Business – Ariana News Bringing Afghan News to the World Sat, 16 Nov 2019 04:24:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Afghanistan’s Largest Cold Storage Facility Built in Kabul Thu, 14 Nov 2019 13:01:39 +0000

A privately owned cold storage facility has been built in Kabul.

The facility, which is the largest cold storage build in the country, cost about five million US dollars.

It has the capacity of storing 5,000 tons of agricultural products at one time. Presently it is being used to store 2,000 tons of fresh apples.

According to the owner, the warehouse can store perishable fresh fruits and vegetables for a period of up to six months.

“We can store tomatoes for two months, grapes for three months, and pomegranates, apples and oranges for six months,” said Habib Rezaee, the owner of the facility.

Mr. Rezaee said that he plans to build similar cold storage facilities in 20 provinces.

An official from the Fresh Fruit Exporters Union told Ariana News that the building of such storage facilities will minimize product loss and maximize profits.

“The government has failed to build such facilities which benefit businessmen, farmers, and everyone,” said Mirwais Hajizada, Deputy of the Fresh Fruit Exporters Union.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC) welcomes the construction of the cold storage by  private investors.

“We welcome any investment by the private sector for the economy development; therefore, we have a close relation with the private sector,” said Samir Rasa, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Recently, officials in the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said the Afghan government has made little effort to find markets for fresh fruits being produced in the country.

Currently, fresh fruits are sold cheaply within domestic markets, while large amounts of fruit spoils every year due to the lack of standard refrigeration.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), Afghanistan is a fertile country that produces about 1.5 million tons of fresh fruits per year.

Last year, officials said the government is trying to build standard cold storage facilities to extend the lifespan of the country’s fruit, but farmers still suffer due to the absence of cold storage capacity across the country.

Bayat Power Begins Generating Affordable Electricity for Afghans Tue, 12 Nov 2019 13:43:32 +0000 Kabul, Afghanistan — November 12, 2019 Bayat Power, Afghanistan’s largest, Afghan-owned and operated Power Production Company announced today that Bayat Power-1, the region’s most technologically advanced gas fired electric power plant — and Afghanistan’s first new gas based power production plant in more than forty years — has officially started commercial operations of its vital and historic mission to provide reliable and affordable electric power to the people of Afghanistan.

Located in Sherberghan, Afghanistan — the proud epicenter of the nation’s gas-rich region — Bayat Power-1 is the company leading the resurgence of Afghanistan’s domestic power production industry. This pioneering project, built and led by Afghans, will provide the power essential for Afghanistan’s economic growth.

Powered by the brand new Siemens SGT-A45 ‘Fast Power’ turbine — the world’s most advanced mobile gas to energy power solution — phase one of Bayat Power-1’s operations will generate up to 41 megawatts of power for Afghan homes and businesses. When all three phases of Bayat  Power-1 are operational, the plant will generate more than 200 megawatts of electricity — enough to serve millions of Afghan residential and commercial clients.

“Starting today, Bayat Power-1 — our nation’s first new gas fired power plant in more than four decades — is providing affordable, reliable power to Afghan families and companies across the nation,” said Dr. Ehsan Bayat, the Founder of Bayat Power and the Chairman of the Bayat Group.

“Bayat Power 1 is meant to pioneer a new industry and serve the first step in the redevelopment of an Afghan energy sector that will be operated by Afghans, expanded by Afghans and dedicated to accelerating Afghanistan’s economic development,” Dr. Bayat said.

“Today, everyone at Bayat Power and The Bayat Group is determined that Bayat Power-1 will help all Afghans move forward together to a shared future of prosperity, innovation, and growth; a future that is bright with light generated by Bayat Power-1, and rich with bountiful opportunity and progress for all Afghans.”

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Gov’t Blamed for Failure to Find Markets for Afghan Fresh Fruit Wed, 06 Nov 2019 14:32:39 +0000

The Afghan government has made little effort to find markets for fresh fruits being produced in the country, an official said on Wednesday.

Ahmad Tawfiq Dawari, Deputy Head of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI), told Ariana News that if government purchases fresh fruits, which are produced in the country, it would boost the economy of our farmers.

Currently, fresh fruits are sold cheaply within domestic markets, while large amount of  fruit spoils every year due to the lack of standard refrigeration.

Mr. Dawari reasoned that the current situation could be changed if government procures domestic products, especially fruits for use by governmental institutions such as Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, Hospitals, Hostels, and other government-related institutions.

“By doing this, our farmers will be encouraged and it will be a good source of income for our country and the agriculture sector will improve,” said Hakimullah Sediqqi, an economic expert.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), Afghanistan is a fertile country that produces about 1.5 million tons of fresh fruits per year.

Last year, officials said the government is trying to build standard cold storage facilities to extend the lifespan of the country’s fruit, but farmers still suffer due to the absence of cold storage capacity.

Construction of Milk Processing Factory Begins in Kabul Tue, 29 Oct 2019 14:33:15 +0000

The foundation stone of a milk processing factory was laid in Kabul during a ceremony on Tuesday.

Speaking at the ceremony, Nasir Ahmad Durrani, the Minister of Agriculture, said the factory will be constructed with the capacity of processing 80,000 liters of milk in 24 hours.

“Seven types of good-quality dairy, namely milk, yogurt, cheese, cream, butter, and dried curd will be produced in the factory,” Minister Durrani said.

He added that the factory is estimated to cost some 3.3 million USD, funded by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD).

The project will be implemented by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“Upon the operation of the factory, the imports of dairy products will be reduced and this will contribute to the economic growth as well,” Minister Durrani further said.

Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture show that, on average, 3,000 metric tons of beef and 1,952,000 tons of milk are produced and consumed annually in the country.

Still, with annual exports of cattle skins worth 8.56 million USD and dried curd worth over 200,000 USD, livestock holders have a major share in the total of 15 % of agricultural GDP.

The Minister of Agriculture called the start of the construction of the factory “another stride towards the growth, support and strengthening of livestock” that could help “reduce dairy imports and boost the national economy.”

At the same event, Fabrizio Cesaretti, an official from the FAO said that the construction of the factory will bring positive changes in the life of livestock keepers in the country.

World Bank Approves $98.9m for Power Projects in Afghanistan Sun, 13 Oct 2019 13:45:44 +0000 The World Bank Group has approved a $98.8m financing package for two gas-to-power energy projects in Afghanistan.

The package will support Sheberghan and Mazar-e-Sharif Gas-to-Power Projects.

According to an official in the World Bank, Afghanistan’s energy needs are enormous and the new package will help Afghanistan’s development especially in terms of employment generation, economic growth and reduce of poverty.

“The World Bank is a main supporter of Afghanistan that provides help to our country in several aspects including energy sector,” said Shamrooz Khan Masjidi, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Finance.

An official in the Afghanistan’s Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) also welcomed the World Bank support package.

Khan Jaan Alokozay, Deputy of ACCI said the package will encourage the private sector to invest more energy projects.

“There are a lot of Afghan companies invested in the country such as Ghazanfar and the Bayat Group. These companies have signed contracts with the government and would like to produce energy with their own initiatives,” Mr. Alokozay added.

Currently, Afghanistan is importing its needed energy from neighboring Tajikistan and Uzbekistan countries.

MoFA Condemns Removal of Afghan Flag by Pakistani Police Thu, 10 Oct 2019 11:59:53 +0000 Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) issued a statement on Thursday protesting the removal of Afghan flag from a property in Peshawar City during an overnight operation by Pakistani police.

According to the statement, hundreds of Pakistani police have raided over Afghan Market in Peshawar City of Pakistan without giving a prior notice to the Afghan Consulate in Peshawar.

Police have disrespected and removed the Afghan flag and proprietorship board from the top of the market that had existed for decades, the statement added.

 “The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan condemns the irresponsible move of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police and their insult to the national flag of Afghanistan. Afghanistan expresses its serious protest against this action and Pakistan’s denial regarding the case,” the MoFA statement further said.

Afghanistan claims the long-disputed Afghan Market in Peshawar city is the sole property of the Afghan government but Peshawar High Court has handed over the market to a Pakistani citizen named Shaukat Kashmiri after he filed a case claiming ownership of the market.

“The government of Afghanistan is emphasizing once again that the court has not considered the documents and legal justifications of Afghanistan, during the dispute, due to having political motivations. So, the Afghan judicial institutions is not satisfied with the decision made,” the statement concluded.

Fire Causes $1.5 Million Losses to Business Owners in Kabul Wed, 09 Oct 2019 12:41:53 +0000 Business owners lost more than $1.5 million after fire broke out in eleven stores in Taimor Shahee area of Kabul late on Tuesday.

Immediately the main cause of the fire was unknown.

However, the owners of the stores expressed their concerns regarding the repetition of such incidents.

“The government is not cooperating with us. This is not the first time. We all know that at least a market burns every month,” said Najibullah, a shopkeeper in the area.

“We lost around $2.5 thousand as a result of the fire,” said Hashmatullah, another shopkeeper.

Meanwhile, Khan Jaan Alokozai, a member of Afghanistan’s Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) called on the government to support the owners of these stores.

“Unfortunately, once they lost their capital, there is no guarantee to support them in any form such as loans,” Mr. Alokozai said.

On the other hand, Shabeer Bashiri, an economic expert blamed the private sector for their failure to consider business standards while keeping their materials in storage.

Last year, several huge markets caught in fire in the center of the city where more than a thousand shops were destroyed.

1,500 Buses to Start Operating in Kabul Mon, 23 Sep 2019 11:24:17 +0000 The Kabul Municipality has built 264 public bus stations worth millions of Afghanis as an effort to reduce traffic jam in the capital Kabul.

Narges Mohmand, the Spokesperson of Kabul Municipality on Monday told Ariana News that they are awaiting for the Ministry of Transport to allow buses to operate in the City.

“We build bus stations to resolve the problems of Kabul residents and we hope they are going to be used effectively,” Ms. Mohmand said.

An official in the Ministry of Transport said that around 1,500 buses will start their operations in Kabul City in the near future.

“India has promised to provide us with public buses once the construction of stations completed. In addition, India will establish an institute for urban transport,” said Mahdi Rouhani, the Spokesman of Ministry of Transport.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Omar, a resident of Kabul expressed his concern, saying there are no buses in the stations.

“As you see there are no buses in the stations to be used and if it continues the stations will be damaged very soon,” he said.

Officials in the Ministry of Transport said that they have maintenance teams to take care of bus stations; however, they urged residents to stay cooperative.

Twin Blasts Hit a Branch of Salaam Telecom Company in Kabul Sat, 21 Sep 2019 12:13:21 +0000 Two back-to-back explosions happened near a branch of Salaam Telecom Company in PD11 of Kabul City late on Friday night, an official said on Saturday.

The first blast took place at around 12pm last night as a result of explosives placed in front of the branch office of the state-run telephone company.

Shir Shah Nawabi, a media advisor for the Afghan Ministry of Telecommunication told Ariana News that the second blast happened after police arrived at the scene for investigations.

A sticky bomb attached to a nearby tree caused the second blast that led to the injury of a policeman, Mr. Nawabi added.

According to the official, the company has lost nearly one million Afghanis as a result of the explosions.

No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the explosions yet.

Recently, Taliban warned that the group will target the sites, employees and subscribers of Salaam Telecom Company.

Kabul Electricity To Be Restored Tomorrow Night: DABS Tue, 17 Sep 2019 15:03:24 +0000 The Kabul electricity will be reconnect tomorrow, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) – the national power utility company – said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the staff of the power company will be allowed to repair the damaged transmission towers and electricity pylons on Wednesday morning.

Electric power imported from Uzbekistan was cut in 11 provinces including the capital Kabul this week after Taliban militants destroyed four power pylons in Baghlan and Kunduz provinces.

In 2016, insurgents destroyed an electricity pylon in Dand-i-Shahabuddin area of Baghlan province and left Kabul in blackout for more than a month.

Fighting in Baghlan Disrupts Kabul’s Power Supply Sat, 14 Sep 2019 12:01:41 +0000 The main power transmission line to Kabul was cut on Saturday due to fighting in Baghlan province, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat said in a statement.

According to the statement, a major electricity pylon in Dand-e-Shahabuddin was cut today afternoon and left Kabul in dark.

A technical team has been deployed to the area to repair the damaged pylon, the statement added.

Taliban militants have launched widespread attacks over Pol-e-Khomri City of Baghlan since two weeks.

In 2016, Taliban militants destroyed an electricity pylon in Dand-i-Shahabuddin area of Baghlan province and left Kabul in blackout for more than a month.

Afghanistan’s First Shipment through Hairatan Arrives in China Wed, 11 Sep 2019 15:00:54 +0000 The first shipment of Afghanistan exported goods has arrived in China, Afghan officials said on Wednesday.

Afghanistan exported 1100 tons of talc to China last week from Mazar-e-Sharif through the Hairatan railroad.

The Afghan goods crossed Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan in 41 wagons.

Earlier Afghanistan exported pine nuts worth $15 million to China through air corridors.

Speaking at an event on this occasion in Kabul, President Ashraf Ghani said that Afghanistan should set a target of four-years to balance the level of imported and exported goods.

President Ghani called on all neighboring countries to close their gates for the smuggling of talc and other precious stones because Afghanistan understands the value of its products.

He also warned Afghan government institutions of consequences if they don’t pay serious attention to the internal products.

At the same event, Afghan Transport Minister Yama Yari said that it has provided facilities for the private sector to export their goods to China.

“Earlier, It took 45 days for Afghan traders to export their goods from Afghanistan to China but now it takes only 8 days,” Mr. Yari said.

Meanwhile, officials in the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) estimated that Afghanistan-China annual trade volume reaches to more than one billion US dollar.

Afghanistan Exports 20 Tons of Grapes to India via Chabahar Wed, 04 Sep 2019 13:41:13 +0000 For the first time, the Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industries exported 20 tons of grapes to India’s markets through Iran’s Chabahar Port, officials said on Wednesday.

According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Afghanistan has sent a total of 700 tons of goods to India through Chabahar.

The exported goods include legume, precious stones, and dry fruits.

Sameer Rasa, Spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Commerce has told that the export of fresh fruits was challenging because fruits can get spoiled quickly; however, the first attempt was successful.

Mr. Rasa added that Afghanistan will soon begin exports of Kandahar pomegranate and Maidan Wardak apple via Chabahar to India’s markets.

Afghan officials believe that the increase of business through Chabahar will pave the way for positive business competitions in the region. In addition, the Afghan goods have reached India’s markets at a low cost via Chabahar Port.

Two days ago, Pakistan announced that the Torkham border crossing, the busiest port of entry between Afghanistan and Pakistan, will remain operational round-the-clock on a trial basis from Monday, 02 September.

The Chabahar Port was inaugurated late in 2017. The port provides a key supply route for Afghanistan and allows India to bypass rival Pakistan to trade with Central Asia.

Torkham Border Crossing to Remain Operational Round-the-Clock Mon, 02 Sep 2019 13:56:35 +0000 The Torkham border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan will remain operational round-the-clock on a trial basis from Monday, Pakistani officials announced on Sunday.

Torkham is one of the busiest ports of entry between Kabul and Islamabad and serves as a major transportation and shipping site.

According to Pakistani officials, the border crossing will be operational 24/7 for two to three weeks before Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan formally inaugurate it.

Afghan officials welcomed the move by Pakistan, saying Afghanistan want to have close business relations with all of its neighboring countries.

“Pakistan is an important business partner for Afghanistan. We want to have better relations in order to pave facilities for our traders,” Sameer Rasa, Spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industries told Ariana News.

“We hope the Afghan government pressure Pakistan to facilitate the exporting of Afghan goods to Pakistan or to other countries through Pakistan,” said Sakhi Ahmad Payman, Deputy of Afghanistan Chamber of Industries and Mines.

“I welcome the move by Pakistan because the 24/7 operation will be in the benefit of Afghanistan and Pakistan and it will increase the level of import and export between the two countries,” said Jan Aqa Nawid, a Spokesman for Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment.

This comes after bilateral trade volume between Afghanistan and Pakistan reached its lowest level due to trade barriers at Torkham border crossing.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan launched its National Air Corridor Program to several countries including India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, European Union, Kazakhstan, China, and UAE in order to grow its economy, create employment opportunities, and decrease its independence to its neighboring countries.

Indo-Pakistani Tensions May Hurt Afghanistan Trade with Two Countries: Experts Wed, 28 Aug 2019 14:14:51 +0000 Pakistan’s Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said on Tuesday that Imran Khan is considering to close Pakistan’s airspace to India and its land routes from India to Afghanistan.

However, the spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, Mahmady Rouhani told ArianaNews that they have come up with alternative routes to continue Indo-Afghan trade and the restrictions would also hurt the Pakistani side.

“We are not afraid if Pakistan imposes trade restrictions on India since we are not dependent only on one country for our business,” Rouhani added.

Meanwhile, Indian Foreign minister Subramanyam Jaishankar said on Tuesday that India is trying to have normal trade but “Pakistan won’t allow connectivity from India to Afghanistan and from Afghanistan to India.

Experts believe that if Pakistan imposes a restriction on the trade from India to Afghanistan, the Afghan government should retaliate against trade with Pakistan.

MOCI Asks Private Sector to Balance It’s Exports With International Standards Sat, 03 Aug 2019 14:47:42 +0000 The Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOCI) says that the exports with the value of 170 million dollars have taken place to different countries of the world through air corridors. 

According to the officials, the exports include various items including the medical plants, fresh fruits, and carpets which have been exported in 700 flights.

MOCI asks the private sector to balance its exports with international standards.

“We try to promote the level of our exports. Currently, we have exports to India and the countries in eastern and central Asia,” said Sameer Rasa, the Spokesperson to MOCI.

Meanwhile, the economic experts describe activities of the air corridors beneficial to the country; however, they say that the government should make more efforts to equalize the country’s exports to the international standard in order to have the ability to compete in the world market.

“The air corridors are much important in the export of the fresh fruits since there are no facilities for keeping the fresh fruits and we can export them through this way in a short time,” said Abdullah Darmna, an economic expert.

This comes as the experts say that the government should only use the air corridors for exporting not importing.

MRRD Holds Women’s Rural Industries Exhibition in Kabul Wed, 31 Jul 2019 11:51:20 +0000 The Women’s Rural Industries Exhibition inaugurated by the officials of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development in Kabul on Wednesday.

Held in ‘Chehl Soton Garden” of Kabul, the women from 34 provinces of the country are showcasing their rural products to the visitors.

They say that organizing such exhibitions can be efficient in marketing for women.

“This [exhibition] is a chance for us especially this is quite important in marketing for us,” said Zainab, an artisan.

“We are glad to be here but this cannot solve all of our problems,” said Hafiza, an artisan.

Meanwhile, Mujiburrahman Karimi, the Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, says that the exhibition is effectual for the businesswomen and small startups.

According to him, the job opportunity will be provided for 800,000 women in the next five years.  

The rural industries’ development program, supported by the World Bank, is being by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development in several villages since ten years. 

Pakistan’s Airspace Opened For Afghan Flights Tue, 16 Jul 2019 14:22:47 +0000 Pakistan opened its airspace for all civilian traffic including the Afghan flights after over four months of closure on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Transport says that though alternative ways were used for the flights from Afghanistan to India, Afghanistan lost 27 million dollars due to the closure of Pakistan’s airspace.

“We lost more than 27 million dollars. We are trying to have alternative ways in addition to Pakistan’s airspace,” said Mahdi Rohani, the Spokesperson of Transport Ministry.

Meanwhile, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) welcomes the opening of Pakistan’s airspace and says that it will increase the export of Afghan fruits through this way.

“We hope the decision of Pakistan to be permanent otherwise it would not be helpful to the private sector,” said Shafiqullah Attayi, the Deputy of the ACCI.

At the same time, the economic experts stress that the opening of Pakistan’s airspace to Afghanistan benefits both countries.

They believe that good relations between the two countries can result in the region’s economic growth.

Though Pakistan’s airspace has opened, the flight tickets’ price has not changed yet.

However, the officials of private companies say that the price of flight tickets will reduce and the number of passengers will increase after the 18th of July.

RECCA Ambassadorial Coordination Meeting Held in Kabul Wed, 10 Jul 2019 16:58:19 +0000 The Second RECCA Ambassadorial Coordination Meeting in 2019 and the Inauguration Ceremony of the RECCA Chamber of Commerce and Industries (RCCI) was held on Wednesday at the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul.

High-level officials from the Afghan government and heads of the diplomatic mission in Kabul participated at the event.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the event, the Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Idrees Zaman emphasized that regional cooperation is needed for economic growth.

He also spoke about the link between peace, development, and connectivity and provided an overview of the regional cooperation efforts and progress made recently under RECCA.

Mr. Zaman highlighted the important role of RCCI in trade expansion and investment promotion in the wider RECCA region.

On his turn, the Yadgarkhoja Shadmanov, the Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Afghanistan said that his country is interested to expand its economic relation with Afghanistan and Uzbekistan will open a huge exhibition in Afghanistan in the near future.

At the same event, Muqadasa Yourish, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce said that we want to have economic growth at the region and in order to reach to this goal we will pave the ground for the private sector and will increase our relations with the regional countries.

Atiqullah Nusrat, CEO of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment called on the member states of RECCA to provide the opportunity for the private sector to implement the projects.

Finance Ministry Reports 14% Revenue Increase in 2019 Tue, 09 Jul 2019 13:44:29 +0000 Afghan government institutions have spent more than 40 percent of their development budget during the last six months of the fiscal year.

Shamroz Khan, Spokesman of the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday said at a press conference that there is a five percent increase compared to the previous year in the usage of the development budget.

He added that there are some governmental institutions such as the ministry of education that have spend less amount from their budget.

According to the Finance Ministry, there is a 14 percent increase in the national revenues compared to the previous year due to the anti-corruption efforts undertaken by the government.

However, critics doubt regarding the remarks made by the Finance Ministry’s spokesman.

“It is interesting. They are spending the budget but poverty is also increasing,” said Ghulam Farooq Majroh, a lawmaker from western Herat province.