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tv   Private Sector Development in Afghanistan  CSPAN  November 28, 2017 1:26am-3:29am EST

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[inaudible conversations] >> let's get started and i will have a conversation about the private sector in afghanistan we have been doing a series of events over the last year we recently hosted a couple of weeks ago we could not have done this about the of partnership and as a friend thinks for everything. we will have been interesting and conversation today when i think about people who were qualified for their jobs and the right people at the right time i cannot think of the of better person turning afghanistan around that usa id. to serve some of the toughest places in the world
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a patriot and a friend a qualified individual they got he raised his hand to do public service. [applause] >> it is very nice to see my old friends here in the audience is a particular that has been done in afghanistan for those of you that i have not met and i would like to say some words about the south asia strategy with the very few point on how that applies to usaid role and i will mention in pakistan and then talk about the specifics but
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feel very fortunate to be returning to usaid added time when we do actually have a strategy in the region so i feel very fortunate i got the marching orders. and then we have a component and the afghanistan role is to help first to sustain the gains made in the social sector of pelf there is a bond between the government and the citizens through the service delivery of mentioned, elections to
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significantly reduced corruption and a the third of the three is private sector led economic development focused on the market centers and exports. i will talk in detail on that. this is something very presidential to do by the way. [laughter] so in pakistan we have been engaged a long time we have three things we're trying to help them do and fortunately we're on the same page with the government and the network of stakeholders so
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the first is to help pakistan merge and to feel that the adjacent provinces for those that live there and those that were displaced by conflict about 85 percent of those have returned so to make it possible for them to reintegrate. that is the first peas. second, to help communities
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sin pakistan in particular those areas that our vulnerable to gain resilience and in particular parts of karachi and a the fatah as it emerges. that is number two working with the civil society to help them do that. and to the third is to help pakistan track private investment to create jobs for the younger people for that you if pulled of pakistan. that is to have maximum effort to be accountable for the taxpayers that go into
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supporting our programs and pakistan and afghanistan also been a broader context to make the relationship with india as constructive as possible. one of the things afghanistan has done over the last year is create that tender corridor between kabul and cantar. this has been a real support to businesses, private businesses with that product of the countryside which it has done in the markets in the region so the fruits and nuts, gemstones, kashmir
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wool, those types of things. >> so i understand there were air then to have a dozen central asian country. it is a turkey the processing were the ability to invest is the product of the countryside depends on the of policy conducive to that nobody knows that them the business people themselves and security and
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electricity with easy clear access to land with a transparent relationship between business and a the government to do the things they need to do to do that type of business. we think that is the real opportunity for afghanistan and we would like to use the and producing high-value crops. >> ; those larger cities and
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with the government has greater control than in other parts of the country with the adn given the right policy environment and conditions that are already existing afghan businesses who can set up facilities to process the product and then reach out. he is mining for onyx and processing year callable. -- kabul whether that is fresh and dried and canned of our selling it is an india recently sponsored a trading event over three days where all told government
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officials, media, civil society there were 1,700 people that participated. there are existing businesses that know how to deal with the region and the product is acceptable so our job is to make that grow in the year doing a number of things to support those businesses, including that many of them that went to that event in india our own and run by women.
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another piece of that we're looking at the electric power requirements of the growth of the private sector in afghanistan. we have had our support to the electric power sector and still working on that but if this is to succeed there would be stick to a vacant economic growth relating to exports in the region and other places so what are a the electric power requirements of that? trying to get a handle on that by the end of january to see what we can do as we move forward. an important part of it with
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the leadership of the chamber of commerce saying 70 percent of the jobs depending on trade with afghanistan it is true talking to people who are in business that a lot of the opportunity relates to exporting and it would be nice if there was free movement of goods across the afghan pakistan border. so from both sides doing everything we can to help to get to yes on that. and another important piece and the last thing i will mention is the extractive sector. we worked for several years with afghanistan to develop
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and the efforts for not successful. now we're all bin to do doing that again looking to support that in ways they want to do. we will not get ahead of the government to support the industry as a huge diversion but first we had to engage the u.s. geological service to take the huge amount of raw data developed years ago on the of mineral resources of afghanistan to put that into a form that is useful to potential investors in those extractive industries we have contacted and that will happen that way a mining company can no if
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they're interested what it is and where it is and what about it. the independent anti-corruption agency to do vulnerability assessments starting with the ministry of health and a education we are supporting them to do that and and then to have a very good roadmap we think for development of the extractive industries. so as the effort with anti-corruption bush
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emphasized that the recent senior officials meeting following of one year after brussels as a push forward there is a road map developed to develop those attractive sectors. including a new project coming on to help the government ministries address those sources of corruption and help civil society to monitor the extent to which that is done. the final point i would make can forgive me going a bit longer than allowed but there is the west's afghanistan compact which is the initiative that includes over 200 performance
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measures with a whole gamut of issues including private sector development issues. then it is the afghan initiative they have emphasized going for word they are helping them to move as that is requested with those capabilities to do that but until ben -- then it is not renew but the new development partnership which is taking key reform performance measures to relate to u.s. financial support to them. it is a four year $800 million program related to specifics performance measures agreed between the
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u.s. aid and afghanistan so those are elements that can support private-sector development initiative that we know is absolutely essential to afghanistan in achieving the goals laid out at the senior officials meeting in kabul how to get more donor assistance to get private investment so afghanistan can stand on its own again that relates to the overall objective of the south asia strategy to help afghanistan be stable enough to manage extremism within its borders helping pakistan to be secure enough to play a constructive role in the region for carla forward to the discussion having a
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chance to say hello to my old friends and meet new ones. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> hello everybody. a i am a senior fellow and i will be moderating this panel today. i will introduce briefly our distinguished panel then i have a lot of questions to ask. first as a member of the afghanistan women's chamber of commerce and former deputy in basket --
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ambassador for those economic affairs president and ceo afghan of the american chamber of commerce and former assistant administrator and a member of the federation of the craftsman and traders. so from that u.s. perspective to jump into local voices we will start with a feel good story asking questions of the achievement of the private sector in particular. in your opinion what are the three main achievements they have accomplished?.
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>> rebel star with the private sector. historically looking in context and i am very aware c-span is here today. it is really important the american public know that the success afghanistan has had with support from the united states and other donors has not just ben in health and education and women's empowerment. unfortunately a lot of that success cannot be talked about publicly because of those levels of the possibility to bring others into it to take down that investment were that
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successful project. i will go through a few successes to identify and to i will start with this sector close to my heart. in 2001 there was no cellular telephony let alone having access to anything telephony related now those and noble in sister -- now with women between 92% having access that is an incredible achievement so how did the afghan government and private sector got there was a lot of support from the donor community no arguing with fact those investments came from the department the state department usaid helping to implement
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2.$6 billion worth of infrastructure and with that base was an additional $2 million of direct investment coming from outside donors to build up that infrastructure to bring it to where it was a few years ago we will talk what needs to be done now where they have fallen rapidly behind the investments they needed to make this a big success story. second is agriculture primarily the agrarian economy 22% of the illicit economy is our cultural driven that is a pretty sizable percentage the agriculture is still the main driver for employment of subsistence living and wheat is the main component
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afghanistan is the largest per capita of wheat consumer in the world. outstripping the developed countries the main products are not just wheat and o p.m. unfortunately that is still a big part but fruits and nuts he then sheepskin is counted as a key potential export items already with pomegranates and dates and fruits and nuts but infrastructure development has been a major amount done by the united states for the world bank and others in a series of private sector investments to be privatized including
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with the recently announced of phase two when the contract was awarded to general of electric the costa of the 1,000 project and the bowline constructed of 500-volt line is almost finished and the one that took the maine public utility turning it into a semi private will fully privatized and available to wait for an investor if they're interested also spending time on regionalization to do power purchase of a great -- agreements all of those are coming into a very diversified electrical system with major components
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with the private sector operating utilities the last issue is attempted as the president deserves credit for this, they have attempted to regionalize that economic infrastructure. including the core deal to give afghanistan the agreement with indiana and iran in a court to ship product to go out to the indian ocean and beyond the started freight connections with china the dam was inaugurated recently and a the lecter corridor is the exciting development long overdue now they can get of products out to the private markets.
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>> that was a great introduction and coverage of the highlights. so now to put into context for space gdp has gone up 64% overall that has grown but it is also true despite the recognition it has been hard to lou for meant growth of the private sector in afghanistan and agriculture remains that employs 70% of the population accounting 20% of gdp and services are another 55% so you have a business industrial sector around 25% then the asian
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development bank says it is between 10 and 12%. so there is a lot to do with ambitious and determined entreprenuers said that the growth came from what was flowing into a afghanistan. and tied to the development so what you saw was the shock of the hippie economy when they withdrew and a drop of gdp growth happily that is reversing now you
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see that upswing batted is expected to be 2.6% this year or 3 percent next year. there is a lot that has to be done not then it comes as an important component to be worked on simultaneously but as you support the private sector you have to give better recollecting government revenue in no way that doesn't harm the of private sector so how can you expand your revenue at the same time to foment growth not only bureaucracy or to focus the look for ways to expand the tax base?
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you also have to get better to extend your government funds and provide a daily services this is mentioned to the general population as the business and private sector. infrastructure was an important part to make it possible now would have us to be maintained so you have to work on that. not just on the tough side but a lot of reasons business profits or confidence has not been high with like a security the pace of reform and corruption and a weak regulatory system i think it
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is important to have more hope that the government seems committed to working on these areas with the new u.s. policy and partners are aimed at addressing the situation i will not go through them all right now but they are improving a the dialogue to set up better practices to do with problems and audits that make it hard to work together. then the number of things they have to keep working on that we can come back to. there is a lot of work to do but we all recognize the final importance to get this
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injun moving and 400,000 people coming in to the job market every year if you don't generate jobs what will happen to them and leave no young people without jobs is usually not good for society so the private-sector can generate most of those jobs. >> what do you think are the main sectors with the highest potential. and why?. >> i will start with the mining and extraction with the afghan government since president trump came to office and in afghanistan there is a huge amount of illicit mining already happening around the country
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a some are struck for shipments out to do by or the middle east tour of lebanon but now what heads to china with special deals with extraction companies or the regional players or the afghan government tries to bring a the mining sector in a wave that is structured and plant and compliant and ethical. the areas that the afghan government is looking at us those exports to expand that dramatically it can help to do that. oh the world bank may be the only exception for clean coal in the world which is a big deal how they are
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pushing solar and wind. afghanistan is extremely clean burning coal it has the ability to bring capacity to areas that never would have had energy development so to represent a sizable resources with lithium a number of meetings internally with a joint venture to explore of lithium the u.s. geological service is doing an evaluation with that analysis that those assessments could be made current investments are huge gender already there that
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was done through a chinese investment agreement there are deposits for copper and iron as well as gold and other precious gemstones so the second sector is our act as a success. . .
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>> "washington journal" continues. ost: taking us deeper inside afghanistan is john sopko, pecial inspector general for
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afghanistan reconstruction, sigar, thank you for joining us. how your office came to be and what the role is. a pleasure to y, be here and i admire you for putting on the three hours on is our longest serving war and we need more i think focus on it, that is very important. sigar, was tobacco sounding acronym created in 2008, and realized thatress we were spending a lot of money there. of idn't do a very good job overseeing how the money was spent in iraq, they created a agency, we are inspector audits, s office, we do criminal investigations, about 200 of us, we focus on afghanistan and we only focus on reconstruction. ne of the reasons congress did this is because we've spent more reconstruction in
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afghanistan than we've ever done anywhere in the world. e spent more money in afghanistan than we did on the entire marshall plan to rebuild war ii.fter world so congress assumed and i think correctly, they needed a special agency just to look at it and we've been in existence since then. ost: you put out regular reports, the latest from october 30, of this year, how often does put out 's office reports to congress? uest: we put out quarterly reports, plus we issue lessons reports on a regular basis and issue audits, investigations and inspection regular basis. host: what is summary of this report? what is new and different from the last one? uest: the quarter report signifies reconstruction from the last quarter, required to do set us up.tute that hat was important there, we
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focused on the classification issue, which was new, classified of information that has been unclassified before. focused on the casualty of territory unt under control by the afghanistan which is decreased since we est level started collecting data on that. on the e focused economic issue, the economy hasn't turned around for them, hey're facing a bulging population, they don't have jobs, they don't have the to omy, that is main for us report. host: we'll keep phone numbers the screen for john sopko, special inspector general for afghanistan and get a couple going in minutes. if you think the u.s. should afghanistan, call 202-748-8000. should hink the u.s.
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leave, 202-748-8001. fghan war veterans, 202-748-8003. been with this office six years now. guest: yes. host: how would you describe the the country currently as we head into 2018 by thetion to the effort u.s. and allies over the years to build up that country? guest: it's not a black/white issue here, there's a mix. of some success some failures. overall, the security situation has deteriorated over the six this that i've been doing job. lthough it stabilized into a better e now, we have a working relationship with the new afghan government, they're cooperative. they are interested in changing, they're interested in changing military and they're also
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interested in attacking the corruption, em of which is rampant throughout the to try and you're not going win there unless you deal with the corruption issue. they are serious about the problem, the 800-pound gorilla, which i think i was uote as saying before, in the room. here, the taliban and the insurgency gets most funding from the drug trade f. we don't do anything about that, we'll win. host: in the report, before we get to calls, you have status of here and headline connol reconstruction pipeline, $120 billion dollars afghanistan relief and reconstruction. you have a chart here breaking everything down. to our viewer what is we're looking at here and what significance is. guest: that particular chart ries to break down just the
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reconstruction number. if you look at the war fighting, figure think the higher you have quoted, comes from brown and harvard university, is about $sec700 billion. reconstruction, money spent to pay salaries of afghanistan and civil d police servants, that is to build oads, pay salaries of civil servants, build clinics etcetera, that is what that down tshows how much money is for security ssues, about $70 billion of that $120 billion goes to the police and the security forces military and then the rest aid, to humanitarian civilian operations or 2k3w06ernance. host: what is your sense coming the recent hearing on the house side where congress is on afghanistan right now and how it views the current effort there? guest: it is hard for me to congress. all of
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i was a subcommittee of a very important subcommittee of a very important committee of the oversight and government reform committee in the house. and rom talking to members think even talking to the citizens, i think there is war eariness, weariness about the money question about when it will end and question of when we it now we're cautiously optimistic with new strategy that we're get it i think that strategy is more realistic, based upon what is the fwround, on the ground right now, rather than i itrary time lines, which think this was accurate strategy.of prior host: does the sigar's office in a report you put out, have any connection to the white house? his is written for congress, but does the white house read the reports? do they act on anything? take recommendations? guest: oh, i can't speak for the
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but i can itself, speak for the administration, the reports go to the various as well as look at, congress. so secretary of state, secretary agency se, any other work nothing afghanistan. they do read them. they do respond and i think cautiously optimistic, as a matter of fact, very happy, in he last six months, the reaction that the department of efense has had toward many reports. secretary mattis issued a policy the senior all of leadership based upon one of our dealing it was a report with camouflage uniforms, which decided and we may have wasted millions of dollars on. it we're getting a big response, positive response, secretary dunford -- excuse me, joint chief, e general dunford, in recent testimony commented how they use information. the one thing we author is we


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