Speech by Mullah Abdul Ghani Beradar Akhund, First Deputy Prime Minister at the Afghanistan Economic Conference
بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
Greetings and best wishes to all the participants!
Everyone in turn spoke well about the issues at hand. We sincerely thank our international partners for welcoming the economic vision of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. I don't want to say too much; I just want to repeat a few things. All humanitarians around the world see the situation in Afghanistan and make comments every day. Given this situation, international aid is scarce and cannot solve Afghanistan's problems.
We welcome the United Nations and international donor organizations that have emphasized Afghanistan's continued development needs, such as rural development and livelihoods, in addition to continuing humanitarian assistance. We assume that all international humanitarian agencies have understood Afghanistan's problem. Therefore, we call on all, especially the United Nations, to not delay in fulfilling its responsibility towards Afghanistan and to do what it can for the Afghan people to solve the real problem and give Afghans a better future.
The private sector is very important in Afghanistan. It is hoped that if the country's private sector is restored, Afghanistan's economic problems will be largely resolved. As stated in the vision by Mr. Hanafi, our goal is to make Afghanistan self-sufficient in the long run, and this self-reliance can be achieved through private sector support, investment in agriculture, mining and transit, and regional cooperation. In our vision, we welcome the proposal to build a private sector economy, and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is committed to providing the necessary facilities to support investors, especially small and medium-sized investments, and to ensure the safety of investors.
The private sector has a key role in creating job opportunities and currently employs 1.5 million people directly and indirectly. In addition to the new Islamic government of Afghanistan, countries and economic companies from the region and the world should be involved in the development and strengthening of the Afghan private sector in order to contribute to the development of the Afghan economy. By doing so, Afghanistan will have an economy dependent on its products and trade, will pay special attention to environmental regulations in its activities, and will protect its air and water from pollution. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is committed to transit and the implementation of regional cooperation projects such as TAPI, TAP, Casa 1000, and railways, and is ready for any kind of cooperation.
Today, banks are the backbone of a country's economy. If a country's banking system collapses, its economy will automatically collapse, causing insecurity, flight, emigration, and other problems in that country. Given Afghanistan's important and strategic location, the impact of such unrest will not be limited to Afghanistan; it will also have an impact on countries in the region and the world. Therefore, we ask the international community to provide cash to Afghan banks.
- Fortunately, the Al-Wadiah Islamic Banking System has been introduced by Da Afghanistan Bank and we hope that it will solve the problems of the banks to some extent by increasing their profits;
- The conference participants, especially the private sector, have unanimously called for the lifting of economic sanctions and the release of frozen assets, which we welcome;
- Most of the benefits of releasing these assets go to the private sector, the banking sector, and the people of Afghanistan.
- Special thanks to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and other international partners for their efforts in lifting economic sanctions and releasing Afghanistan's frozen assets;
- We hope that the United Nations will distribute the humanitarian cash transferred to Afghanistan through other commercial banks in Afghanistan, so as to increase public confidence in private banks;
- We welcome the issuance of licenses by the US Department of the Treasury, but we urge that future licenses pave the way for investment in the private sector by regional countries, and we also demand that future licenses facilitate transactions between conciliator banks and commercial banks in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is an agricultural country and has suitable land and water for agriculture. But the country's agriculture has not yet been mechanized and its work is done with basic and simple tools. Considering the population of Afghanistan, there is a need to use advanced tools in agriculture to the extent that the Afghan people can produce enough for domestic agriculture, and there is no need to import any agricultural products.
Agriculture and mining are among the top priorities of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. That is why the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is ready to interact with the world, especially with the agricultural countries that have access to modern agricultural equipment, in order to save their country from poverty and pull out of food instability.
- We urge domestic and foreign investors to invest in the extraction of mines and minerals, as well as in refining petroleum products.
- We also urge domestic and foreign investors to invest in coal-fired power generation, as this would save an estimated $300 million annually;
- Domestic and foreign investors should be encouraged to transfer new technologies and skills to the country to facilitate processing of minerals and transfer them to international markets.
- We thank the People's Republic of China for its interest in investing in the processing of medicinal plants and agricultural products;
- The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is committed to establishing connections between the agricultural and industrial sectors.
We retain all specialized cadres and provide them with a proper working environment. At today's conference on Afghanistan's economy, we assure you, nationally and internationally, that the Islamic Emirate is aware of the economic problems and challenges of the people and has the appropriate programs and strategies that can address them to a great extent.
Thank you for your attention.