ACCI Opens Trade Service Center in Kabul

Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) opened a Trade Service Center (TSC) on August 3rd in Kabul to inform and educate Afghan businesspeople and the public on the benefits of international trade.The Trade Service Center in Kabul is the second of three Centers to be opened by the Chamber.   The Jalalabad TSC was previously inaugurated in June while the Kandahar TSC is scheduled to be opened later in this month. TSC is a joint effort between ACCI and USAID/TAFA.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Mr. Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, CEO-ACCI, Mr. Abdelkader El-Rahal, Chief of Party-USAID/TAFA, Embassy Trade Attachés, and several local traders.

The trading community has begun utilizing the Centers for information and advice. Most recently, one manufacturer who owned a factory producing Kraft paper and had excess capacity, asked the Jalalabad TSC staff about the tariff rate for Kraft paper in Pakistan; another client wanted to know who issued insurance guarantees in Pakistan for goods in transit, and a third needed confirmation if demurrage charges were exempted for goods in transit in Pakistan

Mr. Haqjo emphasized the essential role TSC can play in international trade and address a particular deficiency in the trading community.  “Unfortunately, many of our traders are not informed which documents are required to export their commodities.  Traders still need information on the changing dynamics of our trade and transit agreement with Pakistan.  TSCs are valuable information assets for all traders,” said Mr. Haqjo

Mr. El-Rahal offered that the “opening of TSCs indicates our commitment for boosting growth of Afghanistan’s economy.  I appreciate that ACCI has cooperated with TAFA on this endeavor.  Additionally, I suggest the creation of an advisory committee made up of representatives from TAFA, ACCI, and MoCI meet quarterly to evaluate the work of the TSC’s and to offer suggestions to strengthen its services.”

Mr. Ahmadzai Hotak, Chairman of Importers Union addressed the assembled audience and said that the growth of business is a key component to ensuring the stability of a country like Afghanistan.  He called on businesspersons to cooperate with ACCI to help expand the country’s economy.

Finally, Mr. Hajj Hassan, Chairman of Exporters Union highlighted the reason behind the weak growth in exports and remarked, “Foreign traders don’t know about our quality products such as fresh and dried fruits, handicrafts, and mining.  This is the main reason for the weak growth of our exports. The Centers will be a major source of information about our quality products and for exporters, to obtain information on international transportation,” said Mr. Hajj Hassan, Chairman of Exporter Union who also stressed that TSCs should promote their services to better serve traders.