The Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) informed different stakeholders from the public and private sectors on the establishment of its Research Unit during a working group meeting on the 17 July. The Reasearch Unit will provide facts and figures on the business climate to enhance a common understanding of the challenges faced by small, medium and large businesses in Afghanistan. Therefore, the chamber is planning to develop a Business Climate Monitor, in which initially more than 500 member companies in Kabul and Balkh province will be polled. In his activities the Research Unit will be supported by the German research insitute ifo, which is one of Germany's largest economic think-tanks and is widely known for its monthly Ifo Business Climate Index for Germany.
In order to consider the expectations of relevant stakeholders, the ACCI invited representatives from different organizations to discuss jointly the concept of its research activities. Among the participants were representatives of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI), the Federation of Afghanistan’s Craftsmen and Traders and other business associations. Furthermore, international partners like the German International Cooperation (GIZ), the Asia Foundation and USAID joined the discussion. During the working group meeting the German researchers Prof. Siegfried Schoenherr, Dr. Gernot Nerb and Dr. Klaus Abberger presented international standards in collecting and interpreting data on the business climate, current business situation and business outlook.
The researchers proposed that ACCI’s Business Climate Monitor shall focus on two different types of surveys: Firstly, the Research Unit shall conduct a short survey quarterly to determine the business situation and outlook of companies in the country. In this way, the chamber will be enabled to forecast economic trends, which is especially important considering the transition process and its impact on the private sector. Secondly, the Research Department will conduct a yearly survey to identify the bottlenecks for doing business. The questionaire therefore will be based on issue areas mentioned in the National Business Agenda. Among them are taxation, tariff reforms and insurance; land rights and rent for business premises; credit and other banking reforms; trade; laws, regulation and administration; and infrastructure.
The research activities will significantly strengthen the capacity of the chamber to present the interests of the private sector. The facts and figures of the Business Climate Monitor will be shared with relevant public and private stakeholders to enhance a common understanding of the challenges faced by businesses in Afghanistan.