National Business Agenda (NBA)

CIPE Program Director Mohammad Naim discusses economic reforms with business leaders in Jalalabad to develop policy recommendations for the National Business Agenda

Afghanistan National Business Agenda

The Afghanistan National Business Agenda is a document that identifies the most urgent policy reforms necessary to improve the business climate in Afghanistan. Launched on March 27, 2011, the NBA was the product of the Afghan Business Agenda Advisory Committee (ABAAC), a coalition of 11 Afghan business associations and chamber of commerce. The ABAAC traveled to five cities in Afghanistan; Jalalabad, Herat, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Shariff, and Kabul to hold workshops with business leaders across Afghanistan to learn about their policy priorities. Over 1,200 business leaders participated in the workshops.

The findings were then synthesized into the NBA, which offers concrete policy recommendations and specific legislative or regulatory reforms to remove these barriers and improve the business climate. The associations that make up the coalition represented all the major sectors of the formal Afghan economy, including women entrepreneurs. The issues which are addressed for policy changes include: taxation and tariff policy, access to credit and land, infrastructure, trade facilitation and eliminating other burdensome laws and regulations.

CIPE continues to work with the ABAAC members to advocate for the adoption and implementation of the reforms outlined in the NBA. The ABAAC members have achieved a wide range of policy reforms that have improved the business climate in Afghanistan.

Policy Reform Successes
  • Tariffs on machinery and raw materials were eliminated while tariffs were raised on imported finished goods such as carpets and furniture that compete with domestic businesses.
  • Indutrial parks were established in Kabul, Khandahar, Herat, Bost (in Helmand province), Mazar-i-Sharif, and Jalalabad. Seven more industrial parks are planned.
  • Following the coalition’s advocacy efforts, the Ministry of Finance computerized the Torkham Customs Office in Nangahar Province to ensure transparency and efficiency. This will help speed up the customs process and reduce corruption.
  • The Ministry of Commerce agreed to ease the process for registering for an export/import license to require only six signatures rather than 45.
  • To reduce delays in trade, a representative of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has been placed in the customs offices in six major cities across Afghanistan to verify certificates of origin. Previously, the required verification was only available in Kabul.