News - Afghanistan
Submitting his policy plan for the next 100 days, Minister of Commerce and Industries Humayoun Rasa outlined his various strategies for developing the Afghan economy. He called corruption the biggest obstacle he faced.
"As the first 100 days plan of the new cabinet of the national unity government is very important to people, this ministry will be working to create a strategic outlook for improving trade and industries in Afghanistan," Rasa began, speaking at a gathering held at the Ministry of Commerce and Industries on Wednesday.
Attracting domestic and foreign investments; reforming the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA); resolving transit problems between Afghanistan and Pakistan; reviewing the process of Afghanistan's accession to the World Trade Organization; increasing the capacity of industrial products through support to investors; evaluating industrial parks and government-owned companies; supporting the Ministry of Trade and Industries; and increasing the capacity of the employees of the Commerce Ministry were the central points of Rasa's 100-day plan.
While acknowledging that the deteriorating security conditions around the country could spell decreased foreign investment in 2015, Minister Rasa stressed that corruption is in fact the biggest challenge he faces.
"As it can be seen, due to security problems in the current year, investments might decrease," Rasa said. "But the largest challenge in implementing our 100 day plan is corruption, which has spread across Afghanistan and it will take time to tackle," he added.
In contradiction to most other economic analysts, Rasa has expressed doubts about the Chabahar port development project. The minister has said opening up the port to Afghan traders will not help Afghanistan improve its regional trade relations. Instead, Rasa says the lack of general infrastructure is the main hindrance to Afghan trade.