Understanding Afghan markets

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Going to Market: Trade and Traders in Six Afghan Sectors is an enjoyable must-read for those interested in the Afghan economy.

There is a persisting misconception that the conflict and Taliban period left the Afghan economy as a “blank slate”…The private sector is expected to help fill the gap left by the opium sector by delivering sustained high levels of growth in an extremely difficult investment environment, and, moreover, this growth should be “pro-poor”.

The paper, the latest from the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU), is based on six case studies of Afghan commodity sectors. Happily, instead of laboriously moving from sector to sector it draws out the general lessons. Report author Anna Paterson concludes with several recommendations, including the creation and extension of cross-border zones to facilitate the movement of people and goods.

Pablo has a slew of posts on Afghanistan: female entrepreneurship, starting a business, buying a car, investment climate, aid effectiveness, and a trip diary from Mazar-e-Sharif.

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