Important Economic Events of the Past Year in Afghanistan
Afghanistan had its economic ups and downs in the past year. However, a 25 percent increase in national income, increase in investment support, development of the private sector, creation of jobs, increase in competition, increase in efforts towards economic stability, and creation of a platform for economic stability were among the events that created optimism for the economic future of the country.
Afghanistan’s membership in World Trade Organization was another major step accomplished in the past year that was a historic moment for Afghanistan.
The Government of Afghanistan succeeded in establishing projects such TAPI, KASA1000, and Chabehar port. The implementation of these projects will undoubtedly boost the economic status of Afghanistan.
Furthermore, Afghanistan obtained the membership of the International Chamber of Commerce and their branch office opened in Kabul. This ended monopolies in the market and private sector was able to invest in different infrastructural projects, the total amount of which for the last year was more than one and a half billion dollars.
Compared to the other countries, the commercial capabilities of Afghanistan have changed dramatically, and its exports substantially increased. The neighboring countries found Afghanistan a reliable business partner. Due to this trust, projects such as TAPI (natural gas pipeline that transferred gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to India and Pakistan), KASA1000 (a project for transmission of electricity from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan), and the Chabhar project that connected Afghanistan to international waters, became possible. Each one of these projects is currently being implemented, and each is considered a positive step towards achievement of economic stability in Afghanistan.
In the past year Afghanistan also witnessed a surge in big transportation projects. It became part of China’s Silk Road, Lapis Lazuli Road, a railroad was established to connect Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan, and another railroad was established to connect China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Iran. All of these projects will invariable have a remarkable impact in movement of goods from and to Afghanistan.
Another important economic step taken by the Government of Afghanistan was to curb the waters. In order to do so, the government established Serobi II hydro-electric dam, and completed the construction of the Salma Dam. There further were numerous smaller dams constructed. The aim is to change Afghanistan to a hub of energy export in the future.
Additionally, a national campaign or investment, and drafting of the national investment strategy were among other achievements of the past year. Under these, around 100 mines were contracted for excavation. Also contracts were signed with the private sector to establish several big industrial factories.
Finally, the Afghan government in 2016, has successfully completed the financial and economic reform program that was predicated upon standardization of financial and fiscal affairs. Due to this achievement Afghanistan was included the the IMF-ECF three-years credit program. This has been regarded as appositive step towards economic reform and healthy financial system in Afghanistan.