Afghan economy expected to grow 2.6 percent this year says World Bank

An interior view of the City Walk shopping mall in central Kabul March 10, 2014. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl/Files
Vastavam web: Afghanistan’s economy is expected to grow 2.6 percent this year, up slightly from the previous year despite deteriorating security, the World Bank said in a report on Tuesday.“In the next three to four years, there are things that can be done to boost growth to between 4 and 5 percent,” said Shubham Chaudhuri, the World’s Bank’s Country Director for Afghanistan.
Chaudhuri, presenting a report on Afghanistan’s economy at the World Bank’s fortified headquarters in Kabul, said that agriculture, mineral attraction and the country’s youth were its biggest assets, as well as its geography as a regional land bridge.Parliamentary elections are due to be held next year, with a presidential vote expected in 2019.
Business sentiment is also on the rise, the World Bank said, though it is still lower than in 2014 when most foreign troops withdrew from Afghanistan.Growth is significantly below the “war economy” figures of the late 2000s, which saw annual rises averaging nearly 10 percent, but the World Bank believes it will continue to rise.One of the major tests for Afghanistan’s stability after a U.S.-led invasion ousted the Taliban government a decade and a half ago is its ability to collect taxes.Tax revenue in the first eight months of the year was 13 percent higher than the same period last year, the World Bank said.