ACCI Holds the Roundtable on Banking in Afghanistan

Considering the importance of banking sector’s role in the economic development, ACCI in close collaboration with Da Afghanistan Bank held a roundtable under the name of “Banking in Afghanistan in a Decade”, which mainly was concentrating on the challenges and development of banking sector during the last decade, on 27th February at Kabul Serena Hotel.

This event made a platform to discuss the opportunities that could enable the environment for a healthy and strong banking industry in Afghanistan and advocate the obstacles hindering banking activities with the relevant government entities and also encourage the private to conduct all business transactions through formal banking system.

Furthermore the roundtable provided an opportunity to discuss the progress and achievements of the banking sector during the last ten years and as well as it features banking and financial experts who made presentations on the banking system in Afghanistan in comparison with the international banking system.

The presentation emphasized on the respective topics such as financial supervision and its wider impact on the national economy and banking activities within last decades presented by Mr. Jamal Naser from DAB, Islamic Banking in Afghanistan and its procedures was done by Mr. Mohammadi from DAB, glance on banking system in Afghanistan from Private sector’s prospects was presented by Mr. Haqjo CEO of ACCI and finally International Banking System was made Pro. Rod Manger from American University of Afghanistan (AUAF).

Mr. Khan Jan Alkozay, First Vice-Chairman of ACCI said the despite existence challenges in the country, but our private sector especially banking has grown significantly. “We need to learn international banking practices to approach a standardized banking.” He said.

Mr. Delawari, Governor of DAB remembered that 10 years ago, two-third of notes was being printed out of DAB control. He also announced that two important projects are underway and will be launched soon. First; transferring of sealed commodities through Karachi (Pakistani Seaport) to Afghanistan’s soil (located 10km far of Turkham Custom) and proceed custom protocol by permission of DAB. This project will help both traders and government to proceed custom protocol and letter of credits transparently. The project is executed by cooperation of DP World of United Arab Emirates. Second; Stock Exchange Market will be launched soon in Kabul.

Mr. Haqjo, CEO of ACCI distinguished three stages as banking phases during past decade in Afghanistan. First; creating of legal framework of banking, reform, money policy, law and regulations and merging of state banks. Second; investing of private sector in banking sector, increasing of quality and quantity of banks’ services. Third; rising of crisis in private banks, Kabul Bank Scandal, reducing of people trust on private banks.

He also stated serious challenges facing banking in the country such as complicated laws and regulations,  not be standardized of banking in Afghanistan, linking of a crisis in a bank to other private banks, revealing of individuals’ bank accounts without predict of court and interfering of irrelevant government agencies in banking system.

Therefore, to solve these challenges, he suggested that (1) Afghan banks have to have close relationship with international banks and standardized their services. (2) DAB has to distribute foreign currencies to provinces too. (3) Creating of stock exchanges and money exchange markets are needed. (4) Private banks have to pay seriously attention on capacity building of their employees. (5) banks and universities have to have close linkages. (6) government has to implement public outreach on recent progressives of banking in Afghanistan to retake trust of people. (7) ACCI and ABA (Afghanistan Banks Association) have to work on promotion of banking of Afghanistan.

Then, experts of DAB made two presentations contain history of banking in Afghanistan, Banking in a past decade, laws and regulations, future plans of DAB and Islamic Banking.

In following, Pro. Rod Manger from AUAF presented international banking practices and explained AUAF’s plans on professional development human resources.

The final presentation was done by Mr. Alok Kumar Aggarwal, CEO of Maiwand Bank on introduction of the banks and new services are delivered by the banks.

This roundtable also provided this opportunity for attendances to discuss on Kabul Bank Crisis, Islamic Banking, Creating of Export Promotion, Construction Promotion Bank, Agriculture Promotion Bank, non colleting of old notes in state banks and modern international banking.

At the end, Mr. Haqjo concluded the roundtable as following:

1-     New Banking in Afghanistan is needed to be promoted;

2-     Bankers have to learn Kabul Bank Crisis;

3-     Banking system should be modernized;

4-     Government has to play as supervisor  role in the banking;

5-     Insurance sector should be promoted;

6-     Public and private sectors have to pay attentions on creating of stock exchange and money exchange modernized markets;

7-     Particular banks on export, construction and agriculture promotions should be made.

It’s mentionable, Maiwand Bank sponsored the roundtable. Thus, ACCI appreciated the bank for its cooperation and expect the bank to have such cooperation in future with ACCI.

ACCI is going to hold such professional roundtable particularly on some sectors to bring stockholders of each sector together toward addressing of barriers and find solutions in coming future.

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