Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

Strengthening Business is Imperative

For Afghanistan, it would be very imperative to focus on economic system as well if it desires to stand on its own in the times to come. The political issues are important too but in the current circumstances, the economic issues have to be dealt with if success is to be achieved. Unfortunately, for Afghanistan it is a Herculean task to make its economy stand on sound footings. There are myriads of issues that are being faced in this regard. However, losing hope would further deteriorate the situation. Therefore, the country has to be determined and it has to start from strengthening its business base for both the national and international businessmen.

Attracting the businessmen and convincing them to take business initiatives in the country is really vital and Afghan government requires taking quick steps in this regard. A similar step was taken by the Chief Executive of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah on Tuesday, wherein he addressed a number of Afghan businessmen and assured them that the necessary facilities would be provided for them to invest. He also agreed that the issue of insecurity is the most dominant one and said that Afghanistan’s enemies wanted to break down the Afghan government in 2015; therefore, government paid more attention to security issues, which resulted in some gaps in this aspect.   

Definitely, without concentrating enough on the challenges being faced by businesses and businessmen, it would be impossible for the government to tackle the situation. Lip service alone would not be enough as most of the businessmen are very much cautious about their investments and they will only make investments when they are totally sure of the circumstances.   

It is also important to note that the problems being faced by the investors are not only related to insecurity. There are many other issues as well, and among them corruption is on the top of the list. CEO Abdullah also agrees that corruption is an issue but it was inherited from the previous government and the National Unity Government (NUG) is committed to fighting graft.

Meanwhile, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) blamed the NUG for not supporting businessmen and said there has been corruption in government’s contracts.

ACCI deputy chief Khan Jan Alokozay said, “Both we and the president are happy that we earned 114 billion Afs (last year) but we should not forget that we used to earn $120 billion USD in income (during the previous government). Mr. Ghani has taken this money from the people but he has not prevented the endemic corruption.”

The clashes, ambiguities and misunderstandings among different government and economic institutions can do no good to the overall business. It is important that there should be frequent and effective communication among both types of the institutions and they should be on the same page regarding the issues beings faced by the businesses so that they are able to challenge them cooperatively, as business is not a matter to be neglected at the present scenario by Afghanistan.

If within a system there are consistent investments and different business initiatives, the system is on a track towards development and prosperity. Throughout human history, businesses have taken different forms and characteristics and today have reached to a very advanced form. From the barter system to today’s advanced era when the businesses are taking place online, there has been a series of different practices, but the vitality of the business has never been lost.

The under-developed and developing countries of the world that need to establish strong economic system require evolution and nourishment of different businesses to a large extent. The authoritative people in such societies have to make sure that the way to the businesses is paved properly.

There are different pre-requisites for businesses and investments to flourish. Among them stability and security play a dominant role. If different systems within a country are stable and there are not major fluctuations every now and then, the ground is said to be ready for the investors and businessmen to jump in and establish their businesses. Businessmen want consistent outcomes from their investments and they abhor seeing political and social changes disturb their businesses. The evil like insecurity also plays major role in discouraging businesses and investments. Therefore, the doubts and uncertainties of the Afghan market have made the international investors to think thousand times before they take an initiative to start their businesses in the country. Though there are great opportunities in Afghanistan and the country is blessed with different types of mineral and other natural resources, the economic infra-structure has not been able to get enough attention.

At the same time, there have to be strong business laws governing the society and controlling the business. The laws should not only safeguard the rights of investors and businessmen but also make sure that the competition within the system is maintained on strong and fair footings. The evils like monopoly based on unfair competition must be tackled with properly and there should be strong bodies that control the prices within the markets, which at the present are non-existent and the businessmen are fixing the rates on their own.

Afghanistan needs creating an environment that can be galvanizing for both the national and international investors. Moreover, the golden opportunities wherein Afghanistan can exert maximum and can get the best outcomes from must be discovered and they should be strengthened so as to push the country towards self-sufficiency.