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Afghanistan's economic situation and challenges of integration into the “Belt and Road” strategy
Source: Economic Forecast Department of: Zhang Xiaolan Time: 2018-03-28

I. Afghanistan's domestic economic situation and forecast

(1) The economic structure is dominated by agriculture and animal husbandry, and the service industry has developed rapidly.

万平方公里,人口约2860万人。 Afghanistan is a landlocked country in central and western Asia. It is bordered by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north, Iran in the west, Pakistan in the south, and Pakistan in the southeast. It borders China with a narrow strip of northeast. About 28.6 million people. Afghanistan is one of the least developed countries in the world and relies heavily on foreign aid. 多年战乱,经济破坏殆尽,交通、通讯、工业、教育和农业基础设施遭到的破坏最为严重。 After more than 30 years of war and economic destruction, the damage to transportation, communications, industry, education, and agricultural infrastructure was the worst. The agricultural industry has less investment and lacks a "blood-making function"; the government is inefficient and it is difficult to implement the plan; it relies heavily on foreign aid and its financial means are not enough to make ends meet. 年以来,得益于国际社会提供的大量援助,阿富汗战后和平重建取得一定成果,国民经济缓慢恢复发展。 Since 2001 , thanks to the large amount of assistance provided by the international community, certain achievements have been made in the post-war peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan, and the national economy has slowly recovered and developed. Among the three major industries, agriculture and animal husbandry are the main pillars of the national economy. Industry is affected by the war and lacks a complete industrial system, but the service industry has developed rapidly.1/4 ,且农业还与食品、饮料加工、运输和零售业密切相关,但阿富汗农业靠天吃饭现象严重,没有基本的灌溉系统,农产品的仓储、加工、销售等配套服务体系也严重欠缺,这极大限制了阿富汗农产品的出口能力。 Among them, agriculture accounts for 1/4 of GDP , and agriculture is also closely related to food, beverage processing, transportation, and retail. However, Afghanistan ’s agriculture is heavily dependent on food. There is no basic irrigation system, and storage, processing, and sales of agricultural products The service system is also severely lacking, which greatly limits the export capacity of Afghanistan's agricultural products. 的很小份额。 Although Afghanistan's copper, iron, and oil and gas resources are abundant, the mining industry currently only accounts for a small share of GDP . The development of the mining industry in Afghanistan depends on the regulation of relevant legal systems and the investment in infrastructure construction. Due to the single export products, mainly carpets and dried fruits, the serious problem of Afghanistan's foreign trade deficit will persist for a long time. In short, due to the backwardness and incompleteness of the economic and industrial system, the phenomenon of Afghanistan's heavy dependence on foreign aid for economic development will be difficult to change.

(2) Economic development is in recession and lacks strong endogenous motivation

Since the United States launched the Afghanistan war, the "munition economy" has supported Afghanistan's economic development to maintain a high growth rate. 年间,阿富汗经济年均增速保持在9.4%的水平,这主要得益于大规模基础设施建设领域的投资和外国人员的庞大消费拉动。 From 2003 to 2012 , the average annual growth rate of Afghanistan's economy remained at 9.4% , which was mainly due to the investment in large-scale infrastructure construction and the huge consumption of foreign personnel. 年以来,阿富汗经济形势较为严峻, 2013年本币阿尼对美元和欧元大幅贬值,且新注册登记的公司数目大幅下降,创此前5年来的新低。 However, since 2013 , Afghanistan's economic situation has been more severe. In 2013 , the local currency Ani depreciated significantly against the US dollar and the euro, and the number of newly registered companies has fallen sharply, a record low in the past five years. 年大选久拖不决造成的政治不确定性,非农领域、特别是服务与建筑业的增长明显受挫。 Due to the political uncertainty caused by the prolonged 2014 election, the growth of the non-agricultural sector, especially the service and construction industry, has been significantly frustrated. 年阿富汗粮食和能源价格飞涨。 Food and energy prices in Afghanistan soared in 2014 . 年后美国和北约开始撤军,国际社会对阿富汗援助大幅减少,而政治和安全的不确定性也大大降低了其国际投资吸引力。 At the same time, with the withdrawal of the United States and NATO after 2014 , the international community's assistance to Afghanistan has decreased significantly, and political and security uncertainties have greatly reduced its attractiveness for international investment. 财年,阿富汗GDP增长率仅为2.2%2015/16财年,国内生产总值约为193.7亿美元,同比下降2.4% ,人均GDP677美元,通胀率为3.8% ,失业率高达40% ,主要原因是2015年鸦片产量下降以及本币阿尼对美元贬值严重。 In the 2014/15 fiscal year, Afghanistan ’s GDP growth rate was only 2.2% ; in the 2015/16 fiscal year, GDP was approximately 19.37 billion US dollars, a year-on-year decrease of 2.4% , the per capita GDP was US $ 677 , the inflation rate was 3.8% , and the unemployment rate Up to 40% , mainly due to the decline in opium production in 2015 and the serious depreciation of the local currency Ani to the US dollar. 比重为22.12% ,产值同比下降16.9% ,吸收了国内近40%的劳动力;工业占GDP比重为22.13% ,产值同比增长4.5% ,建筑业增长8.1% ,食品业增加1.5% ,矿产业下降7.9% ,服务业占GDP比重为52.28% ,产值同比增长1.3%Among them, agriculture and animal husbandry accounted for 22.12% of GDP , the output value fell 16.9% year-on-year, and absorbed nearly 40% of the domestic labor force; industry accounted for 22.13% of GDP , output value increased 4.5% year-on-year, construction industry increased 8.1% , and food industry increased 1.5% , the mining industry fell by 7.9% , the service industry accounted for 52.28% of GDP , and the output value increased by 1.3% year-on-year. 的比重为19.4%96.4%7%At the same time, consumption plays a major role in investment, consumption, and exports. Fixed investment, consumption, and exports account for 19.4% , 96.4%, and 7% of GDP , respectively . 年经济增长率为2% ,通胀率为3.2%At present, the economic situation in Afghanistan is still not optimistic. Affected by the withdrawal of the United States and NATO, the international community ’s assistance to Afghanistan and the unstable political and security situation in Afghanistan have affected the economy. The economic growth in 2016 is expected to be 2% . The inflation rate is 3.2% .

(3) The economy will continue to grow at a low rate in the future, making it difficult to be self-reliant

Afghanistan's economy lacks endogenous power. It will remain one of the world's poorest countries for a long time to come, and development will still depend on a large amount of foreign aid. At the same time, Afghanistan's economic self-sufficiency hope lies in using its own geographical advantage as a connecting hub of Central Asia, South Asia, and West Asia, developing re-export trade and effectively developing mineral resources. But subject to intricate relations with neighboring countries, Afghanistan's prospects of relying on cooperation between regional countries to promote its own economic development are uncertain. In addition, the Afghan economy is also facing problems such as security deterioration, institutional corruption, and economic crimes. For Afghanistan to achieve economic autonomy and sustainable growth, it must change the way it relies heavily on foreign aid and infrastructure investment to stimulate economic growth, deepen the reform of the economic system in areas such as finance, finance, and taxation, improve government governance, and strengthen the development of major industries. Expand foreign trade and establish and improve relevant legal systems. 年时间实现经济自主的前景并不乐观。 However, due to the lack of resources and backward economic society, the prospects for Afghanistan to achieve economic autonomy in 10 years are not optimistic. In this regard, the Asian Development Bank believes that the security situation, international assistance, agricultural development, fiscal and tax management, and foreign investment (especially mining investment) will determine whether Afghanistan's economy can achieve stable growth. The Afghan government attaches importance to and desires economic reconstruction, actively seeks foreign aid, reshapes the national economic structure, looks forward to turning the mining industry and oil and gas into pillar industries of the national economy, cultivates its own "blood-making" function, and gradually realizes the goal of financial self-care.

2. Afghanistan's Attitude and Interest Matching on the “Belt and Road” Strategy

Afghanistan and China are connected by mountains and rivers, and they are a community of shared destiny. Afghanistan is full of anticipation for China ’s “Belt and Road” strategy, and its national development strategy and the “Belt and Road” strategy have a wide range of interests, good foundations, and high compatibility, but the potential threats to Afghanistan ’s economic development in the “Belt and Road” process Nor can we ignore it.

(I) Expectations for the “Belt and Road” strategy are more urgent

Afghanistan is not only one of the important countries along the ancient Silk Road, but also one of the first regional countries to actively respond to the strategic concept of the “Belt and Road”. The Afghan government and the private sector both highly value and look forward to the "Belt and Road". )》,阿富汗政府确定安全、基础设施建设、发展私营经济、农业和农村发展、实行良政以及人力资源建设为六大优先发展领域,并希望在未来5-10年内,全力推动区域通道网络建设,使其成为连接东亚和西亚、中亚和南亚,构建欧亚大陆经济带的重要枢纽。 The recently released Ten Year Transformation Development Report ( 2015-2024 ), the Afghan government has identified security, infrastructure construction, the development of the private economy, agriculture and rural development, the implementation of good governance, and the construction of human resources as the six priority development areas. In the next 5-10 years, we will make every effort to promote the construction of a regional channel network, making it an important hub that connects East and West Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia and builds the Eurasian economic belt. At the same time, the Afghan people generally believe that Afghanistan should actively participate in the construction of the "Silk Road Economic Belt", take the "windmill" of China's comprehensive deepening of reform and opening up, share the dividends of China's economic development, and promote the sustainable development of its economy. In addition, China supports Afghanistan's integration into regional cooperation, is willing to help Afghanistan advance its interconnection with neighboring countries, link China's "Belt and Road" initiative with Afghanistan's transformation and development strategy, strengthen comprehensive cooperation between the two sides, and promote common development between the two countries.

(2) There are many points of interest for the “Belt and Road” strategy

The first is to actively expand the field of trade.C )、中亚区域经济合作计划组织( CAEC )、中亚和南亚运输和贸易论坛( CSATTF )、上海合作组织( SCO )等,希望藉此发挥其特殊地缘优势,拓展与成员国的经贸合作,特别是通过资源开发和互联互通等领域的合作,促进阿富汗尽快融入区域经济发展。 Afghanistan actively participates in regional economic cooperation organizations, including the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation ( SAA RC ), the Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation Program ( CA RC ), the Central and South Asian Transport and Trade Forum ( CSATTF ), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization ( SCO ) I hope to take advantage of its special geographical advantages to expand economic and trade cooperation with member states, especially through cooperation in areas such as resource development and interconnection, and promote Afghanistan's integration into regional economic development as soon as possible. China is an important trading partner of Afghanistan. Its main exports to Afghanistan are electrical and electronic products, transportation equipment, machinery and equipment, and textiles and apparel. The main imports are agricultural products. However, with the political turmoil in Afghanistan and the tightening security situation, Sino-Arab trade has also fallen into a downturn. China-Arab trade links are mainly focused on the future. If the situation in Afghanistan improves, its transit transport trade will rapidly flourish, and its radiation capabilities to markets such as East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Europe will also be fully demonstrated, and it is bound to become an important trade hub on the "Silk Road Economic Belt".

The second is to accelerate infrastructure interconnection. 年以来,尽管不断遭受武装袭击,阿富汗政府一直坚持进行公路建设,积极推进区域性“互联互通”建设计划,以实现其成为连接东亚、南亚、西亚和中亚的“交通枢纽”的长远目标。 Geographical advantage is the greatest potential for Afghanistan's independent economic development in the future. Since 2001 , despite continuous armed attacks, the Afghan government has consistently adhered to road construction and actively promoted regional "interconnectivity" construction plans to achieve its connection to East and South Asia. The long-term goal of a "transportation hub" in Western, Central and Western Asia. This is in line with China's "Belt and Road" initiative to build intra-regional and cross-regional "road connectivity". 条国际运输通道,分别连接塔吉克斯坦、乌兹别克斯坦、土库曼斯坦、伊朗和巴基斯坦5个邻国。 At the same time, Afghanistan also has eight international transport corridors, connecting Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Pakistan with five neighboring countries. 条,分别是连接巴基斯坦、伊朗和乌兹别克斯坦三国的通道。 There are three main international transportation routes, which are the corridors connecting Pakistan, Iran and Uzbekistan. 公里自马扎里沙里夫至海拉顿的铁路,但正在大力推动建设中国-吉尔吉斯坦-塔吉克斯坦-阿富汗-伊朗的“五国铁路”和塔吉克斯坦-阿富汗-土库曼斯坦的“三国铁路”。 Although the construction of the Afghan railway has just begun, there are only 75 kilometers of railway from Mazar-i-Sharif to Hiratton, but the China - Kyrgyzstan - Tajikistan - Afghanistan - Iranian "Five-nation Railway" and Tajikistan- Afghanistan - Turkmenistan's "three-nation railway". China is promoting the construction of the “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor”, which is a “four-in-one” corridor covered by highways, railways, oil and gas pipelines, and fiber-optic cables from Kashgar, Xinjiang to Gwadar Port, a port in southwestern Pakistan, and covers trade such as industrial parks and free trade zones The internet. If Afghanistan is connected with the "China-Pakistan Economic Corridor", it will gain opportunities for transportation and trade development. It will also enhance the radiation effect of the "China-Pakistan Economic Corridor" area and help the entire "Silk Road Economic Belt" to move west. Afghanistan currently relies on Pakistan's Karachi port and Iran's Abbas port. After the Gwadar port is completed and used, it will become the nearest sea port to Afghanistan.

The third is to strengthen industrial and agricultural cooperation. Afghanistan's industrial and peasant industries are low in level and unbalanced in development, agricultural production is stagnant, industrial development is lagging behind, and the service industry is rising rapidly, but most of them are "foreign military service-oriented" and difficult to sustain. 世纪60-70年代状况相似,缺少现代化、高科技农业设施。 Agricultural farming techniques and levels are similar to those in China in the 1960s and 1970s , and they lack modern and high-tech agricultural facilities. Limited by natural geographical conditions, there are almost no large farms. Afghan saffron and lapis are more famous, and these specialties are more popular in China. China is a large agricultural country. It has rich production experience for Afghanistan to learn from and can help curb drug cultivation in Afghanistan. China's economy is facing deep reforms, and industrial development needs to be optimized and upgraded. On the one hand, it can provide Afghanistan with economic and financial support that is suitable for its development needs; on the other hand, China's high-quality production capacity can be transferred to Afghanistan, and for Chinese companies, "Going out" opens up space and markets.

Challenges Afghanistan faces in participating in the “Belt and Road” strategy

1. Political turmoil and restricted autonomy

The political transition process in Afghanistan is blocked, and the factions are competing with each other, and the prospects are unclear. Projects under construction are likely to be dragged down by government changes and political infighting, and the risks faced by large investments will increase. In addition, the Afghan government's low governing capacity, widespread corruption, imperfect laws and regulations, and backward financial bank supporting services have all created obstacles to the construction of projects in Afghanistan. In addition, the existence of the Afghan regime, the normal operation of the economy, and the expenditure of the security forces have been maintained by the United States and its Western allies. Obviously, in the transition period of Afghanistan in the next ten years, the United States will still be Afghanistan's largest "golden master." And US aid to Afghanistan, especially civil aid, often adds many constraints to interfere in Afghanistan's internal and foreign affairs. Afghanistan's own decision-making ability is greatly constrained. Many major priority projects, including construction projects in which Afghanistan will participate in the "Silk Road Economic Belt", are difficult to implement in a timely manner, and are likely to be restrained and interfered by the United States.

(2) Low economic recession and low regional economic integration

年出现衰退。 Afghanistan's economy has been in recession since 2013 . Due to the worrying security situation, inadequate infrastructure such as water, electricity and roads, and lack of attractive preferential policies, foreign investors are less enthusiastic about investing in Afghanistan. 财年阿富汗投资出现较大幅度下降。 In the 2014/15 fiscal year, Afghanistan's investment declined significantly. 财年阿富汗投资总额约7.58亿美元,比2013/14财年的14.68亿美元下降近一半。 According to statistics from the Afghanistan Investment Promotion Agency, the total investment in Afghanistan in the 2014/15 fiscal year was approximately 758 million US dollars, which was almost half of the 1.468 billion US dollars in the 2013/14 financial year. Afghanistan's domestic taxation, customs and other economic administrative departments are inefficient and the overall investment environment is poor. 年营商环境报告》,阿富汗在全球189个经济体中营商环境排名第177位。 According to the World Bank's 2016 Doing Business Report, Afghanistan ranks 177 out of 189 economies in the world for doing business. At the same time, despite its important geographic location, Afghanistan not only lacks internal connectivity facilities, but also has poor connectivity with neighboring countries such as South Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, and countries in the Middle East. Trans-regional transportation facilities and trade circulation channels are limited, which are far from meeting the needs of regional development. The development of cross-border corridors also faces the challenges of the diversity of facilities in various countries, including issues such as railway gauge, construction feasibility, and funding sources.