Getting Started

Step 1: Initial Desktop Research

Initial desktop research on the Afghan market has become easy as more up-to-date and in-depth information - both on general issues as well as on specific market segments - is being released via the internet. Please kindly refer to the following websites for further references and regular updates AISA with its Research & Policy Department, too, is in the position to supply the investor with updated information regarding the investment climate in Afghanistan and sector specific studies.

Other organizations able to provide insights into the investment opportunities and investment climate in Afghanistan are:

  • Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (Investment Horizons: Afghanistan, MIGA 2005, available for download at www.miga.org).
  • The recent UNDP study on opportunities for small and medium enterprises in different market sectors (Market Sector Assessments – SME Development, UNDP 2005, available for download at www.undp.org/afghanistan) offers valuable insights into market and supply chain mechanisms as well as SME financing in the Afghan market.

Further to the websites indicated always check the country-specific websites of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank: www.worldbank.org/afghanistan and www.adb.org/afghanistan. Both organizations are channeling much of donor aid and investments.

You should also directly refer to the website and the news services of the Afghan ministries which best cover your area of interest - for opportunities and background information alike. A list of Afghan ministries can be found in paragraph “Useful Addresses” of this website or in the “A-Z Guide” by the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit. Copies can be obtained at their office. www.areu.org.af

Finally, the following website may also be helpful in finding the information you require:

www.developmentgateway.org
Select ‘Afghanistan’ for latest information on reconstruction and development projects, procurement opportunities, and related information.

www.aims.org.af
Afghan Information Management Service is a large scale data base run by UNDP and its partners to generate manage and provide extensive information related to the reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.

www.afghanistan21.com
A privately-run information service featuring up to date press releases, tender information and contact data related to business in Afghanistan.

www.afghanchamberofcommerce.com
The business directory of the Afghan Chamber of Commerce offers more than 1,500 contacts to companies in different countries involved in Afghan business. Data may be searched by sector, city, state, or country.

www.a-acc.org
The Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce is the first international affiliate of the Afghanistan International Chamber of Commerce. AACC publications, reports and articles give valuable insights in ongoing discussions related to trade and private business in Afghanistan.

www.afghanbusinesscentre.com
A joint initiative of the Afghan Ministry of Commerce (MoCI), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Afghan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).

www.export.gov/afghanistan
Official website of the Afghan Investment and Reconstruction Task Force (AIRTF) of the US Department of Commerce.

For a first overview and regular updates regarding on-going and forthcoming large-scale reconstruction projects as well as related contracting and procurement opportunities, please refer to the following websites:

Please note that the Procurement Unit of the Government of Afghanistan handles procurement for most World Bank-financed projects and for donors which have selected to use the Procurement Unit’s services. The Procurement Unit assists ministries with tenders,evaluations, and contracting and provides advice on a range of procurement issues.

All procurement is carried out according to the procedures of the respective donor, e.g. the World Bank, the EU, and the Asian Development Bank. For more details, please check the Procurement Unit’s website at:

www.eafghanistan.gov.af/procurement.
In some cases procurement may be carried out directly by donors, multilateral organizations or the relevant Afghan ministry. To be aware of all major opportunities and relevant details in time, double-checking of necessary information is recommended. Further to the websites indicated always check the country-specific websites of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank:

www.worldbank.org/afghanistan and www.adb.org/afghanistan.
Both organizations are channeling much of donor aid and investments.
You should also directly refer to the website and the news services of the Afghan ministries which best cover your area of interest - for opportunities and background information alike. A list of Afghan ministries can be found in paragraph “Useful Addresses” of this guide. Updated links can be found at the government’s website at www.af. Specific information on small-scale procurement and respective procedures can be found at the website of the recently founded Afghanistan International Chamber of Commerce (AICC). The Chamber has also set up a Procurement Technical Assistance Center. Please refer to

www.en.aicc-online.org.
For more specific information on trade issues, please additionally check the following websites:

www.afghanchamberofcommerce.com
The business directory of the Afghan Chamber of Commerce offers more than 1,500 contacts to companies in different countries involved in Afghan business. Data may be searched by sector, city, state, or country.

www.commerce.gov.af
This is the official website of the Afghan Ministry of Commerce.
To Explore investment opportunities in Afghanistan, After visiting AISA's website You may also have a look at the recent study on the investment climate in Afghanistan as edited by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (Investment Horizons: Afghanistan, MIGA 2005, available for download at www.miga.org).

The recent UNDP study on opportunities for small and medium enterprises in different market sectors (Market Sector Assessments – SME Development, UNDP 2005, available for download at www.undp.org/afghanistan) offers valuable insights into market and supply chain mechanisms as well as SME financing in the Afghan market.

Step 2: Business-trip to Afghanistan

AISA recommend taking at least one trip to Afghanistan to assess the situation on the ground and get a realistic feeling for your investment here. Prior to you coming here AISA can reserve accommodation for you and arrange for airport pick up. We will also bring you anywhere you need to meet with authorities, potential business partners, to the business parks etc. Such look-see visits will put you in touch with Afghanistan and will enable you to make reality-based business decisions – with the assistance of AISA.

Following are some recommendations on how to go about planning your trip to Afghanistan:


1. Applying for visa

Applying for a business or tourist visa to Afghanistan is straight forward. Visitors need to approach the Afghan Embassy or Consulate nearest to them for the application procedure. The following website contains a comprehensive list:
http://www.afghangovernment.com/Embassy.htm

2. Buying your air tickets

The following airlines fly to Kabul. You may buy the tickets through an agent in your home country or make reservations online and collect the tickets upon your arrival in Delhi or Dubai respectively.

Ariana Airlines

Ariana Airlines provides direct international flights into Kabul from Frankfurt, Istanbul, Dubai, Sharjah, Tehran, Delhi and Islamabad.
www.flyariana.com

Kam Air

www.flykamair.com
Kam Air flies daily between, Delhi, Dubai and Kabul and has also begun a route via Almatywww.flykamair.com

Kabul International Airport

Kabul Airport (KBL) is 16km from the city center and taxi service is available. Airport facilities now include banking, a restaurant and parking facilities.

3. Accommodations

We recommend the following hotels:

Kabul Serena Hotel (5 Stars)

Froshgah Street, Kabul
http://www.serenahotels.com/afghanistan/kabul/home.asp
Tel. +(93) 799 654 000
Email: sales@serena.com.af or reservation@serena.com.af
Rates: $120/night and upwards plus Government Tax (AISA Corporate Rate)

Safi Landmark Hotel (4 Stars)

P.O. Box 430, Shahr-e-Naw
Char-Rahi-Ansari, Kabul
Tel. +(93) 20 2203131
Fax +(93) 20 2203121
Email: sales@safilandmarkhotelsuites.com
Rates: $75-125/night plus Government Tax (AISA Corporate Rate)

Hotel Intercontinental Kabul (4 Stars)

Baghe Balla Road
Tel. +93 (020) 2201321
www.intercontinentalkabul.com
Email: Frontoffice@intercontinentalkabul.com
Rates: $75-145/night plus Government Tax (AISA Corporate Rate)

There are also a number of quality guesthouses available. One website to inform about them is www.kabulguide.net

4. Getting around

When on a look-see business trip to Afghanistan AISA will bring you around in our vehicles wherever possible.

If you have to get around yourself we suggest Afghan Logistics & Tours taxi service. The drivers speak English and know about most localities popular with foreigners. Contact details for car-rentals and taxi service can be found on their website

Afghan Logistics & Tours also offer travel around the country www.afghanlogisticstours.com

The second travel company to do the same is The Great Game. http://www.greatgametravel.co.uk

Step 3: Assessing your investment opportunities

Make an appointment with our Investor Support Department and discuss all questions you have regarding doing business in Afghanistan: info@aisa.org.af

  • Our priority sectors – into which our consultants will be happy to give you an in-depth insight – offer areas with extensive opportunities. Other areas, however, may offer more of a niche market. Your product/service might be one to fit this niche market.
  • Financial analysis – if you are unable to carry out a financial feasibility analysis in-house AISA’s Investor Support Department can do one for you. This might assist you in making the right investment decision, particularly if you want to decide between two or more possible projects.
  • Land availability – several industrial parks are open for business in Afghanistan these days and our Industrial Parks Department which manages most of them will be happy to advise you on plot availability and application procedures.

After considering carefully the opportunities for your business in Afghanistan you have to license your business.

Step 4: Licensing your business

Obtaining a government license and registering one’s company with the Commercial Courts is very simple in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) is the responsible government institution for the registration and licensing of an economic entity. AISA also provides the complete necessary support before, during and after the registration. In contrast to many other countries, in Afghanistan a notary public is not necessary.

At AISA it is possible to register a company as a “natural person” and as a “legal person”. We issue a license for investment, which clarifies the legal status of the company. AISA is currently offering the following four economic entity options: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation and Limited Liability Company. These definitions of economic entities are currently awaiting further detailed legal regulations in a corresponding “law of incorporation”, due in the near future. These laws will confirm such details as the minimum capital stock and other details for Corporations and Limited Liability Companies.

The AISA license is compulsory (our investor support department can advise on the application procedure) as it defines the legal status of the business.

Some businesses require an additional license from the respective ministries, we call this operation license. Details about application procedures and fees can be obtained at AISA’s Investor Support Department in hard and soft copy.