Kabul, Afghanistan – While Afghanistan economy continue to suffer since the takeover last August, local businesses tend to defy the odds, holding exhibition to showcase domestic products in Kabul Tuesday.
The exhibition initiated by the Afghanistan Traders & Investors Union (ATIU), with the support of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), started on Tuesday at Qasr-e-Naween of Afghan capital Kabul.
“In this three-day exhibition, various local and foreign products have been set for display and sell in more than a hundred booths,” said the Director of Government Media and Information Center (GMIC), Inamullah Samangani on a thread.
According to Samangani, the industrial sectors need to be supported in order to reach self-sufficiency, saying “this is the time for us to rely on our own strength and increase our exports and domestic products.”
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) said that efforts are underway in support of domestic products and private sectors, hopping such exhibitions will be held outside the country to promote Afghan products.
“We are hoping for a day that such exhibitions will be held in Arabic countries like the UAE, and other countries like China and Central Asia as well as neighboring countries,” said Nooruddin Azizi, acting Minister of the MoIC, as TOLOnews quoted.
Meanwhile, participants of the exhibition expressed optimism, saying that such exhibitions can increase markets for their products in an international level.
Women entrepreneurs also attended the exhibition.
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The ongoing political crisis since the takeover last August has “hit hard” private sectors in Afghanistan, where businesses were halted and put to uncertainty, according to a latest survey conducted by the World Bank.
Due to shortage in sells, private companies have laid off more than a half of their employees on average, a rising concern on unemployment rate in the country.
“The majority of surveyed businesses reported a drastic decline in consumer demand for their products and services and have been forced to scale back operations, reduce investments, and lay off employees,” the report said.
According to the survey, small enterprises have been hit hardest with about 38 percent of them seizing operation, comparing to a 25 percent among medium and 35 percent among large businesses in the country.
The finding shows Afghan domestic inputs have become more expensive and yet difficult to obtain due to supplier closure and supply chain disruptions, which all lead to price inflation since the beginning of political uncertainty.
In August 15, 2021 the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, rolling back the foremost achievements of the post-2001 reconstruction efforts on overall growth of the country.