The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) said that it is planning to sign deals with Central Asian nations Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan as well as neighboring Iran to import wheat and oil to the country’s market.
The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) said that the sanctions imposed over the past year have severely affected business in the country.
A spokesman for the MoCI, Abdul Salam Javad, said that the deals will be effective for controlling the prices of commodities in the country.
“We have had talks with Turkmenistan about the oil. We want to have official contracts and permanent contracts. We are in talks with Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran about the wheat and flour. We want to have good contracts so our domestic industry is not damaged from it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Younus Momand, acting head of the ACCI, said that the Afghan market faced a drop due to the existing sanctions.
“The sanctions on Afghanistan’s banks should be removed and the banks should be freed, so the money for trade could be transferred from abroad to the country and from here to abroad,” he said.
This comes as Afghanistan is struggling with a shortage of banknotes with no new bills entering into circulation to replace worn-out ones.
Shah Mohammad Mehrabi, a Washington-based member of the Afghan central bank’s governing board, told Stars and Stripes that only 70 percent of the 380 million banknotes agreed upon between the former government and the state-owned Polish Security Printing Works have arrived in Afghanistan.
“The last tranche was supposed to be delivered last September. But it was suspended when the interim Taliban administration came into power and sanctions were imposed,” Mehrabi said as quoted by Star and Strips.
The Islamic Emirate called on the international community to lift sanctions on Afghanistan.
“The sanctions should be lifted. The Afghans should be helped in every aspect. All rights which are given in international norms, should be given to them,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.