inclination might be caused by the electoral deadlocks and the ongoing political confusions.”

In the meantime, the surveyed companies are optimistic about their businesses in coming six months despite the current negative condition, ACCI said.

]]> 1
From China to Singapore, a good girl in bad business Mon, 02 Jun 2014 18:12:29 +0000 Read the full article...]]> st-thumbMirwais Jalazai – Singapore

She calls herself Jia Wang; pimps and customers call her so.

“I serve the low and the medal class,” said the round-faced blonde with gray eyes. “If the guys have money, they can have me for a night or an hour.” Depending on the nature of the service, her rates range from $ 50 to $ 70 for an hour.

Though women of other nationalities, including Vietnam, Thailand and Sri Lankans, still lead the successful sex trade in Singapore, Wang said Chinese like her had pushed many of them out of business.

Jia which means (good) in Chinese language said a country woman named Wen Won, who worked as a prostitute in Geylang  and Orchard rood two  famous red light areas in Singapore, encouraged her to join the field.

On Orchard road, the success story of Singaporeans’ development, in a half dark café, In a pinky sexy short, with a half naked body Jia is completely covered by cigarettes smoke.

“My first customer paid me SGD 250 to accompany him overnight. He even took me on a night tour of Santosa.  The following customers were not as good as him. They treated me like a tool to satisfy their sexual desires and that made me feel terrible,” she said.

She said her last customer paid her  just to chat with her, saying that he wanted to gather information to write a book. “He gave me a book and advised me to quit the job. I couldn’t control myself and started crying,” she said.

“I told him that I’m ‘too dirty’ now and that my future is already gone,” she said.

Today is international sex workers’ day – a day to bring attention to the more than often exploitative conditions that those working in the industry have to face.

What’s the best way to protect sex workers and prevent sexual exploitation that is a question which is very hard to governments to answer it.

According to the international labor organization ( ILO) annually the income from forced labors reached the level of  $ 150 billion . And prostitution business has a oily  part in that income.

ILO says that $150 billion in profits by 21 million forced laborers around the world. You have many countries in the world, whose population and GDP do not even match these figures. We are talking about a vast nation of hidden people about whom we are not talking enough and about whom the time has come to take strong action.

Jia Wong is also a member of this huge family which is involved in prostitution business in that part of the world. She said she was misused by  others and now she is victim of that business and doesn’t know how to leave that field .

She said she began regretting her act and she was worried that she might be infected with HIV because she said before I start that business I had no  idea what is HIV and how dangerous is it for our life.

As a journalist when I first came to Singapore, I was a bit confused about prostitution. I thought it was illegal based on what little I knew about coming here.

We heard that Singapore has a strong government; I assumed it would be tightly controlled. However, after just a few weeks of living here and driving around at night, I soon learned the truth. Even the government is not care about how the young generation of this county is going to be in contact with HIV infected girls from poor south eastern Asian countries.

“The government of Singapore, a  country which means the country of lion knows that, they are lions they want to do business and attract more tourist to this country” she said.

There is dozens of prostitutes from several souths eastern countries in that read light district in Singapore this night, but nobody knows exactly how many chine’s women like  Jia  have been sold into sexual slavery.

Some girls like Jia are cheated by pimps and sold to traffickers. Others are abducted, raped and psychologically pummeled into submission.

As music blared from the loudspeakers in the dimly-lit cafe in Gylang area Jia’s cell phone rang.  Her response was short and straight,  (SHEDA SHEDA)“Yes, yes, I’m coming.”

 She stopped smoking cigarette and got up.  She had a customer to attend to, and a taxi was waiting in front of cafe.  I followed her outside, and before she left, one last question of mine was, did you want to leave your profession?

 The answer came, wrapped in loud laughter: “Never it is  my business now”.

]]> 1
Afghanistan’s mobile phone sector boosts the economy Mon, 24 Feb 2014 13:32:27 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

UntitledBy Bradley Taylor

Since 2001 Afghanistan has made significant economical progress within its mobile phone sector. Its mobile phone sector has experienced exponential growth, as shown by the 12 million mobile phone users across Afghanistan. Approximately 60% of the population has a mobile phone connection and Afghanistan even has access to high-speed 3G connections. This new telecommunications network possesses great potential for rejuvenating Afghanistan’s economy and providing a wealth of technological luxuries for the Afghan public.

The existence of four private mobile companies and one state-owned company has resulted in private investments in Afghan telecommunications exceeding US$1.6 billion. This injection of wealth has helped Afghanistan boost its economy whilst simultaneously helping the country to develop a credible reputation within worldwide technological markets.

Untitled1The Government’s involvement in expanding the mobile phone sector has had a substantially beneficial impact on Afghanistan’s economy. The Government has executed a series of initiatives to expand network service delivery and support good governance. As a result private firms have been quick to adopt these advanced mobile phone technologies. In 2011, these initiatives resulted in the GSMA presenting the Afghan Minister of Communications and IT with the mobile industry’s prestigious annual Government Leadership award; recognizing the monumental achievements made by the government in promoting and expanding mobile communications. Thegovernment’s committed investmentwithin the mobile sector creates a myriad of lucrative opportunities for the Afghan economy. These include the creation of new jobs, increased foreign investment in Afghan companies and also an increased amount of government revenue.

Furthermore, the meteoric rise of Afghanistan’s mobile phone sector is beginning to facilitate a thriving mobile app market which in itself is beneficial for the Afghan economy. Mobile phone users can gain access to local, national and international news as well as discovering vast social network communities. There are even apps to help improve literacy and numeracy skills, as well as learning other languages. In turn, other Afghanbusinesses and industries can capitalize upon the vast advertising potential of these mobile phone apps, thereby facilitating a network within which both individuals and businesses can thrive.

Several leaders of industry have enthused about the growth of Afghanistan’s mobile phone market and its ability to improve the everyday amenities to which Afghans have access. JesKaliebe Petersen Director of Development for Paywast stated;

Untitled2 “We are excited to launch Paywast News, because it has the potential to have a direct impact on how modern Afghans get their information, and provides a steady stream of relevant updates and current affairs… There are currently more than 800,000 Android and iPhone devices in Afghanistan, and 3G consumption is growing quickly”.

Ultimately, Afghan’s mobile phone sector has a vast potential to boost other sectors of the economy. Western companies such as PremierPatient Line currently provide telecommunications services to medical practices and the Afghan government have expressed similar plans to use their flourishing mobile phone sector to improve other industries within society. Despite years of war and adversity, the Afghan economy is showing signs of revival. The exponential growth of its mobile phone sector demonstrates great economic potential for the future. Hopefully, much like the mobile phone sector has thrived in recent years, so too will the rest of the Afghan economy.

]]> 0
First mobile-based news application launched in Afghanistan Wed, 27 Nov 2013 06:14:32 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Mobile News Application launched in AfghanistanMobile phone users in Afghanistan can now have access to daily news and reports about Afghanistan and the world following the launch of a new initiative by leading mobile-based social network outlet and local news agencies.

The Android-based application for smartphones, jointly launched by Paywast, Khaam Press (KP) and Wadsam News, aims to provide access to daily political, economic and social affairs including sports news.

The launch of Paywast News application is yet another breakthrough in media and telecommunications sector in Afghanistan, which will provide quality  local content to modern consumers – who believe spending time on what is value is a luxury.

The application will help over 800,000 Afghans who have smartphones, to have access to news articles in Dari as well as English.

Founder and CEO of Khaama Press, Khushnood Nabizada said, “The launch of the application and service will help the owners of smartphones to have access to latest news from Afghanistan, region and the world. “

Nabizada further added that Paywast News is a cost effective application which consumes less bandwidth and automatically downloads the contents to applications, once the owners of the smartphones enter the internet coverage area.

He also added that direct access to websites for accessing the articles will consume more bandwidth and will take more time to load the content along with its graphics, but the Paywast News application, once installed to the smartphones, will automatically download only the contens the news.

“We are excited to launch Paywast News, because it has the potential to have a direct impact on how modern Afghans get their information, and provides a steady stream of relevant updates and current affairs,” Jes Kaliebe Petersen Director of Development for Paywast said.

Petersen also added, “Paywast News is one of many products and services we provide in Afghanistan – but our first smartphone app. There are currently more than 800,000 Android and iPhone devices in Afghanistan, and 3G consumption is growing quickly.

We identified a need in the market for a news app with local high quality content – and today, Paywast News is available in the iTunes and Google Play app stores.”

Applications can be downloaded from the following  links directly:



]]> 0
Saif Ali Khan charged with assault on South African businessman Sat, 22 Dec 2012 06:33:09 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Saif Ali Khan charged with assaultIndian police have charged Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan for allegedly assaulting and breaking the nose of a South African businessman at a luxury hotel earlier this year, a report said Friday.

“Mumbai’s Colaba police station filed a chargesheet against Khan in a metropolitan magistrate court on Thursday,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Ravindra Shishwe told reporters here on Friday.

“The chargesheet has been filed with regard to a complaint registered against him for assaulting an NRI businessman on Feb 22,” he added.

Shishwe further informed that the charge-sheet has been filed with regard to complaint registered against Khan and two others by NRI businessman Iqbal Mir Sharma on February 22. Thus, the charge-sheet apart from naming Khan as accused included his two friends — Shakeel Ladak and Bilal Amrohi.

Khan and two friends were charged under section 325 of the Indian Penal Code for assault, Press Trust of India reported.

Khan, 42, was at the time of the alleged assault dining with friends and actress Kareena Kapoor, whom he married in October.

Saif was arrested on February 22 with Amrohi and Ladak for assaulting NRI businessman Iqbal Sharma. They were later released on bail. Khan however claimed one of his friends was assaulted which led to the fight.

Khan is one of Bollywood’s biggest actors and the Nawab (Muslim prince) of the former princely state of Pataudi.

His father was famous cricketing legend Mansur Ali Khan, better known as “Tiger Pataudi”.

]]> 0
Concerns over growing gold exodus from Afghanistan Sun, 16 Dec 2012 07:53:05 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Gold exodus AfghanistanAccording to Afghan airport officils, hewed bars of gold are being flown out of Kabul with increasing regularity, confounding Afghan and U.S. officials who fear money launderers have found a new way to spirit funds from the country

Most of the gold is being carried on commercial flights destined for Dubai, United Arab Emirates, New York Times reported.

The amounts carried by single couriers are often heavy enough that passengers flying from Kabul to the Persian Gulf emirate would be well-advised to heed warnings about the danger of bags falling from overhead compartments.

One courier, for instance, carried nearly 60 pounds of gold bars, each about the size of an iPhone, aboard a flight in mid-October, according to an airport security report. The load was worth more than $1.5 million.

This comes as a U.S. watchdog agency said Tuesday that Afghan officials were resisting U.S. efforts to help track billions of dollars being flown out of Kabul airport every year, some likely linked to crime and drugs.

The U.S. and other nations have long expressed concern about the amount of cash being flown out of the country — an estimated $4.5 billion last year, according to the U.S. Congressional Research Service. Afghanistan has a cash-based economy and moving large bundles of cash is common, yet it raises the risk of money laundering and cash smuggling to finance terrorist, narcotics and other illicit activities.

In 2010, the United States launched a program to help Afghanistan control the problem, particularly through greater controls at Kabul International Airport, and President Hamid Karzai’s government pledged action within a year.

Hundreds of millions of dollars from the collapsed Kabul Bank were flown out of Afghanistan — some in airplane food trays — to more than two dozen other countries, a recent report on the collapse said. The demise of the bank, the nation’s largest financial institution, became a symbol of endemic corruption that plagues Afghanistan.

“The persistent delays in instituting basic anti-money laundering procedures by the Afghan government at Kabul International Airport are deeply troubling,” the report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said. “Although proper controls to monitor cash flows are important for any country to institute, they are particularly critical for a country fraught with corruption, narcotics trafficking and insurgent activity.”

]]> 0
First Afghan business magazine published Fri, 20 Jul 2012 09:46:27 +0000 Read the full article...]]> 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.

]]> 0
Chinese teen sells kidney to buy iPhone, iPad Sun, 08 Apr 2012 04:11:22 +0000 Read the full article...]]> In the second case of its kind in China, a teenage boy sold his kidney to buy an Apple iPhone and iPad. A 17-year-old high school student from Anhui province, surnamed Wang sold his kidney to buy the expensive gadgets, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The source further added, at five people in southern China have been charged with intentional injury in the case of a Chinese teenager who sold a kidney so he could buy an iPhone and an iPad.

The five included a surgeon who removed a kidney from a 17-year-old boy in April last year. The boy, identified only by
his surname Wang, now suffers from renal deficiency, Xinhua quoted prosecutors in Chenzhou city, Hunan province, as saying on Friday.

The news agency said that the man who allegedly organized the plot was in need of money to pay off gambling debts. He supposedly received about $35,000 to get the kidney, out of which he paid about $3,000 to the student. The defendant also allegedly paid the medical staff for the operation, and for the rental of a medical facility.

It said about 1.5 million people in China need organ transplants, but that only about 10,000 transplants are performed each year, fueling the illegal trade in organs.

Wang was recruited from an online chatroom and is now suffering from kidney failure and is in deteriorating health, the Xinhua news agency said.

International human rights groups have long accused China of harvesting organs from executed prisoners for transplant without the consent of the prisoner or their family, charges the government has denied.

China banned the trading of human organs in 2007, Xinhua said. Several other suspects involved in the case are still
being investigated.

Apple products are hugely popular in China, but are priced beyond the reach of many Chinese. IPhones start at 3,988 yuan (£400), and iPads begin at 2,988 yuan – just under £190.

]]> 0
In a first, NRG businessman buys flying car Mon, 09 May 2011 04:11:20 +0000 Read the full article...]]> INDIA/AHMEDABAD: In 2008, NRG businessman Subhash Shihora’s wife and six-month-old son were not allowed to board a flight from Delhi to Ahmedabad despite having a valid ticket because of a technical glitch. Shihora, a major stake-holder in the Rs 2 lakh crore Urok consultancy firm in the UK, was so angry he sued the airline for Rs 21 crore. He also wanted to ensure that it never happened again. And he found a way out — Shihora has become the first Indian to buy the world’s first commercial flying car called ‘Transition’ from a company in Massachusetts, US.

Shihora now wants the car to be parked at his farmhouse off SG Road in Ahmedabad. But he fears getting permission may not be easy. He will need clearances from not just aviation agencies, but security agencies as well and has already started talking to officials.

“I fly down to Ahmedabad at least six times a year and then fly to Mumbai and Rajkot. I had taken a test drive of the flying car. By pressing just one button, the car turns into an aircraft. I have started taking flying lessons to get the licence,” says Shihora. He booked the car in 2009 and will get delivery in 2012. Shihora, who moved to UK in 1998, booked it for Rs 1 crore and will pay another Rs 1 crore by the time it is delivered. “With all taxes and duties paid, the car will cost me around Rs 6 crore in Ahmedabad.”

The car, designed with foldable wings, successfully completed its first flight on March 5, 2009 and recently got clearance from the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration. The two-seater vehicle falls in the light aircraft category and requires a private pilot licence to fly it. The vehicle, which is big enough to fit into a home garage and runs on unleaded petrol, can travel up to 450 miles and can fly at 115 mph.

Colonel VK Nagar, an aviation industry expert, says, “Directorate General of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India (AAI) may give permission under the micro light aircraft category. But a vehicle that can both be driven on roads and can be taken to the skies from anywhere may create issues with security agencies.”

]]> 1
Obama’s $858 billion tax-cut plan heads to the House Thu, 16 Dec 2010 07:00:39 +0000 Read the full article...]]> (Reuters) – A deal that President Barack Obama struck with Republicans to extend tax cuts for nearly every working American and spur job growth moves to the U.S. House of Representatives for passage as early as Thursday.

Many of Obama’s fellow Democrats in that chamber strongly oppose the measure as favoring the wealthy, and are still angry with him for cutting the deal with Republicans without them.

“We have a situation where we have a proposal before us that gives 6,600 families in America $25 billion and holds the rest of the provisions in the bill, (such as) low-income tax cuts, hostage to that blackmail,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday, referring to a provision on the estate tax.

Still, most analysts believe the deal, which has already received overwhelming bipartisan approval in the Senate, will pass the House with substantial backing from Republicans and some Democrats.

The legislation would extend for two years income tax cuts enacted under Republican former President George W. Bush, with Democrats backing off their earlier fervent opposition to extending the cuts for the richest Americans. The Bush-era cuts are due to expire at the end of 2010 unless Congress acts.

The measure would also prevent a spike in taxes on capital gains and dividends, renew long-term unemployment insurance and provide new tax relief for students, working families and businesses.

House Democrats are becoming more resigned to passage of the $858 billion package. Experts predict the measures will probably boost economic growth but add to the $1.3 trillion budget deficit, which has unsettled the bond market.

Most of the 255 House Democrats may oppose the overall tax package, but it is expected to be approved with overwhelming support among the chamber’s 179 Republicans.


Obama on Wednesday called on the House to approve the bill “as soon as possible” to avoid tax increases across the board in January.

Many economists predict the tax package could add up to 1 percentage point to economic expansion next year, due partly to a one-year cut in the payroll tax and removal of uncertainty about taxes in general.

Obama’s current position on taxes contrasts sharply with his position earlier this year when he and his fellow Democrats fought against renewing tax reductions for the wealthiest Americans — those with household incomes above $250,000 — while supporting continued cuts for middle-class taxpayers.

At the time, they said that with budget deficits at record levels, the United States could not afford to give the tax breaks to the wealthiest.

But with Republicans drawing a line in the sand on the issue and scoring major victories in November 2 congressional elections — taking control of the House and making gains in the Senate — Obama acquiesced on tax cuts for upper-income Americans.

Democrats did win their desired extension of unemployment benefits, which were expiring for millions of people shut out of jobs in the lackluster economy.

Particularly irksome to Democrats is a provision raising the exemption threshold for the estate tax from $3.5 million in 2009 to $5 million, and cutting the estate tax rate from 45 percent to 35 percent.

Democrats will likely try to change the tax bill with an amendment on the estate tax, though Representative Earl Pomeroy, the Democrat sponsor of a steeper estate tax proposal, told Reuters it was “unclear” if such a vote would pass.

He said Democrats will try because “some things are worth fighting for.” He then noted: “I will say this. … People want to get home and you know sometimes, heading to the gate is a pretty powerful impetus to pass packages.”

(Reporting by Kim Dixon; editing by Todd Eastham)

]]> 0
Afghan government approves gold mine deal Mon, 13 Dec 2010 11:35:24 +0000 Read the full article...]]> KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Despite the crackle of gunfire in the mountains of northern Afghanistan, the wealth of gold beneath will be mined under a multimillion-dollar contract that government officials approved on Monday.

The deal is the first mining project in Afghanistan backed by private investors in the West. Afghan and U.S. officials hope many more deals will follow to help jump-start the economy of this impoverished nation in its 10 year of war.

“This project is an important step forward for Afghanistan’s economic sovereignty,” U.S. deputy undersecretary of defense Paul A. Brinkley said in a statement on Monday. “It represents a turning point in the history of international investment into Afghanistan.”

Brinkley, who directs the defense department’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, said the gold mine deal is evidence that Western investors are showing confidence in Afghanistan’s economic future.

About 10 investors — most of them from the United States and Britain — are investing an estimated $50 million in the gold project in Dushi district of Baghlan province, about 84 miles (135 kilometers) northwest of Kabul, according to Wahidullah Shahrani, Afghanistan’s minister of mines. The only other gold mine in Afghanistan is in neighboring Takhar province.

Shahrani said he hoped that getting the deal approved by the Inter-Ministerial Council, which comprises the government’s top finance and economic officials, will send a strong signal to global mining companies that there are investment opportunities in Afghanistan, especially in the mining sector.

Geologists have known for decades about Afghanistan’s vast deposits of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and other prized minerals. In June, the U.S. Defense Department put a startling $1 trillion price tag on the reserves, but Shahrani called that a conservative estimate. He said he’s seen geological assessments and industry reports estimating the nation’s mineral wealth at $3 trillion or more.

For Afghanistan, a violent, landlocked country with virtually no exports, the minerals are a potential windfall, although formidable obstacles remain, including lack of investment, infrastructure and adequate security in most of the nation.

In late 2007, a $3 billion contract was awarded to China Metallurgical Group Corp. to mine copper at Aynak, 21 miles (35 kilometers) southeast of Kabul. The mine is thought to hold one of the world’s largest unexploited copper reserves. Mining the copper could produce 4,000 to 5,000 Afghan jobs in the next five years and hundreds of millions of dollars a year to the government treasury, Shahrani said.

Afghanistan’s gold deposits are more modest. Shahrani said that Soviet-era studies valued Afghanistan’s gold deposits at up to $25 billion. He said the estimate was conservative and added that new gold discoveries have been made. Afghanistan’s gold is found across the country, but the heaviest known deposits are in Badakhshan, Takhar, Bamiyan, Ghazni and Zabul.

“There is growing global demand for gold and right now the price of gold has reached the highest point in the history of mankind,” Shahrani said. “Investing in gold is very attractive.”

J.P. Morgan, an international financial services firm, promoted the project and attracted the investors.

Sadat Mansoor Naderi | Chairman of Afghan Gold Company

They invested in an Afghan company called Afghan Gold. The chairman of the company is Sadat Mansoor Naderi, who runs SMN Group (, one of the largest companies in Afghanistan. SMN, which employs about 3,000 people, owns the first private insurance company in Afghanistan, operates a small chain of supermarkets, builds roads, airports and bridges and distributes telecom cards and fuel.

Taliban insurgents have been slowly expanding their presence in Baghlan and neighboring provinces, but the mine is located a three- to four-hour drive from the scene of recent fighting, Naderi said. Initially, the mine will employ a few hundred workers, but the payroll will increase as more gold is extracted, he said.

“Within six months to a year maximum, we want to start production,” Naderi said.

Under the contract, 95 percent of the mine workers must be hired locally, said Richard Williams, the mining company’s chief executive officer, who is from Britain. Over time, the company is required to train locals for technical positions initially filled by outsiders, he said.

]]> 1
History of International Trade Sat, 11 Dec 2010 11:06:52 +0000 Read the full article...]]> HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE

International Trade

Traditional Societies. Until the late 19th century, most people virtually everywhere were peasants who produced food and also knew how to fashion many tools and other necessities. What they could not make for themselves, they bought in neighboring towns in exchange for their (usually small) agricultural surplus and a few handicrafts. Long¬distance trading was rare, because output of all products was low and because transportation was expensive, slow, and dangerous. Whatever international trade did occur was usually monopolized by government-licensed private orga¬nizations like the British East India Company. Only goods with a high value in relation to their weight, like precious stones, metals, spices, special fabrics (particularly wool and silk cloth), furs, and wine, could be taken to faraway places and sold profitably. Grain, too, was sometimes traded abroad but, it would seem, in small quantities.
For centuries, trade was concentrated along the shores of the Mediterranean and Baltic seas and around the Asian caravan routes to which they were linked. The focal points of international exchange were the Italian cities of Venice, Genoa, and Florence, the German cities of Augsburg and Niirnberg, the towns of Flanders (in present-day Belgium), and the Hanseatic ports along the southern and eastern shores of the Baltic. Trade hardly touched the lives of ordinary people, however. Neither were their lives much altered by the discovery of the Americas and the circumnavi¬gation of Africa and South America. But those feats of courage and skill did divert trade from the inland seas of Europe to the Atlantic and Indian oceans.

The Industrial Revolution. In the 17th and 18th cen¬turies, technological innovations in Britain opened the way to higher productivity, first in agriculture, then in manufac¬turing. New machinery enabled larger units to manufacture cheap textiles and, a bit later, iron. These first steps toward mass-production led to the mass movement of goods from country to country, for they were accompanied by improve¬ments in transportation and communications. British in¬dustry was soon imitated in France and Belgium.

Despite the remarkable progress of the previous hundred years, international exchanges of goods and services at the beginning of the 19th century represented only about 3 percent of the value of world output. But then the indus¬trial revolution spread to such countries as Germany, the United States, and (a bit later) Japan. In the second half of the 19th century, new industries emerged to produce machine tools, electricity, and chemicals. These industries soon accounted for a substantial proportion of world trade. Railroads and steamships transported bulk loads over long distances; the telegraph facilitated the worldwide circulation of information. As a result of these developments, foreign trade so increased that by 1913 about one-third of everything produced in the world was exchanged over national borders.

The spread of industrialization boosted the demand for raw materials, initially cotton and timber, later metals and fuels. About half of these primary products originated in European countries; the other half came in part from plantations, mines, and similar enterprises established in the colonies to supply goods to Europe. Enclaves emerged in many colonial economies more closely connected with cus¬tomers abroad than with the societies in which they were physically located, societies where peasants continued to farm in the traditional manner. Some countries (not all former colonies) have yet to overcome this division.

Despite the importance of primary products in the inter¬national exchanges of the 19th century, trade was dominated by Europe. Before World War I, less than 25 percent of world trade was transacted among non-European countries, about 40 percent represented the trade of European coun¬tries with each other, and 35 percent, European trade with the rest of the world. Britain remained the chief trading nation, but its share in international exchange diminished, inevitably in view of the rapid development of continental Western Europe, North America, and Japan.

The Era of Free Trade. The foundations of free trade— the removal of restrictions on the movement of goods and services from country to country—were laid by the (mostly British) classical economists. In Britain, protection was very gradually discarded, starting in the 18th century, and by the early 1840′$ was mainly (though not exclusively) confined to tariffs on imported grains. In 1846 even agricultural protection was in principle abandoned.
Contrary to expectations, grain prices did not immediately fall because no countries were capable of exporting sub¬stantial amounts of grain to Britain. The 1850′s and 1860′s, in fact, were a period of sustained prosperity, and, rightly or wrongly, free trade was credited with the responsibility for it. Other liberalizing measures taken in Britain and elsewhere made the years between 1850 and 1880 the era of minimal barriers to trade.

By 1870, however, the development of ocean-going steam¬ships had exposed British agriculture to real competition. Europe (though not, at first, Britain) began turning away from free trade in the late 1870′s, after a prolonged eco¬nomic crisis. Simultaneously, a new and more volatile kind of nationalism forced governments to collect more revenue to pay for armaments. Nationalism also promoted fears in such powers as the United States and Germany that it would be difficult to industrialize if competition from Britain, the leader in this field, were not checked. This increased the popularity of the infant-industry argument for protection.

The 20 th Century. The movement toward protection continued to grow stronger after the beginning of the 20th century. Nonetheless, when World War I broke out, in 1914, protectionism had made relatively few advances, though the world economy was no longer so free from trade controls as it had been 50 years earlier. International trade was, however, still regulated by the gold standard, under which currencies had a fixed gold value and payments imbalances among nations were settled through the transfer of a limited supply of gold reserves. A country could not keep its goods competitive by simply devaluing its currency, nor could it indefinitely sustain a payments deficit. Instead, each trading country had to keep its goods competitive by keeping an edge in production costs.
The Depression. The gold standard was undermined during World War I and replaced during the 1920′s by the gold-exchange standard, under which international settle¬ments were made mainly in British pounds and U.S. dollars. This system, however, allowed the United States and Britain and any countries able to borrow recurrently from them to sustain recurrent payments deficits. Eventually this system collapsed, helping to bring about the Great Depression of the 1930′s. Many governments reacted to the Depression by subjecting foreign trade to new controls. One after another, they formally went off the gold standard, abolishing fixed exchange rates, and sought, by devaluing their currencies and by imposing tariffs and quotas, to improve the com¬petitiveness of their products while protecting them against international competition. This was to be achieved at the expense of other countries—the so-called “beggar-my-neighbor” policy. Since many countries could and did play the same game, the result was international disintegration and stagnating, even decreasing, world trade. Manufacturing output in most countries languished and so, consequently, did trade in primary products needed for industry.

The policy of national self-sufficiency was carried to an extreme in the Soviet Union and in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, which sought to achieve autarchy, or national economic independence. Foreign trade in the Soviet Union was taken over by the government and centrally planned. Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany projected a similar program of autarchy, but in those countries government control was less complete and curtailment of external trade less thorough.

The Postwar Years. The disruption of international ex¬change in the 1930′s, combined with the dislocation of World War II, was so great that the absolute volume of trade in the 1940′s may have been lower than it had been in 1913. Undoubtedly, it was not much higher. Mindful of the harm caused by stagnating trade, the Allied countries began planning to improve conditions during the hostilities. They agreed to establish the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to watch over the exchange of currencies. The plans for the liberalization of trade itself were implemented less smoothly. But in the 1940′s a General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) standardized the policies of almost all non-Communist countries. GATT was negotiated in the hope of eliminating as many obstacles to trade as possible, espe¬cially quotas and subsidies, by means of the so-called “most favored nation clause,” which ensures that any trade conces¬sion between countries is automatically extended to all members. Under the aegis of GATT, various cycles of trade negotiations have taken place: several in the 1950′s, the Dillon round in 1961, the Kennedy round in the 1960′s, and, in the late 1970′s, the Tokyo round. By the end of the Kennedy round, the industrial countries’ average tariff on manufactures was down to about 10 percent. The Tokyo round set itself the aim of reducing tariffs on manufactures by a further 40 percent.

]]> 0