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Afghanistan’s Largest Cold Storage Facility Built in Kabul

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(Last Updated On: November 16, 2019)

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.

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Da Afghanistan Bank sees increase in gross reserves

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(Last Updated On: June 1, 2020)

The gross domestic product (GDP) of the central bank of Afghanistan, Da Afghanistan Bank, has reached more than $9 billion for the first time.

Officials at the bank said that although the global aid to Afghanistan has declined, they have succeeded to increase the bank’s reserves.

Economists also underline that the central bank’s efforts will lure global funds.

The bank’s authority has stated that they have, for the first time, been able to increase the GDP to over $9 billion.

According to them, last year about AFN22 billion was deposited in the government reserves through investments in foreign financial institutions.

Although the Coronavirus pandemic has devalued Afghan currency against the dollar, the authority is pushing for effective programs to keep the value of the currency afloat, they said.

Welcoming the strengthening of the gross reserves of DAB, experts say that the central bank’s efforts would attract global funds for good.

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Afghanistan to transit trade via Pakistan’s Gwadar port

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(Last Updated On: May 30, 2020)

The Afghanistan–Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) enables Afghanistan to transit trade through Pakistan’s Gwadar port under the OPTA agreement.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce says that Afghanistan is trying to improve its economic relations with all neighboring countries and the region, pointing at the Pakistani port of Gwadar as the closest and cheapest transit route for Afghanistan’s trade.

In the meantime, the Pakistani Prime Minister’s senior advisor of economy, Abdul Razzaq Daud, has said that trade with Afghanistan is set to begin through the Gwadar port, starting with 16,000 tons of fertilizer to be shipped to Afghanistan.

In addition, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment considers the Gwadar port as less expensive than any others; however, it criticizes that the neighboring countries are not honest enough in their economic relations with Afghanistan.

On the other hand, experts point out that if Pakistan complies with international economic and transit laws, Afghan traders will be able to import and export goods via Gwadar port at lower costs.

This comes as economic relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been often strained due to political tensions, and the country has severally closed its ports to Afghan traders.

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Central bank to run campaign promote Afghani in western provinces

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(Last Updated On: May 26, 2020)

The government has set to launch a campaign over the use of Afghani currency instead of Iranian Rials in domestic transactions in western parts of the country.

Sharifullah Shagewal, a spokesman for the central bank of Afghanistan, Da Afghanistan Bank said that the organization has set to boost the use of Afghani currency in local markets.

Shagewal added that the replacing Iranian Rials with Afghani currency could gain Afghani value against foreign currencies.

According to reports, many provinces sharing borders with Iran use Rials for transactions.

It comes as the organization launched a campaign in the past one year just to tell people not to use foreign currencies in Nangarhar, Laghman, Kunar, Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Helmand, and Kandahar province, where public used to use Pakistani rupees in daily transactions.

Now, the De Afghanistan Back added that so far, it succeeded to prevent billions of Pakistani rupees from money circulation in the country.

Meanwhile, the central bank of Afghanistan urges the public to join the campaign by using Afghani currency instead of foreign currencies in their daily businesses.  

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