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Iran to host conference on reviving Afghanistan's economy

TEHRAN, Dec. 20 (Mehr News Agency) - Iran will host the first conference and related exhibition on reviving Afghanistan's economy from December 22 to 24 in Tehran.

The Mehr News Agency reported here on Saturday that the director of Afghanistan's national customs office and deputy director of the Central Bank of Afghanistan as well as 80 Afghan tradespersons, businesspersons, and some high-ranking officials are in Iran to attend the confab.

Meanwhile, the Afghan vice president heading another 20-member delegation of high-ranking officials is due in Tehran on Sunday.

The group of Afghan officials plans to sign economic agreements with Iranian cooperatives and state- or private-run agencies.

In their weeklong visit, they will hold meetings with Iranian officials to discuss ways to streamline the progress of economic restoration.

The Afghan delegation is also scheduled to visit some factories and industrial parks of Qazvin and Semnan provinces.

Many years of war and political instability have left the country in ruins, and dependent on foreign aid. The main source of income in the country is agriculture, and during its good years, Afghanistan produces enough food and food products to provide for the people, as well as to create a surplus for export.

International Monetary Fund released a review on Afghanistan's economy in July 2008 saying, "Economic developments in the second half of 2007/08 were broadly favorable, but inflation picked up significantly. Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is estimated at 11.5 percent in 2007/08, and consumer price index (CPI) inflation reached 20.7 percent, reflecting higher prices of imported fuel and foodstuffs. For 2008/09, real GDP growth is projected to moderate to 7.5 percent and inflation to decelerate to 15 percent by the year's end."

... Payvand News - 12/21/08 ... --

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