After two months without a new director appointed for the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA), the country’s only organization that issues licenses to investors and focuses on supporting investments, industry leaders on Tuesday criticized the national unity government for failing to do more to address Afghanistan’s pressing economic needs.
Economic experts have warned that Afghanistan will likely witness more capital flight and diminished investment unless the government adjusts its policies.
“Not appointing a head of AISA is a clear example of the government’s neglect in this regard,” Afghanistan Industrial Association (AIA) head Ahmad Sakhi Payman said of the government’s economic policy failures. “Hundreds of licenses are waiting for approval by the AISA chairman, which has not been appointed yet.”
The leadership vacuum at AISA and the ensuing backup in licensing has already begun to cause problems among factory owners.
“The unknown fate of AISA has decreased support for investors,” one factory owner named Ali Ahmad told TOLOnews. “This situation has presented us with several problems,” he added.
When contacted for comment on the subject of AISA and its future leadership, the Presidential Palace declined to speak with TOLOnews.
There are rumors that President Ashraf Ghani has established a new organization named the Afghanistan Investments Agency, but that has yet to be substantiated, and no details regarding its formation or authorities have been shared by the Presidential Palace.