Insecurity, Lack of Infrastructure (especially the lack of power) arethe major business bottlenecks

Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) announced the result of its second Business Bottleneck Survey, on Monday, February 4, 2014. Mr. Haqjo, CEO of ACCI in a press conference on Monday said: “Based on survey findings lack of infrastructure and security are the two main challenges for businesses.”

Mr. Khan Jan Alkozay First Vice Chairman of ACCI, Mr. Mozamil Shenwari Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industries, Mr. Nasim Akbar, CEO of HARAKAT, Mr. Taloqani General Director of Audit Department of MOLSMD and Mr. Mirwais Alemie, Director Commercial Department of Da Afghanistan Breshana Sherkat spoke in the conference. Meanwhile, Ms. Najila Habibyar, Director General of EPAA, Mr. Ali Hashimi, CSO Representative and Dr. Masood Parwanfar, GIZ Representative participated in the press conference too.

ACCI Business Bottleneck survey was established based on National Business Agenda two years before. The main objective of the survey is to present reports and reliable documents for policy making and structural reforms and reflect thevoice of private sector on major business obstacles such as security, infrastructure, access to land, access to finance, custom conditions, tax system, public tenders, registrations and attitude toward businesswomen.

Mr. Mozamil Shenwari appreciated ACCI Business Monitor and added that this report will help policy makers in taking a better decisions and implementing necessary reforms. According to Mr. Shenwari, recent years several new policies have been designed and endorsed in order to improve business frameworks and some policies are under process.

Meanwhile, Mr. Nasim Akbar congratulated ACCI for surveying and reporting major business impediments and hopped that policy makers will utilize the findings of ACCI Business Monitor Report in brining reforms and policy developments.

According to Mr. Haqjo “The biggest infrastructural problem is the lack of electrical power. Meanwhile a considerable number of respondents complained about the lack of access to land, sophisticated tax system and lack of access to finance.”

Mr. Alemi General Director of Da Afghanistan Breshana Sherkat agreed that there are problems in providing power for industrial use, but added that consider improvements have already occurred in recent years and his agency is working hard to bring further improvements. He noted that here is a considerable international commitment to support Afghan Brishna Shirkat until 2020 and “they will donate 2.4 billion USD” for power projects. According to Mr. Alemi the implementation of KASA 1000 project is another source of hope to address the lack of industrial power. KASA 1000 will transit power from central Asia to Pakistan through Afghanistan and the later in addition to the transit taxes will have a share of 300 MW electrical power in the project.

He also hopped that domestic power projects such as Kajaki will also bear results in coming years.

ACCI Survey reveals that half of the companies who are directly dealing with custom offices are complaining about the custom procedure, sophisticated tariff and unjust custom system.

It is also worth mentioning that majority of company owners and managers believe that more women should run businesses. This notion is more supported by medium and large companies than small ones.

The second ACCI Bottleneck Survey was conducted in December 2013 in Kabul, Balkh and Kandahar regions. This survey was supported by GIZ and it is planned extend the survey to more regional economic centers of the country.

ACCI Business Monitor will continue to serve as an information base for the public-private dialogue by enhancing a common understanding of the challenges faced by the private sector. We hope that the relevant stakeholders will rely on the data while drafting laws and regulations to improve the conditions for doing business. In the next years important decisions are on the agenda to ensure economic growth, employment and increased incomes in Afghanistan.

For more information please read the full report here.