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Manufacturing Sector Declines by 20 Percent

The manufacturing sector in Afghanistan shrunk by 20 percent in 2016, the Afghan Industrial Association said at a press conference in Kabul on Saturday.

according to (DID) news agency report, quoting from (Tolo news) – Industrial Association officials said that growing problems and challenges facing industry in the country, resulted in the loss of production in 20 percent of the country’s factories.

Problems include the lack of loans, declining support for domestic products and increasing insecurity in the country. These challenges have also led to the fall of investments in this sector.

Association officials also criticized the national unity government (NUG) for not implementing all their commitments to the industrial sector.

“Of the twelve commitments made with private sector, only two have been implemented. The NUG failed to implement ten of the commitments,” said Sakhi Ahmad Paiman President of the Association of Industrialists.

Members of Industrial Association believe that lack of land for their factories and tax payment problems are the main challenges facing investors.

“More than 100 of Afghan factory owners in Pakistan who invested millions of dollars in that country are still waiting for land for their factories in Afghanistan. Those factory owners have said that if the Afghan government is not ready to provide them facilities in Afghanistan then Pakistan is ready to let them resume their production in the neighboring country,” said Abdul Jabar Safi a factory owner.

Meanwhile the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) criticized the government and especially ministry of commerce and industry for not addressing the problems of the private sector and added that by each passing day their problems increase.

“The Government does not care about us, government employees only think about earning higher salaries,” said Baz Mohammad Afsarzai ACCI deputy.

Ministry of commerce and industry spokesman Musafar Quqandi, while rejecting claims of a decline in investment, said more facilities have been created for the private sector in Afghanistan.

“We have decreased tariffs on raw materials and to some extent problems have been reduced. Investments in the industry have grown and not declined,” Quqandi said.

The Association’s concerns are raised at a time when numbers of industry owners in Kandahar said that due lack to electricity in Kandahar industrial Parks, hundreds of industries and factories halted their activities.

They warn that if the problems are not tackled, the current situation will get worse.

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