AFGHANISTAN: MARKET INFORMATION
Dried Fruits and Nuts
Water and Sanitation
Mining, Oil and Gas
Information and Communication Technologies
On July 1, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA). CISADA, among other things, imposes economic sanctions relating to Iran that go into effect September 29, 2010.
With certain exceptions, CISADA prohibits the importation of goods or services of Iranian origin directly or indirectly into the United States. No exception to this prohibition may be made for the commercial importation of an Iranian-origin good described in section 560.534(a) of the Iranian Transactions Regulations (31 C.F.R. part 560), such as carpets and certain foodstuffs (e.g. dried fruits and nuts).
The CISADA provisions will affect U.S. persons and non-U.S. persons (individuals and entities) who currently rely on the Iranian Transactions Regulations, 31 Code of Federal Regulations part 560 (ITR), to import into the United States carpets and certain foodstuffs (e.g., dried fruits and nuts) from Afghanistan that have been transshipped through Iran. Afghan-origin carpets and certain foodstuffs that are transshipped through Iran enter Iranian commerce and become goods of Iranian-origin, which U.S. persons and non-U.S. persons will be prohibited from importing into the United States after September 29, 2010.
Steps a U.S. person, company or financial institution may wish to take:
Learn about current Iran sanctions here.
Review the provisions of CISADA here.
Visit the website of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions, here.
Doing Business in Afghanistan: A Country Commercial Guide for U.S. Companies (2009)
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul released a guide to doing business in Afghanistan. The report includes: political, economic, and commercial overview selling U.S. products and services leading sectors for U.S. export and investment trade and project financing
Investment Climate in Afghanistan (2009)
The U.S. Department of State released an updated Afghanistan Investment Climate Statement in April 2009. Investment Climate Statements provide a thorough description of the overseas environments in which U.S. investors must operate. The statements cover general characteristics, such as openness to foreign investment and treatment of foreign investors, as well as details about procedures for licensing and similar administrative matters. View report
Afghanistan Investment Support Agency: Market Prospects Report
Three Cluster Discussion – OTF
Three Cluster Discussion (500KB PDF only)
Investment Climate in Afghanistan
The World Bank released a report “The Investment Climate in Afghanistan: Exploiting Opportunities in an Uncertain Environment” (PDF only) that assesses the investment climate, addresses challenges, and identifies what needs to be done to accelerate private investment in Afghanistan.
Investment Report for Key Sectors
June 14, 2005
The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency released Investment Horizons: Afghanistan, a study analyzing the opportunities and challenges for investing in food and beverage processing, logistics and transportation, mining, and carpets in Afghanistan. The complete report and brief reports for the three sectors can be found below.
Investment Horizons: Afghanistan
Opportunities in Food and Beverage Processing
Opportunities in Logistics and Transportation
Opportunities in Carpets and Textiles
Treasury Clarification on Iran Transshipment
March 26, 2010
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued further guidance regarding the status of Afghan goods transshipped through Iran.
March 13, 2008
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued some interpretative guidance regarding U.S. imports of Afghan goods, which have transshipped Iran. In summary, U.S. persons (citizens, companies, etc.) are allowed to import, purchase, resell, etc. carpets and foodstuffs (fruits, nuts, spices, etc.) whether or not they transshipped Iran. Indeed, U.S. persons are allowed to even engage in loading such Afghan goods at an Iranian port. For further details, please refer to the OFAC letter or to the OFAC website on U.S. sanctions policy towards Iran.
English Translation of Banking Law
January 12, 2004
Read the English translation of the commercial and central banking legislation (390KB PDF only) passed September 2003 to help improve conditions for foreign investment.
Investment Law to Streamline the Investment Process
Afghanistan adopted an investment law that is open to foreign investment and creates a single point-of-contact for investors.
SME Finance Sources
April 25, 2007
This brochure is intended as a working guide for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Afghanistan seeking additional financing for their businesses. The organizations and individuals listed herein provide financing to businesses operating in Afghanistan. SME finance sources (PDF only)
Banking Services in Afghanistan
April 26, 2005
The banking sector in Afghanistan is growing and this document (PDF only) provides information about banking services and contact information for banks licensed in Afghanistan.
U.S. Trade and Development Agency
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) funds technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. In Afghanistan, USTDA has funded feasibility studies for a fiber optic telecom network, a gas pipeline/power plant project, an assessment of hotel opportunities, and the civil aviation sector, among other projects. USTDA announced in October 2003 the agency’s Industrial Capacity and Market Development Initiative . This initiative will help develop local private sector capacity in manufacturing, assembly and services, and will support Afghanistan’s efforts to improve its physical infrastructure and human resource base.
For additional information, please contact USTDA at (703) 875-4357 or www.tda.gov.
Overseas Private Investment Corporation
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) established a $100 million line of credit, available to projects that:
OPIC gives preferential consideration to projects that significantly involve U.S. small businesses. OPIC also has an insurance program for U.S. Contractors & Exporters. For more information, visit www.opic.gov.
Multilateral Development Banks
The World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) extend financing to the private sector for investments that contribute to Afghanistan’s development goals. For more information, visit the agencies’ websites or contact the Commerce Department Liaisons listed below:
World Bank: www.worldbank.org/afghanistan
Asian Development Bank (ADB): www.adb.org/afghanistan
World Bank in Washington
U.S. Commercial Liaison to the Asian Development Bank in Manila
Mr. Frank Foster, Senior Commercial Officer
Phone: (63-2) 887-1345
Fax: (63-2) 887-1164
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) (www.ifc.org): The IFC, the World Bank’s private sector arm, assists private businesses that seek to invest in poverty reduction projects in developing economies. In addition to the business advisory services listed above, the IFC offers equity financing, syndicated loans, risk management products and intermediary finance. IFC can provide a mix of financing that is tailored to meet the needs of each project. However, most of the funding, as well as leadership and management responsibility, lies with private sector owners. There is no standard application form for IFC financing. A company or entrepreneur, foreign or domestic, seeking to establish a new venture or expand an existing enterprise can approach IFC directly.
Carpet Cluster Strategy (PDF 1.4MB)
Summary of Carpet Cluster Activities (PDF 700KB)
This guide provides potential investors with a general summary of the key provisions of Afghanistan’s 2005 Minerals Law. It also provides a brief overview of key Ministerial bodies, licensing requirements, and other relevant information, as well as a general overview of Afghanistan’s natural resource deposits.
Marble/Mining (PDF 700KB)
Gemstones, Jewelry, and Handicraft Products from Afghanistan
A list of various sources for Afghan-origin products!
Dried Fruits and Nuts
Plant Import Information
Fruit and Vegetable Import Information
FAVIR Fruits and Vegetables Import Requirements Database
List of commodities that can be imported from all countries
Information about PPQ Permits
PPQ Form 587 to import plants or plant products
Miscellaneous and Processed Products Manual
BuildingMarkets, Afghanistan’s Newest Procurement Directory May 2008
BuildingMarkets, a new comprehensive online market place, was launched in May 2008 with the promise of enhancing procurement for thousands of businesses throughout Afghanistan. The marketplace, which features over 3,500 local vendors, offers consumers information from a wide variety of industries and services, ranging from construction materials and solar energy to pharmaceuticals and film products. Each of the listed vendors is prescreened through the website’s founders, the Canadian NGO Peace Dividend Trust.
In addition to providing a centralized forum for trade and procurement, the directory also features information on buyers in the region, a two-way tender distribution point, and comprehensive data on investment opportunities throughout Afghanistan. The site also provides access to additional services, which include business matchmaking and capacity development initiatives.
The new marketplace is launched by the nonprofit organization Peace Dividend Trust, which in 2006 launched the successful Afghanistan Procurement Directory. Since its inception in 2006, Peace Dividend Trust has facilitated contracts worth over $65 million to Afghan businesses.
For additional information or to obtain procurement information, please visit http://afghanistan.buildingmarkets.org/
Afghanistan Business Gateway
October 6, 2005
The Afghan Embassy launched Afghanistan Business Gateway, an on-line resource where investors and companies can access to information on trade, investment, and tourism in Afghanistan. This includes a database where businesses enter their company information on the site and can be linked with other businesses as potential partners.
Industrial Parks Encourage Private Investment
The Industrial Park Development Authority is looking for companies to lease plots in one of Afghanistan's industrial parks. The first industrial parks are in Kabul, Kandahar, and Mazar-i-Sharif. These parks will provide companies a combination of high quality infrastructure and services, including professional management, reduced financial risk, clean land title, reliable electrical power supply, 24 hour security, paved roads, and central water and sewage system. Read the Industrial Park brochure (1.1MB PDF only) for technical specifications of the three industrial parks.
One-stop Shop for Investment in Afghanistan
January 7, 2003
The Afghan government recently created the Afghan Investment Support Agency to streamline the investment application process in Afghanistan that now only requires five steps. Read the presentation (1.5MB PDF only) on investing in Afghanistan
World Bank: Measuring Business Regulations