New Market Development Program Launched in Afghanistan

In considering of globalization of markets, aggressive imports competition, increasingly demanding consumers looking for quality goods and services, new standards of quality and environment protection and business innovative to approach the opportunities, New Market Development Program (NMDP) was launched in Afghanistan.

In order strengthening of small and medium businesses which has 80 percent of shares in GDP of Afghanistan, NMDP aims to diagnosis strategic business planning and upgrading plans, market research, introducing of quality management system, providing of technical and management trainings, providing of technical assistances on marketing and sales, product design and testing, certification costs, acquisition of studies and databases and also providing of co-financing for legal and  registration expenses, costs related to marketing companies/prospection/missions.

NMDP will come up by USD 22 million which 18 million will cover expenses related to mission of the program and 4 million left will cover expenses related to capacity building programs for NMDP team and administrative costs.

World Bank is main donor of the program and GIZ (German International Development Agency) and Ministry of Commerce and Industries will conduct jointly the project.

NMDP will launch its first phase at Kabul, Nangarhar, Herat and Balkh provinces and expect to approach strengthening of 750 private firms. Currently, 37 companies have been registered by the project.

Mr. Anwar Ul Ahady, Minister of Commerce and Industries underlined importance of marketing for Afghan quality products as well as upgrading of packing to approach regional and international markets. He also mentioned competitive environment at market and need for Afghan traders to be able to compete and be survived in the markets.

Mr. Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, CEO of ACCI talked on ability and capacity of both government and private sector in conducting efficiency and effectively of new economic system of Afghanistan, Market Economy. “Unfortunately, both government and private sector have not had efficient ability and capacity to conduct the system very well during past decade. Thus, we need to empower private sector as engine of the system to be able to offer quality products to international markets as well as compete in the market.” He said

He also said the both government and economic stockholders should not wait private sector to address investment opportunities and find potential markets as well as run their businesses. Therefore, it is task of economic stockholders to address route for private sector and also promote the businesses.

Thus, in order conducting of the project effectively and efficiency, he suggested to donor and implementers of the project that (1) collect efficient information about regional and international markets, (2) pay attention on management capacity of private sector, (3) advise on risk investment reduction, (4) assist private sector how access to finance especially for women entrepreneurs, (5) continue the project and coordinate with similar projects in Afghanistan, (6) assess improvement of private sector’s capacities and effectiveness of the project particularly about those business have received the services,(7) private sector also have to offer eligible proposals and (8) campaign competitive environment between  private sector.

The event was being continued by speech of Mr. Robert J. Saum, Country Director of World Bank to Afghanistan. He stated mission and vision of the project toward increasing of business incomes and creating of job opportunities. “The project has been designed to provide technical assistances for small and medium enterprises that have significantly shares in GDP of Afghanistan. Our survey on 2008 indicates that 97 percent of this kind businesses need technical assistances on packing, designing, modern technology and marketing. ” He said

It is mentionable; the Kabul branch of NMDP is located in ACCI’s Headquarter. In addition, above-mentioned general services, NMDP will be offering grant until USD100, 000 for eligible innovations from entrepreneurs as well.