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Afghanistan - GUIDE Network Survey

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Introduction

This information about investment in Afghanistan was developed through our GUIDE Network Survey research work.  See also : GUIDE Area Profile - Afghanistan . For executives and their advisors :  If we may be of assistance, please contact us.  If this information is helpful to you, please let AISA know.  Suggestions are welcome.
Website :  http://www.aisa.org.af/

Contact :

Suleman Fatimie

Vice President for Investment

Afghan Investment Support Agency (AISA)

Opposite to Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Kabul, Afghanistan

 

Phone  +93(20)210 3404

Fax      +93(20)210 3402

 

email    invest@aisa.org.af

 

Alternate contacts : (background and e-mails available on the AISA website)

 

Noorullah Delawari, President & CEO

Naseem Akbar, Investment Manager

Abdul Salam Zahed, Investment Manger

M. Sharif Roshan Ahamdzai, Investment Manager

Eng. Abdul k. Safi, Investment Manager

Geographic area served  

The Afghan Investment Support Agency was created by a mandate from President Hamid Karzai to become a "one stop shop" for both domestic and foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in Afghanistan in support of the economic and industrial development of the country.

Identify any common information challenges

It obviously is not an easy task to gather timely and reliable information about current business conditions and the investment climate in a fast-changing post-war situation, as the country changes the structure and conduct of government at all levels.  Negative stereotypes and western news reports about the country are not necessarily a reliable guide to the business environment on the ground.

Highlights of recent developments of interest to investors

The Industrial Parks Development Authority is preparing for the development of three new industrial parks in Bagrami, Kandahar, and Mazar-I-Sharif with US AID support.  There are also plans for four parks around Kabul and ten others nationwide funded with ADB loan assistance.
http://www.aisa.org.af/ipda/index.html

Suggestions of other information sources about the area

Kabul Chamber of Commerce & Industry

International Chambers of Commerce of Afghanistan

Scope of investment support services offered

AISA is still in a formative stage, so the services are less defined by specific capabilities than by the will to do what it takes to attract and retain investment with the active support of the national and regional leaders of the country with the assistance of professional advisors from the US, Europe, and elsewhere.

The fundamental vision behind AISA is to be a unified, national "one-stop shop" to promote economic development fairly in all regions of the country, following a model common in Europe.  The will and resources to make this become a reality are a very positive signal, but as in other countries, this is not a challenge which can be met overnight by new policies.  It is intuitively obvious that this is a long-term process requiring strong leadership commitment and resources.

For now, the ability to organize useful information about Afghanistan for business leaders, and to make relevant personal introductions to key contacts, is perhaps more important than any specific programs to support investment projects.  The government programs, AISA support services, basic infrastructure, and industrial parks are still being developed in parallel to promote business investment.

Competitive advantages of the area for potential investors

The ethnic and trading links with neighboring countries present opportunities beyond involvement in the many projects for rebuilding the basic infrastructure of the country with foreign aid.  This reconstruction may support a more active role in international business, as in past centuries, despite continued security challenges and problems associated with drug trafficking.

The commitment by the government to support new business investment, and by foreign governments to assist them in rapid reconstruction and economic progress, should present unique opportunities for those willing to develop a presence in the market from this early stage of development, while the business environment remains unpredictable and potentially dangerous.

The continued migration of many Afghan refugees back to Afghanistan may influence the flow of investment and development of the country, since millions of Afghans have been living in other countries during the last 25 years.  They may return home with very different expectations, resources, and capabilities to work with the contacts they developed outside their country.  This may complement, rather than just conflict with, traditional social values and business practices.  As the political and security situation stabilizes, more Afghan expatriates may want to return home with their families, and they may become a uniquely cross-cultural pool of business contacts for potential investors as they assimilate back into their changing society.

Other organizations supporting direct investment in the area

 

Afghanistan Reconstruction Task Force - US Dept of Commerce

http://www.export.gov/afghanistan/ 

 

US Embassy, Kabul

 

US Overseas Private Investment Corporation    www.opic.gov

 

other embassies? 

 

UN agencies? 

 

World Bank contacts?

Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), The World Bank.  www.miga.org

 

Asian Development Bank ?

Relationship Disclosure, Date information provided

 

Reply pending for the GUIDE Network Survey in November 2004

GUIDE Area Profile - draft pending for additional information.

NA  : GUIDE Biographic Profile about the contact.

No relationship for any other services (GUIDE or SICR)

 

We publish this information for convenient reference by investors and advisors who may be unfamiliar with this area.  We make no warranty about such content, but we include and edit such responses selectively according to our professional judgment.

 

Please contact us if we may be of assistance with your interests, or if you have any suggestions for revisions to this content or the GUIDE Network Survey in general.

 

This information will be updated periodically by input from area representatives in response to our GUIDE Network Survey research.  We provide more detailed information and additional links to relevant content for participants in our GUIDE Area Profile service, which involves a closer working relationship to maintain timely knowledge of an area throughout the year, and highlight the benefits of the area as appropriate through other GUIDE tools for specific interests, rather than just publishing this basic introductory information.

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