News / Asia

Afghan Economy Slows

Afghan Economy Slowsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Sharon Behn
November 15, 2012 2:27 PM
For the past 10 years, Afghanistan's economy has been heavily dependent on foreign aid and contracts linked to the needs of thousands of coalition troops. That will largely end in 2014 as foreign combat forces leave the country. The government is downplaying the potential impact, but business owners in Kabul tell VOA's Sharon Behn they are worried about the country's economic future.
Sharon Behn
For the past 10 years, Afghanistan's economy has been heavily dependent on foreign aid and contracts linked to the needs of thousands of coalition troops. That will largely end in 2014 as foreign combat forces leave the country. The government is downplaying the potential impact, but business owners in Kabul say they are worried about the country's economic future.
 
Row upon row of heavy construction equipment lies idle along Kabul's Jalalabad Road as international contracts begin to dry up with international forces pulling out. Machines like these had been used to build the heavily fortified bases that coalition troops established around the country.
 
Business owner Haji Abdul Khalil Ahmadzai used to sell 10 - 15 of these machines a month. Now he is lucky if he sells one.

"The country's situation is getting worse, we can't sell our equipment, or send them out, sometimes the insurgents burn our vehicles," Ahmadzai said. "Our country is going through hard times. Work is slowing down, it's not like it was in the past."
 
Ahmadzai's worries are echoed across the business community.
 
In an effort to prevent a steep economic downturn which could further destabilize already weak government institutions, U.S. and Afghan officials are trying to attract investment in the country's mineral, agricultural and energy resources.

Noorullah Delawari, governor of Afghanistan's Central Bank, says the country's GDP growth is healthy and that a pledge of $16 billion in international aid will help.

"We have been given assurance, people are hopeful, we are all hopeful in accordance with agreements we have with the donors that will carry us at least to 2020 even 2024," said Delawari.  "So with those negotiated or promised support to Afghanistan, I believe we can carry on our economic activities at the same level we have had as we have in the past few years."

But some say businessmen are beginning to cash their money in for dollars.

Former minister and current economics professor Hamidullah Farooqi says the government has failed to create a healthy economy.

"The majority of our economy is, unfortunately, illegal, and the forces of the mafia system and mafia economy are huge, and that creates enough difficulty for the legal economy, for the economic forces which were in the society," Farooqi noted.
 
Farooqi predicts even tougher economic times are ahead, if Afghanistan's government doesn't start working harder for its people.

You May Like

Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving

Feasts centering on turkeys with an array of traditional sides and desserts are part of the holiday's traditions, which falls on the fourth Thursday in November More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid