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Minister Vows To Increase Afghanistan’s Exports

Minister Vows To Increase Afghanistan’s Exports

As part of the Afghan government’s accountability assessment, some cabinet ministers at a ceremony in Kabul on Wednesday briefed media about their activities of the last year.

Acting Minister of Industry and Commerce, Ajmal Ahmadi, said Afghanistan’s exports will exceed $1.5 billion next year while according to him, it was at least $900 million this year.

“We have focused our efforts on turning Afghanistan into an exporter country by supporting the country’s industries and trade sector,” said Ahmadi. “At least 550 flights carrying 6,500 tons of Afghan goods were exported through air corridors,” he said.

He said the inauguration of the Lapis Lazuli Corridor and the Chabahar Port for Afghan goods has helped increase in exports in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Economy, Mustafa Mastoor, said they have plans on hand to create a balance between population growth and economic development.

He said that NGOs provided jobs to at least 84,033 people, including 23,000 women, during the last year.

Mastoor said that every year over 650,000 people are added to country’s population and that 2.7 percent economic growth rate is quite low to meet the challenge.

Deputy Minister of Finance Zahid Hamdard said government’s revenue target collection was at least AFs270 million in the last year.

According to him, all budgetary units are scheduled to report on their annual performance within the next two weeks.

“The target which is set by President (Ashraf) Ghani is around AFs270 billion, but the target which is set by the IMF is around AFs189 billion,” he said.

Elham Omar Hotaki, head of National Procurement Authority (NPA), meanwhile, said the increase in government’s budget expenses last year indicates that public procurement had great improvements.

“In fiscal year 1397, at last 763 projects were reviewed, of which 689 worth AFs127.6 billion were approved,” he said. “Of total approved projects, AFs18 billion was saved last year. At least AFs50 billion was saved and 154 companies were blacklisted in the past four years,” added Omar.