Skip to content

Searching for a Plan B; Finance and people flowing out…

April 3, 2012

A lot of people on Twitter picked up this story of the loss of confidence in Afghanistan.  Worth reading in full – people and money looking for contingency plans…

NYT, March 2012: …Interviews with business owners, analysts and economists paint a picture of extreme anxiety in both the domestic and international business communities here as the Afghan-United States relationship deteriorates and as the Western drawdown begins.

In this environment, troubling indicators are not hard to find. More than 30,400 Afghans applied for asylum in industrialized nations in 2011, the highest level in 10 years and four times the number seeking asylum in 2005, according to provisional figures from the United Nations. Meanwhile, the number of displaced Afghans outside the country seeking to come the other way slowed to 68,000 last year, down from 110,000 in 2010 and a big decrease from the 1.8 million Afghans who repatriated in 2002, the year after the Taliban were driven out of power.

The only Western bank operating here said on Wednesday that it would be leaving. Piles of cash equaling about a quarter of Afghanistan’s annual economic output were physically carried out of Afghanistan last year. Fewer foreign companies are seeking to do business here, and those already here are downsizing and putting off new investments. And there are businessmen like Mr. Manani who already have a foot out the door, working actively toward a Plan B for life and business outside Afghanistan…

Of course, this is a story the media is going to be chasing now, with alarmist overtones, but it does highlight some of the sheer uncertainty around the country.  Karzai unhelpfully (and characteristically?) – angry, emotional and helpful: “Sometimes I hear that some businessmen are fleeing and moving their businesses to outside Afghanistan…Curses be upon such businessmen that made tons of money here and now that the Americans are leaving they flee. They can leave right now. We don’t need them”.  Unfortunately Afghanistan does need them.  See also my posts here, here and here

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: