Gathering held to celebrate National Day of Craftsmen

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A gathering was attended by several Islamic Emirate officials on Wednesday to mark the National Day of Craftsmen.

The Afghanistan Chamber of Craftsmen (ACC) called on the Islamic Emirate to provide them with security.

“We don’t say our problem should be fixed today, tomorrow or soon–we tell our problems and the Islamic Emirate can address them based on its ability,” said Shireen Agha, deputy head of the ACC.

Speaking at the gathering, acting Minister of Commerce and Industry Nooruddin Azizi said the Islamic Emirate will address the problems faced by the craftsman.

He said that the Islamic Emirate will soon open an industrial park in the Pul-e-Charkhi area of Kabul.

“We are trying to establish a workplace for between 5,000 to 10,000 people. We have 10 acres of land, if the Kabul municipality hands it over to us, we will use it for carpets, stones, jewelry and other handicrafts,” he said.

Abdullah Haidari, an official of the Ministry of Finance who was speaking at the same gathering, said: “We will implement a reduction in payment of taxes for the small-time craftsmen.”

The Afghanistan Chambers Federation has expressed concern about the flow of investment capital out of the country and says that many Afghan investors have shifted their financial focus to Turkey, the UAE, and Uzbekistan in the past year.

Afghan investors, besides facing a lack of security and a lack of basic infrastructure, are now concerned with the possibility of chaos as uncertainty reigns amid potential peace talks, Sakhi Ahmad Paiman deputy director of the chamber said.

“Most of the Afghan capital has shifted to Turkey, UAE, and Uzbekistan, as investors assess the situation as untenable,” he said.

Karwan Folad, a steel company that was established in Kabul four years ago with more than 100 staff and over $20 million in investment money, has been bankrupt since the beginning of the current solar year (1399).

“We have suffered many problems up until now. There is no electricity–raw materials are expensive and that is why less than two people are now working here,” said Azizullah, an employee in the company.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce and Industries says it is optimistic that investment will increase.

“We hope the investments increase along with progress in the peace talks in the country. We are in close contact with some investors to encourage them to invest in Afghanistan,” Fawad Ahmad, a spokesperson for the ministry said.

Over the last two years, amid the presidential election disputes, the COVID-19 economic impact, and the recent political chaos, investment has dried up in the country, owners of various companies said. —Tolonews

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