Insecurity remains ‘major challenge’ for investors

KABUL (Tolo News): A sharp increase in insecurity in Kabul, especially IED explosions and other security incidents, has turned into a “major challenge” for the business community and has pushed some of them to leave the country.
Amir Mohammad Akbari, the owner of a factory in Kabul where dozens are working, said there will be no option for him but to take his investment out of the country if the situation prevails. “It will be difficult to continue if the situation does not improve. It will be very difficult to resume business. Those who are here, are about to leave,” he said. Another investor, Siyam Psarlai, said the business community faces various problems in addition to insecurity.
“The security situation has resulted in capital flight,” Psarlai said. Insecurity, extortions and lack of a stable economy are the concerns raised by the organizations supporting the private sector. “These three or four factors have increased capital flight in the country,” said Khan Jan Alokozai, the deputy head of Afghanistan Chambers Federation.
“Part of investors have stopped their business from improving. Some factories have stopped,” said Karim Ahzami, the deputy head of Chamber of Mines and Industry. Meanwhile, industry owners said they are faced with lack of raw materials, power shortage and land for their factories. “The private sector, the people and the international community expect fundamental reforms by the government in this respect so that problems are removed,” said Sakhi Ahmad Paiman, the deputy head of the Afghanistan Chambers Federation.
“Those who have invested, when they see insecurity, lack of support, bureaucracy, some of them went to neighboring countries and invested there,” said Rahimullah Samandar, CEO of Chamber of Mines and Industries. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce did not comment on security challenges for investors but said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Afghan investors were not faced with serious problems compared to other countries.
“Last year, the investment levels in Afghanistan were the same as expected. Considering the facilities provided by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to investors, we hope that investment levels will increase this year,” said Fawad Ahmadi, spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce did not provide exact figures about investment levels in the country during last year.