Afghan private sector meets to review government’s national trade policy five-year plan

Afghanistan chamber of commerce & industries and ministry of industries & commerce with technical support of ITC in presence of government senior officials,ACCI leadership,director of different agencies, traders and private sector members revived the Afghanistan national trade policy  five years plan from 2018__ 2022  on Saturday 13-Octo- 2018 in park star hotel of Kabul .

Deputy Minister for Commerce, Mr.Kamila Sidiqi, said”it is priority of government of Afghanistan to support the economic development through private sector, that will  enable the increase of  domestic products, development of exports ,trade facilities for the afghan traders. She entitled the codification of national trade policy that prepared by technical support of international trade Center (ITC) & ACCI.

Mr.Atiqullah Nasrut CEO of Afghanistan chamber of commerce & industries said” Today's meeting is an opportunity for the private sector He added private members should provide their suggestion and objection about national trade policy to have final and acceptable national trade policy because the implementer and benefited will be private members“

Mr. Nusrat described the role of laws, policies and regulations in providing a secure and convenient environment for trade and investment in the country He said” Afghanistan chamber of commerce & industries with coming of new government provided the certain suggestion to government of Afghanistan entitled <11 priority reforms for private sector > some reforms actions is taken over the past three years approved like Afghanistan five years national trade policy plan and national export strategy.

Mr. Nasrut gave details information about benefits of national trade policy he said “national trade policy is better for economic development, decrease trade deficit balance,  increase the quality of domestic product.and prevent us from dumping policy of neighbor countries and  Afghanistan is the member of world trade organization  (WTO), Afghanistan is connected through train with different countries, Afghanistan is the implementer of TIR convention , ,has good relation with middle Asia countries he compared the achievements with past ten years and added We cannot benefit from these facilities in the absence of a comprehensive national trade policy “He implied to some vacuum and shortcomings in the current draft, including: Ignoring the leading role of the private sector in its first period, absence of sufficient coordination  with government departments , contradiction in the delivery certificate of origin, which is very effective in using of different countries tariff, and he emphasized the role of private sector in approve, implementation and using of exporting invoice in draft.

Mr. Khan Jan Alokozay first vice of president ACCI, Afghan private sector meets to review government’s national trade policy five-year plan is a great step for private sector and The lack of a national trade policy over the last 16 years has been a major shortcoming in the business community He said” over 16 years the absence of national trade policy and transport caused hundred million dollars loss for our traders, over 16 days our trader bear two million dollars loss daily because of higher tariff their goods stopped in costume, border and high way”.

Mr. Alokozay added “the increase of three times of tariff is just to increase the government revenue it damages the traders as well as our customers and our poor people and caused 25 percent  high prices in Afghanistan markets he said the biggest obstacle in the way of exporting goods is absence of bilateral and multilateral memorandum with countries” .

Mr .Alokozay praised the edit of this policy and called the ministry of industries and commerce to take the tariff policy in his hand and all tariff should be In the light of the national trade policy, according his saying”

We need to support those products that have the ability to compete with of neighbor countries and regions. Some countries which imports Suler are completely exempted from tariffs like Pakistan whereas Afghanistan put 22 million dollar tariff on one container suler.

Mr. Sidiqullah Mujadidi representative of ITC on behalf of national trade policy said “national trade policy is the development framework project for economic development of  Afghanistan that is funded from Europe union that follow four major sectors: export development strategy, quality management, trade policy plan and capacity building to facilitate trade for the private sector.

The aim of trade policy is economic development, creating jobs, promotion of domestic product, development of export, eliminating the trade deficit balance, creating the domestic capacity of organizations and development of business.

The plan, Afghanistan National Trade Policy (ANTP) : 2018 – 2022, has been developed by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC) in consultation with multiple stakeholders, including government ministries, agencies, private sector and has further received the technical support of the Geneva based International Trade Center (ITC).

The finalisation and endorsement for implementation of ANTP is critical for Afghanistan’s efforts to connect to regional and international markets. Following the same path as the recently endorsed National Export Strategy (NES), ANTP was presented to the Afghan Council of Ministers on 8 October. This was an essential step prior to the final endorsement by the country’s High Economic Council, presided over by President Ghani.

Both ANTP and NES are aligned and will contribute to supporting Afghanistan in reaching government priorities detailed in the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF, 2017-2021) which recognizes the need to transform the country to an agro-industrial exporting nation.