Afghanistan’s economy grew by an estimated 2.9 percent in 2019, driven mainly by strong agricultural growth following recovery from drought, but lingering political uncertainty dampens private confidence and investment, says the World Bank.
“Growth picked up in Afghanistan in 2019. This is good news, but insecurity and political uncertainty are holding back the Afghan economy,” said World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan Henry Kerali. “Afghanistan needs to ramp up the pace of reforms to generate faster growth necessary to improve the living standards of its people and reduce poverty.”
The World Bank in a press release said that as drought impacts further recede and private sector confidence improves following conclusion of the presidential election, growth is expected to accelerate to 3.3 percent in 2020.
“Domestic revenue collection reached a new high of 14.5 percent of GDP in 2019, up from 13.3 percent in 2018. Strong revenue performance reflected both progress in establishing a robust tax system and substantial one-off revenues, including transfers from the Da Afghanistan Bank,” the press release reads.
“The international community needs to maintain its support to Afghanistan over the medium-term to sustain the country’s recent development progress and help realize its long-term growth and self-reliance prospects. In this effort, the Afghan government needs to assure its international partners that progress is being made on governance and that aid resources are used efficiently,” said Kerali.
“To improve confidence in the short-term, the Development Update notes the need for Government to accelerate improvements in business environment and anti-corruption reforms,” the press release added.
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