Opinion: Fewer companies, banks, countries to invest in Afghanistan due to fear of sanctions
08 Sep 2021

There are optimistic suggestions that the hard-won integration of Afghanistan into the global economy will remain despite the ascendancy of the Taliban and the withdrawal of the U.S. A number of commentators have suggested that China — which the Taliban have declared their strongest ally — could become Afghanistan’s primary economic supporter and help the country stay part of the global system. That analysis is unrealistic.

For one, it ignores the sanctions regime imposed by the international community on the Taliban. Those restrictions apply not only to financial transactions, but to business ones as well. All companies — not only banks — must comply with the framework against financing terrorism and money laundering. The central bank of Afghanistan (DAB) — which I presided over until the fall of Kabul in August — worked with its international partners to prohibit such transactions. Now, Afghanistan and DAB under the Taliban are likely to be treated as sanctioned entities by the rest of the world.

By Ajmal Ahmady, Bloomberg Opinion, 7 September 2021

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