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Businesswomen seek improved market facilities, financial services

AT-KABUL: The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) on Monday said that inaccessibility to loan, market and training facilities have created immense challenges for female entrepreneurs of the country.

Chief of the ACCI, Atiqullah Nusrat, said the government should provide soft loans facilities and other financial services to women entrepreneurs apart from trainings in order to speed up the process of strengthening national economy and giving Afghan women the opportunity to stand on their own feet.

Speaking at tow-day exhibition with the theme “Women in Business” he said that ACCI conducted recently a survey which revealed 15-18 percent of factories are owned by women or had partnership.

He said that satisfactory progress had not been made despite the fact that females make 50 percent of total population. “Therefore, number of women entrepreneurs should be increased. In order to resolve problems faced by businesswomen, the government shall give more seats to women in the committees that devise economic policies,” he said.

Giving suggestions to the government for provision of facilities to female entrepreneurs, he said that tax discount would be good way to encourage businesswomen.

The deputy chief of Afghan Women’s Business Federation (AWBF), Mazari, said that peace, stability and business are interlinked. As peace and stability has not been ensured, therefore speed of progress in economic sector is unsatisfactory.

Chairman of New Market Development of Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI), Saed Rahimi, said that despite challenges, progress has been made in the past decade.

Currently, 30,000 women have membership of the AWBF. The ministry would continue support businesswomen, he added.

Afghan women handmade products such as handicrafts, embroidered clothes, carpets and rugs were put on displayed in the expo. Female entrepreneurs who exhibited their products expressed serious concerns over poor market facilities and urged the government to take positive and result yielding steps in this regard.

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