The signing of the political deal between President Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah has raised hopes for the expansion of investment and the increase in the international community’s assistance, according to members of the private sector.
The deal was signed on Sunday and authorizes Abdullah to lead the High Council for National Peace and to have a 50 percent share in cabinet appointments.
Members of the business community said that the political rift over the last six months has prevented millions of dollars from being invested in the country.
“The political impasse has caused many damages to the private sector,” said Khan Jan Alokozay, a member of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment. “We think that hundreds of millions of dollars were supposed to be invested in Afghanistan, but it did not happen due to the political rift.”
He added that investors closed their factories over the political dispute and were waiting for the tension to be resolved.
In recent months, national and international organizations in their assessments have mentioned political turmoil as a barrier to economic development.
“The private sector and the people of Afghanistan paid a heavy price for the political rift,” said Sakhi Ahmad Paiman, deputy head of the Chamber of Industry and Mines.
“This agreement has created optimism for investors and industry owners. I hope that the political leadership will work for the country’s economy in a unified way.”
An assessment by Biruni Research Institute in Kabul indicates that 75 percent of Afghanistan's budget is comprised of the international community’s assistance and that this aid is dependent on the political stability in the country as a precondition.
“The formation of the inclusive government will help the US assistance to continue, as $1 billion of it was stalled. Meanwhile, the Geneva conference, which will be held this year, would not be possible in the absence of an inclusive government,” said Nazir Kabiri, head of the Biruni Institute.
This comes as the United States decreased $1 billion from its annual aid to Afghanistan because of the failure of the two political leaders to end their rift back in March. But there hopes now have that the US will review its decision.