News / Asia

Afghan Businesses Look to Expand, Despite 2014 Worries

Afghan Businesses Look to Expand, Despite 2014 Worriesi
X
April 22, 2013 12:03 AM
As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan in 2014, some businesses and aid groups are looking to curb their investments in the country. But others are planning to expand, despite the uncertainty. Bethany Matta reports from Kabul.

Afghan Businesses Look to Expand, Despite 2014 Worries

Bethany Matta
— As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan in 2014, some businesses and aid groups are looking to curb their investments in the country. But others are planning to expand, despite the uncertainty. Bethany Matta reports from Kabul.
 
Even for those Afghans who are not anxious about the security situation when foreign troops withdraw, 2014 still creates anxiety when it comes to businesses and the economy.
 
Afghanistan's economy grew around 11 percent last year, but the expected decline in military and civilian aid and uncertain security situation makes some investors wary.
 
Abass, a local store owner, said “When people say 2014 is going to be a dangerous year, in my view, nothing will happen. But, as far as 2014 goes for business, it (will) have an impact on trade and business.”
 
Despite worries about the security situation and the capability of the government, many businesses are planning to expand - such as Coca Cola, with its line of Minute Maid juices.
 
The company wants to invest millions more to increase capacity, but land is a problem. The factory and parking lot are already used for storage.
 
East Horizon also faces its own difficulties, but land is not one of them. They've taken their investment to the skies.
 
The airline, opening just four months ago, already has seven routes.
 
Flights to Bamiyan, where it is hard to travel the road because of insecurity, are usually full. In another month the airline will be adding two more planes and additional routes.
 
East Horizon's chief executive and captain, Jahed Azimi, says Afghanistan needs flights to remote provinces to create business opportunities and development. 
 
"We see that there will be some potential, of course the road is not that easy.  But, our board of directors and myself we decided that Afghans should stand on their feet and do their job by themselves," he said. 
 
More than a decade of foreign assistance has a mixed track record in Afghanistan, where basic security remains the biggest concern.
 
But advertising consultant Mustafa Mirza says there is rich and growing market for some consumer goods that did not even exist several years ago.
 
“I don't think anything will happen in the private sector, like if you go out in Kabul you've got super stores like 'Finest' and 'Spinneys,' you can get cat food for example. There was no concept of cat food two or three years ago, but now its like the shelves are full and there is a big inventory of quality food products," he said. 
 
Cat food, energy drinks , 3G Internet … all  products Afghans have been exposed to the last decade are not likely to go away when the troops leave. This year's strong harvest season means consumers should have more money to spend in the months ahead.
 
So, although some companies and organizations cut back or cut out altogether, others are taking risks on an Afghan-led economy.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Afghan
April 23, 2013 1:18 PM
Afghanistan will rise. I don't know why the video here shows some of the least developed neighborhoods of Kabul. There are plenty that have already been accomplished, you just don't see it on this video.

If the internation community really wants to help Afghanistan and Afghans, it should provide our young generation an opportunity to gain education in their educational institutions.


by: Haron from: Afghanistan
April 22, 2013 5:48 AM
I hope that our country could be develop. I demand as a offended young boy from those countries whom have not economic crisis like. China, Russia, USA, Japan and other countries who can help real people of Afghanistan.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid