Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice (KAP) Survey of Afghanistan towards Trade

Sponsored by USAID/TAFA

Conducted by AIR Consulting An Afghan Survey & Research Company Based in Afghanistan

September 2010

Table of Contents

Executive summary Introduction About AIR Consulting Methods and respondent demography Detailed survey results G – series questions S – series questions I – series questions Transcript of deep interviews Annex – I: survey questionnaire

Executive Summary This report focuses on Afghans’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to trade and its potential benefits for Afghanistan. In response to a request for proposal by Chemonics/TAFA, AIR Consulting undertook the survey design, data collection, and analysis presented here. It utilized surveys of the general Afghan population across selected provinces and key sub-populations who are involved with various facets of international trade. In addition, in-depth interviews with selected individuals contributed to a deeper understanding of trade issues from the perspective of the government, traders, academia, producers, and other entities in Afghanistan. The main findings include: • People see trade as a means for economic growth. Ninety-one percent of survey respondents were positive towards trade. They also stated the biggest benefits to trade are better job opportunities (32 percent) and increased economic growth (31 percent). In addition, regardless of trade status, respondents felt regional trade agreements were beneficial to Afghanistan (traders: 96 percent, non-traders: 92 percent). In-depth interviews, though, provided a mixed portrait of people’s views on trade, market economics, and the future. However, trade prospects are tempered by insecurity and government corruption. About 90 and 50 percent of respondents, respectively, stated insecurity and government corruption are one of the top three obstacles to trade in Afghanistan today. • Most people would do business with a female trader (79 percent). In-depth interviews indicated that trade as an occupation for women would be okay, but there were caveats; many thought that travel and other cultural concerns were an impediment and security a concern. However, some interviewees stated that females could be as successful, if not more successful, than men. Impediments to female trading are backed up by survey results: security as a concern was mentioned by 60 percent of respondents and cultural concerns by 48 percent. Respondents have a detailed understanding of what could be done to increase international trade. About 65 percent of survey respondents said building cold storage or buying cold trucks to transport products was one of the top three measures to increase a famer’s ability to access foreign markets. Moreover, about 50 percent of respondents stated that better technology would be one of the top three measures to improve the sale of Afghan products in international markets. Higher product quality (about 63 percent) and better packaging (about 65 percent) were also mentioned. These results are supported by the in-depth interviews. In addition to the technology, packaging, and quality concerns, in-depth interview respondents were particularly concerned about tariffs and the impact on trade. Respondents were

perplexed by the complicated and detailed tariff schedule on goods (e.g., different tariffs for yellow- and orange-colored hard candies). Respondents advocated for a more simplified system of tariffs. Afghans felt continued strengthening of the market economy in the post-Taliban era was a priority. A nearly universal feeling was that trade plays a large role in economic prosperity. However, in-depth interviews revealed that while many are in favor of market principles and trade in theory, they do not feel that operating within such a system is a practical reality in Afghanistan at this time, under the current conditions. Citing corruption and a lack of government support for constitutionally-identified market principles, many stated that the economy does not currently operate on market principles; rather, people are forced to adjust to the reality of economic operations within Afghanistan, such as corruption, government policy positions, and in some cases, smuggling. Respondents pinned the responsibility of turning towards market principles squarely on the government. While government officials admitted to existing problems, they also pointed to improvements over the years. Government officials seem to have knowledge of market economics and the role trade plays, but interviewees reported that putting that knowledge into practice is more difficult. Anecdotally, in comparison to other questions, in-depth interviews asking about trade as a profession for Afghan females elicited shorter answers. In some interviews, it seemed respondents treated the question lightly, like it was more or less an abstraction. There was disagreement amongst respondents about whether trade was a good profession for women, though most seemed to treat the matter positively. Afghans sense of what would improve the country’s international trade was broad. Many said, both in surveys and in in-depth interviews, that packaging of Afghan goods needed to improve for marketing abroad, while the quality of export goods also needed to increase. In-depth interview respondents often commented that Afghan traders had information about which markets were best, but that product quality and marketing needed improvement. Underlying all findings are Afghans’ sense of security and their attitude towards the role of government today. Security was a major concern on a number of issues from the survey – impediments to trade, threats to female involvement in trade – and from indepth interviews. There also seemed to be a strong concern about the government of Afghanistan’s role in increasing trade. Many seemed impatient for greater economic growth and blamed the government for the lack of opportunities. Others more concretely pointed out government corruption as an impediment to trade growth and yet a potential outcome of more trade in Afghanistan.

Introduction The USAID-funded Trade and Accession Facilities for Afghanistan (TAFA) project, implemented by Chemonics International and its partners, aims to increase Afghanistan’s ability to develop and implement sound trade policies that provide the foundation for increased trade and investment. In the process, the program also seeks to stimulate greater public awareness, involvement, and understanding of trade-related market reforms. The goal of TAFA is to improve the trade environment, including cross-border trade and transit for Afghanistan, so as to foster increased investment, exports, and market-based employment opportunities. This will be accomplished through (1) increasing Afghanistan’s ability to participate more effectively in the regional and global economy while maintaining a liberal trade regime; (2) improving the conditions for international and cross-border trade and transit by removing bottlenecks and reforming customs and other border clearance procedures; and (3) helping the government of Afghanistan and the private sector to benefit from greater regional and global trade linkages and economic integration. The TAFA project solicited proposals from qualified research firms and institutions to conduct quantitative and qualitative opinion survey research on market-based reforms and trade-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices within the general population and among key interest groups such as business entities, traders, agricultural producers, educational institutions, civil servants, and the mass media in Afghanistan. Guidelines stipulated the survey cover at least seven provinces, including two each in the North, East, and West regions, plus Kabul, and target people living in the border regions whose livelihoods depended on trade. The survey, in each selected region and border area, needed to be broadly representative of the demographic and urban-rural distribution present in the Afghan population; finally, women and youth needed to be adequately represented. The general survey needed to be supplemented by a smaller, targeted survey of traders, businesspeople, and other stakeholders’ attitudes and perceptions. TAFA’s objective for information derived from this survey research was to: 1. Determine the level of knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions among the general population and interest groups including: business entities (e.g. light manufacturing and agribusiness firms), traders, agricultural producers, educational institutions, civil servants, and mass media about the market economy, trade policy, tariffs, customs rules/procedures, and WTO accession. 2. Design, develop, and implement effective messaging for a public information campaign for key target interest groups and the general public to raise awareness and educate the public about market reforms, trade issues and the government’s efforts to improve the trade environment.

3. Tailor TAFA public outreach and capacity building activities and monitor progress.

About AIR Consulting Survey and Research Company: AIR Consulting was established in 2007 by a number of Afghan Fulbright alumni who graduated from distinguished US universities specializing in social sciences, mathematical modeling, and robust decision-making methodologies. Today, AIR Consulting has expanded its network of partnership by partnering with similar institutions for greater regional outreach in a number of other countries in the region. One of the areas of concentration of AIR Consulting is political and economic study of governance and state-building in the context of least-developed countries. In the last three years, AIR Consulting has been working extensively with international institutions such as the Asia Foundation, World Bank, Bearing Point, Brookings Institution, US Institute for Peace, RAND Corporation, Chemonics, Open Society Institute, and a number of other organizations regarding issues related to governance, security, and economic development of Afghanistan. The institution is lead by a team of about 14 senior researchers under the leadership of Ahmad Idrees Rahmani, a PhD candidate in research and policy analysis. The core of the institutions capacity is drawn from a network of about 400 Afghan junior researchers/students from different Afghan universities across the country who work closely with AIR Consulting on many different survey and evaluation projects. The organization also maintains a network of senior researchers from leading US and European think tanks and universities who are brought in when their technical skills and knowledge are necessary and affordable. Currently AIR Consulting researchers are working on a number of survey and evaluation projects related to Afghanistan’s political and economic development across the country. This survey was, particularly, designed and supervised by Ahmad Idrees Rahmani, the principle investigator, Andrew Hackbarth, the technical advisor, and Mathew Hoover, the survey manager for this project, and Iraj Khaliqi, the deputy survey manager. AIR Consulting is an emerging survey, research and evaluation organization, that is a product of Afghanistan’s new generation of elites and future potential leaders. For more information about AIR Consulting and its activities, please refer to the institutions brochure and website recently launched at and

To accomplish these objectives. however. cluster sample design. Province Balkh Baghlan Bamyan Ghazni Herat Jalalabad Location Border Interior Interior Interior Border Border Responses 181 140 151 150 180 175 . The following table shows the number of completed survey responses from each sampled province.Methods and Respondent Demographics The objectives of our sample design were: (1) to produce survey results that were representative of all Afghans. Provinces. (2) to take advantage of and investigate systematic KAP differences between residents of interior and border regions. budget. The figure below identifies the provinces sampled. Southern. then towns or districts within those provinces. and (3) to complete our survey within the project’s time. interior provinces – and within each stratum five provinces were selected as clusters.327 surveys were completed. were selected as a convenience sample to avoid fielding survey teams in prohibitively dangerous areas. Eastern. and security constraints. Two strata were used – residence in border vs. and Western parts of Afghanistan were included to improve the representativeness of the cluster sample. representation of Northern. we implemented a stratified. A total of 1.

All respondents also completed a series of demographic questions (the “D”-series). While male respondents were not given incentives to participate in the survey. approximately one quarter of survey respondents are female. 1 For more details. or 36% of the total sample) – those likely to have a more exposure to issues related to trade based on their occupation – received a series of additional “special” survey questions (the “S”-series). female non-response rates were much higher than males. the sum of the probability weights of all respondents sampled from a particular province is equivalent to the total population of that province. Probability weights represent the inverse probability that the respondent was included in the sample frame. .) However. Statistically. (While $1 or $2 cash is not considered a substantial amount of money to Afghans. (The design effect represents the “penalty” to statistical precision associated with using a clustered sampling design rather than simple random sampling. These individuals were chosen from a variety of disciplines including government. please refer to the copy of questionnaire attached as Annex – I of this report. this resulted in larger margins of error than expected for the answers to some questions.327 All respondents received a series of general questions about trade (the “G”-series1). these estimates were often substantially lower than the actual design values obtained in our statistical analysis. A higher design effect indicates a higher “penalty”. suggesting that attitudes are fairly homogenous within any given border province. Design weights were particularly high for border provinces. but attitudes may vary substantially from one border province to the next.) However. we assumed a design effect of 2.5 for the general and special respondent cohorts. In calculating the sample size necessary to achieve adequately small margins of error. as well as two questions related to information dissemination (the “I”-series). academia. indicating relatively high agreement (low variance) within the same province and relatively low agreement (high variance) between provinces. Finally. even with these incentives. twelve special respondents participated in in-depth interviews with the project’s principal investigator. telephone credit cards for the same amounts are considered valuable. women were offered $1 or $2 telephone credit cards in order to increase female response rates. and production for their unique knowledge in conjunction with trade regarding Afghanistan. trade. Some of the respondents (a total of 473. Probability weights for each respondent were calculated based on his or her province of residence. in this case.Kabul Kandahar Khost Paktia Interior Border Border Interior 250 50 25 25 Total: 1.0 and 1. respectively – similar to other surveys fielded in similar settings.

1. . and the charts and tables below all properly account for weighting and design effects. Still sampling among female population was a challenge for the survey in general. developed for Stata by Nicholas Cox.All statistical calculations were performed using the svy suite of commands in Stata version 10. Some graphs were created using the CATPLOT module. by StataCorp LP. The following series of graphs describe the demographic composition of the survey sample: Question D1: Gender 24% 76% Male Female Note: special incentives were used to increase participation of women in the survey (each female respondent were offered a 50Afghani or 100 Afghani worth of telephone credit card if she was not willing to take the survey.

Question D2: Age 1% 15% 24% 28% 31% Age 18-25 Age 46-60 Age 26-35 Age 61+ Age 36-45 Question D3: Marital status 3% 22% 75% Married Not Married Widow(er) .

000 More Than Don't Know 3001 .001 .000 No Response .001 .000 10.Question D4: Highest education level 6% 10% 27% 31% 13% 14% None or Informal Vocational or High School Primary University or Above Secondary No Response Question D5: Monthly income (in Afghanis) 7% 2% 7% 11% 8% 42% 24% 3000 or less 20.

22% 11% 10% 12% 9% 3% 4% Trader Large Business Educator / Student Unemployed Retailer Farmer Government Employee 6% Small Business Professional Worker Other Employed Question D7: Size of farmland owned 3% 34% 49% 11% 4% Small No Land Medium No Response Large .Question D6: Occupation 15% 9% Note: occupations were given as free-text answers by respondents and categorized by the project team.

Respondent or family member is trader 1% 24% 74% Trades Doesn't trade No Response .

3618 0.6 . .2 .0106 0.8 Response Yes No No response Don’t know Estimate 0.2457 0. this survey revels that only one quarter of the Afghan population is directly engaged with trade.0094 N = 1327 Comments: Despite optimistic views of some policy officials regarding the proportion of Afghan population who are engaged in trade.6238 0.0023 Lower Bound 0.4 Fraction of all respondents .00 0 .0028 0.0395 0.00058 Upper Bound 0.74 No Response 0.8321 0. Question G1: Do you or any members of your family engage in foreign trade? Respondents may select one option Yes 0.1577 0.7414 0.01 Don't Know 0.Detailed Survey Results General questions: were given to all respondents who took the survey.25 No 0.

1474 0.1 .0567 0.024 0.0102 0.3576 0.0849 0.17 0.17 0.0887 0.2531 0. what do you or your family members trade? Respondents answering Yes to Question G1 may select one option Other Construction materials Household items Agriculture or food product Rugs and handicrafts Furniture and wood products Manufactured products No Response Gems and minerals 0.05 . Two categories of trade goods composed nearly half of all free-text “Other” responses: mostly cars or car parts (31%) and computers or other electronics (15%).0991 0.2565 0. .1678 0.0552 0.02 0.0235 0.06 0.0155 Lower Bound 0.02 0.22 0 .1693 0.0636 0.Question G2: If you or your family engage in trade.2697 0.1746 0.1215 0.0462 0.0798 N = 273 Comments: Note that only respondents that answered “Yes” to question G1 (“Do you or any members of your family engage in trade”) were asked this question.15 .107 0.2172 0.20 0.0029 Upper Bound 0.11 0.05 0.1092 0.0375 0.1963 0.2 Fraction among respondents answering Yes to Question G1 Response Other Construction materials Household items Agriculture or food product Rugs and handicrafts Furniture and wood products Manufactured products No response Gems and minerals Estimate 0.

1541 0.3788 0.4229 0.0431 0.007 Upper Bound 0.0561 N = 1327 Comments: Note that respondents provided free-text responses to this question.0201 Lower Bound 0.2408 0.0921 0.0932 0.042 0.09 0.3128 0.04 0. which were later coded by the project team.15 0.1684 0.04 0.0109 0.1545 0.0872 0.4223 0.1804 0.0925 0.0178 0.1156 0.Question G3: What are three advantages to trade for Afghanistan? Respondents were instructed to provide up to three free-text answers Better job opportunities in trade Overall economic growth More income for the government Improvements to industry / infrastructure Other Access to imported goods More export of Afghan products Better relations with other countries Don't know Low prices in the market Exchange of culture / ideas / knowledge No response Improved security in Afghanistan Important to tradition / religion 0 0.0412 0.11 0.02 .09 0.2535 0.06 0.12 0.0994 0.32 0.1521 0.2092 0.2071 0.0165 0.0437 0.04 0.15 0.0593 0.1 .2 Fraction of all respondents .23 0.1027 0.1197 0.0428 0.0363 0.3188 0.0594 0.219 0.15 0.0296 0.3 0.0774 0.1451 0.1144 0.31 Response Better job opportunities in trade Overall economic growth More income for the government Improvements to industry / infrastructure Other Access to imported goods More export of Afghan products Better relations with other countries Don’t know Low prices in the market Exchange of culture / ideas / knowledge No response Improved security Important to tradition / religion Estimate 0. .

0648 0.1902 0.1302 0.1525 0.Question G4: What are three disadvantages to trade for Afghanistan? Respondents were instructed to provide up to three free-text answers Don't know More low-quality / illegal goods More crime / corruption / insecurity No disadvantage Other No response Domestic producers will be hurt by imports Decrease in wealth / resources Afghan businesses cannot compete Introduction of foreign culture / behavior Goods will become more expensive Increased income inequality Dependence on foreign countries / markets 0 0.0278 0.15 Fraction of all respondents .155 0.07 0.0952 0.0263 0.178 0.25 Response Don’t know More low-quality / illegal goods More crime / corruption / insecurity No disadvantage Other No response Domestic producers will be hurt by imports Decrease in wealth / resources Afghan businesses cannot compete Introduction of foreign culture / behavior Goods will become more expensive Increased income inequality Dependence on foreign countries / markets Estimate 0.05 .03 0.03 0.0045 0.0716 0.2836 0.09 0.2 .25 0.1761 0.18 0. (Note that respondents provided free-text responses to this question.13 0.) .0668 0.1284 0.215 0.0314 0.04 0.19 0.0911 0.2496 0.01 .0756 0.013 0.06 0.15 0.0525 0.” and “No response” responses suggest that a large number of Afghans—though perhaps not the majority—do not see any significant disadvantages to increased trade.0255 0.0227 N = 1327 Comments: The high frequencies of “Don’t know.0751 0.1 .0129 0.0053 Upper Bound 0.” “No disadvantage.3409 0.011 Lower Bound 0.0165 0. which were later coded by the project team.2725 0.0498 0.1448 0.0404 0.1267 0.3959 0.03 0.0614 0.1297 0.027 0.

097 0.0505 0.0059 0.1204 0.0563 0.0258 0.0226 0.0501 0.2 . While the precision for this relatively small subset of respondents is low (note the large confidence intervals).1187 0.02 0. who might have the best insight into the possible disadvantages of trade.2338 0.0536 0.0114 0. .1425 0.17 0.Question G4: What are three disadvantages to trade for Afghanistan? Only respondents who trade or whose family trades More crime / corruption / insecurity More low-quality / illegal goods Other No disadvantage No response Don't know Decrease in wealth / resources Afghan businesses cannot compete Domestic producers will be hurt by imports Goods will become more expensive Increased income inequality Introduction of foreign culture / behavior Dependence on foreign countries / markets 0.352 0.1482 0.1733 0.0021 0.306 0.2501 0.2903 0.02 0.05 0. traders seem to be most concerned with corruption and illegal activity.1844 0.0165 0.05 0.10 0.31 Response More crime / corruption / insecurity More low-quality / illegal goods Other No disadvantage No response Don’t know Decrease in wealth / resources Afghan business cannot compete Domestic producers will be hurt by imports Goods will become more expensive Increased income inequality Introduction of foreign culture / behavior Dependence on foreign countries / markets Estimate 0.1601 0.1492 0.0329 N = 272 Comments: This chart shows only the responses of those who engage in trade.0164 0.01 0 .0085 Lower Bound 0.328 0.0614 0.12 0.23 0.5868 0.0557 0.0185 0.15 0.024 0.03 0.104 0.0566 0.109 0.1 .0573 0.3 Fraction among respondents who trade or whose family trades 0.0022 Upper Bound 0.123 0.06 0.

0253 0.0229 N = 1327 Comments: The results of this question suggest that an overwhelming number of Afghans view trade positively.07 No Response 0.6 Fraction of all respondents .0086 Lower Bound 0.91 No 0. at least with respect to economic outcomes.9606 0.0676 0.1682 0. and economic opportunities? Respondents may select one option Yes 0.Question G5: Do you think increased trade creates more jobs.9128 0.4 . .8178 0.0037 0.0032 Upper Bound 0.01 Don't Know 0.01 0 .011 0.0328 0.2 .8 1 Response Yes No No response Don’t know Estimate 0. wealth.

02 0.8 1 Border provinces only: Response Yes No Estimate 0.88 0. and economic opportunities? By province location Yes 0.6 Fraction of all respondents .3071 N = 611 Interior provinces only: Response Yes No Estimate 0.Question G5: Do you think increased trade creates more jobs.00 0.04 0. Note that border province estimates are much less precise than interior province estimates. wealth.01 Border No No Response Don't Know Yes 0. .0931 Lower Bound 0.4 .8808 0.95 0.1002 N = 716 Comments: Regarding the benefits of trade.9823 0.0232 Upper Bound 0.) The low precision of border province estimate is driven by the fact that.0359 Lower Bound 0. but opinions differed substantially from one border province to the next.9597 0.953 0. However.6946 0.2 . on this question. respondents from the same border province were likely to give the same response.8804 0. (Note the different confidence interval sizes.01 Interior No No Response Don't Know 0 . support is remarkably high across both groups. residents of border provinces are slightly less enthusiastic than interior province residents.09 0.0123 Upper Bound 0.

01 0.8 1 Traders only: Response Yes No Estimate 0.9708 0.1082 N = 272 Non-traders only: Response Yes No Estimate 0.8979 0.1871 N = 1035 Comments: These results are quite intuitive and as expected .9526 0.9198 0.6 Fraction of all respondents .2 . and economic opportunities? By whether respondent or family trades Yes 0.08 0.0811 Lower Bound 0.01 0.4 .0328 Upper Bound 0.9897 0.Question G5: Do you think increased trade creates more jobs.0035 Upper Bound 0.90 0 .00 Trades No No Response Don't Know Doesn't trade Yes No No Response Don't Know 0.0202 Lower Bound 0.02 0.01 0. wealth.7938 0.97 0.

34 0.5712 0.0252 N = 1202 Comments: There is a heavy emphasis on the benefits of increased imports.4076 0. and economic opportunities? Respondents may select multiple answers We can buy things we do not make in Afghanistan The goods in the market come from all over the region and world Trade means prices are lower for goods because businesses compete Getting the important technologies and machines to make life easier Trade builds friendship and ties with other countries We are able to sell more and get more money Trading is our natural role as Afghans and a respected tradition Economic opportunities for women Don't know No response Other 0.625 0.58 0.0289 0.4 .3386 0.0214 0.4836 0.6 Fraction among respondents answering Yes to Question G5 Response We can buy things we do not make in Afghanistan The goods in the market come from all over the region and world Trade means prices are lower for goods because businesses compete Getting the important technologies and machines to make life easier Trade builds friendship and ties with other countries We are able to sell more and get more money Trading is our natural role as Afghans and a respected tradition Economic opportunities for women Don’t know No response Other Estimate 0.0799 0.57 0.485 0.5828 0.1615 0.2764 0.0114 0.5534 0.30 0.0065 Upper Bound 0.5092 0.2 .4018 0.46 0.4628 0.03 0.0713 0. wealth.02 0.0129 Lower Bound 0.6914 0.0055 0.40 0.01 0.41 0.5813 0.2441 0.5554 0.56 0 .2986 0.Question G5a: Why does increased trade create more jobs.6718 0.4419 0. .4932 0.3021 0.2017 0.6356 0.

.6 Fraction of all respondents answering No to Question G5 Response Too many low-quality and dangerous goods will enter our markets Only business with government connections will succeed Afghan producers cannot compete with foreign producers Too many foreign goods and services will enter our market No response Other Don’t know Estimate 0.004 0 Upper Bound 0.5421 0.244 0. wealth.14 0.Question G5b: Why does increased trade not create more jobs.4014 0.2879 0. and economic opportunities? Respondents may select multiple answers Too many low quality and dangerous goods will enter our markets Only businesses with government connections will succeed Afghan producers cannot compete with foreign producers Too many foreign goods and services will enter our market No response Other 0.00 0 .1217 0 N = 94 Comments: Corruption and low quality goods are considered to be associated with increased trade.0801 0.0655 0.6329 0.2 .4 .2641 0.60 Don't know 0.0145 0.8622 0.5997 0.02 0.2504 0.07 0.29 0.1436 0.1959 0.63 0.7152 0.0229 0 Lower Bound 0.

7413 0.0104 Upper Bound 0.6683 0.595 0.2711 0.0922 0.46 0.0979 0.6507 0.5236 0.7471 0.Question G6a: Who will benefit most from increased exports? Respondents may select multiple answers Manufacturers The government Rug.2 .73 0.37 0. handicraft makers Transporters Large farmers Small farmers Other Don't know No response 0.5182 0. textile.0433 N = 1327 Comments: It is important to note that people believe the government benefits more than all groups but manufacturers from increased exports.0329 0.4297 0.035 0.06 0.6 Response Manufacturers The government Rug.0555 0.2453 0.2037 0.0213 Lower Bound 0.3831 0.60 0.2902 0.59 0 .02 0.52 0. textile.4 Fraction of all respondents .4236 0. .3656 0.585 0.10 0.52 0.4639 0.5649 0. handicraft makers Transporters Large farmers Small farmers Other Don’t know No response Estimate 0.

1151 0.2555 0.0976 0.0329 0.49 0.0828 0.4195 0.0555 Lower Bound 0.28 0.1275 0.6927 0.1458 0.625 0.4 Fraction of all respondents .1756 0.14 0.06 0.3984 0.09 0. textile.1386 0.6 Response The government Transporters Manufacturers No response Large farmers Rug.Question G6a: Who will benefit most from increased imports? Respondents may select multiple answers The government Transporters Manufacturers No response Large farmers Rug. .3627 0.256 0.2818 0.0922 N = 1327 Comments: Again. government is considered the main beneficiary of more trade.0795 0. textile.2 .0879 0.0597 0. handicraft makers Other Small farmers Don’t know Estimate 0.15 0.12 0.0329 Upper Bound 0.1638 0.4934 0.55 0 .0702 0.55 0.2442 0.10 0. handicraft makers Other Small farmers Don't know 0.

0276 0.2 .2051 0.0733 0.06 0.0168 Upper Bound 0.0889 0.05 0.5851 0. textile.05 0.0269 0.1665 0.0971 0.0477 Lower Bound 0. textile. handicraft makers The government Transporters Estimate 0.17 0.49 0 .1019 0.4 .0727 0.4864 0.0598 0.1453 0.137 0.0422 0.1 .10 0.0531 0.1039 0.1222 0.09 0. but do know about the benefits and costs of more imports.1282 N = 1327 Comments: People know little about the cost of increased exports.0345 0.2511 0.1338 0. .1023 0.07 0.1897 0.Question G6b: Who will bear the most cost from increased exports? Respondents may select multiple answers No response Small farmers Don't know Large farmers Other Manufacturers Rug.3887 0.14 0. This may be related to the smaller volume of exports from Afghanistan currently. handicraft makers The government Transporters 0.3 Fraction of all respondents .5 Response No response Small farmers Don’t know Large farmers Other Manufacturers Rug.

3 Fraction of all respondents .5353 0.0399 0.5425 0.09 0.1 .356 0. handicraft makers Manufacturers No response Other The government Transporters Don't know 0.167 0.0298 0.3735 0.2097 0.2477 N = 1327 Comments: The lack of knowledge about the costs of trade is not present with respect to imports.0687 0.06 0.1255 0.06 0.0555 0.1649 Upper Bound 0.36 0.4591 0.2032 Lower Bound 0.0933 0.46 0 .5255 0.304 0.4 .2587 0. handicraft makers Manufacturers No response Other The government Transporters Don’t know Estimate 0. textile.26 0.2563 0.4102 0.41 0.0329 0.07 0.5 Response Small farmers Large farmers Rug. textile.4568 0.20 0.2 .0612 0.Question G6b: Who will bear the most cost from increased imports? Respondents may select multiple answers Small farmers Large farmers Rug.0922 0.1159 0.0207 0. .

027 N = 1327 Comments: Note that the point estimate given in the table above (and in similar tables for this type of question throughout the rest of the report) represents the likelihood that respondents would rank that item as their top choice.1711 0.122 0.001 Upper Bound 0.0734 0.3543 0.6 Fraction of all respondents Third Don't know Fourth No response . .2779 0.2252 0.2 .4 .038 0.8 1 First Sixth Second Not selected Fifth "Not selected" indicates the respondent did not select the current item.1098 0. but selected others. "No response" and "Don't know" indicate the respondent did not select any items.1085 0.Question G7: Which of these measures would best improve the sale of Afghan products in international markets? Respondent assigns ranks to one or more options Better packaging Higher product quality Better technology to improve products Pricing information for other countries Better information about foreign markets Other 0 .4808 0.3375 0.1577 0.0652 0. Response was ranked “First” Better packaging Higher product quality Better technology to improve products Pricing information for other countries Better information about foreign markets Other Estimate 0.2347 0.0054 Lower Bound 0.2454 0.

8 1 First Sixth Don't know Second Seventh No response Fifth Not selected "Not selected" indicates the respondent did not select the current item.0033 Lower Bound 0.0365 0.0007 Upper Bound 0.0983 0.0147 0.4 .0204 0.0857 0.0302 0.Question G8: What are Afghanistan's biggest obstacles to trade? Respondent assigns ranks to one or more options Security – war situation and road checkpoints Government corruption Crime on the roads Transportation challenges Lack of pricing information Unclear customs procedures Lack of production capacity Low quality of goods / inability to meet international standards Other 0 .6947 0.0264 0.6 Fraction of all respondents Third Eighth Fourth Ninth .0663 0. quality of goods was scored higher.024 0.0327 0. Response was ranked “First” Security – war situation and road checkpoints Government corruption Crime on the roads Transportation challenges Lack of pricing information Unclear customs procedures Lack of production capacity Low quality of goods / inability to meet international standards Other Estimate 0.019 0. but selected others.7561 0.008 0.0277 0. in another question when asked about what would improve export of Afghan goods abroad.0032 0.0162 0.0144 N = 1327 Comments: It is interesting to note that while low quality of products is not considered a major obstacle to trade. .1101 0. "No response" and "Don't know" indicate the respondent did not select any items.0528 0.2 .0118 0.035 0.0088 0.8085 0.0071 0.

0175 0.0956 0.0221 0.0291 N = 1327 Comments: It is interesting that reducing regulation was not scored as an important issue.6 Fraction of all respondents Fourth Don't know .049 0.2 .4 .0048 0. Response was ranked “First” Improve Afghan Customs Department Improve roads and transportation links Provide training and education to producers Reduce taxes and fees Reduce regulations Other Provide better training to Government officials Estimate 0.8 1 First Sixth Second Seventh Third Not selected Fifth No response "Not selected" indicates the respondent did not select the current item. but selected others.1008 0.1698 0.0108 Upper Bound 0.0965 0.3424 0.4128 0.4869 0.Question G9: How should the Government help Afghans export? Respondent assigns ranks to one or more options Improve Afghan Customs Department Improve roads and transportation links Provide training and education to producers Reduce taxes and fees Reduce regulations Other Provide better training to Government officials 0 .063 0.2142 0. "No response" and "Don't know" indicate the respondent did not select any items.2831 0. .1583 0.0178 Lower Bound 0.1815 0.0578 0.0335 0.

6 .8 Fraction of all respondents Fourth Don't know Fifth 1 First Sixth Second Seventh Third Not selected No response "Not selected" indicates the respondent did not select the current item.0839 0.0012 Upper Bound 0.4245 0.0675 0. and tariffs Provide information on opportunities to traders and producers Share information about product standards Other Estimate 0.0581 0.4983 0. but selected others.Question G10: What are the most important things that the government could do to promote trade? Respondent assigns ranks to one or more options Implement trade agreements with other countries Provide finance to exporters Improve Afghanistan's image in foreign markets Provide better information on customs regulations.0162 0. and tariffs Provide information on opportunities to traders and producers Share information about product standards Other 0 .1186 0.1092 0.2 .0325 0.1111 0.0786 0.4 .0305 N = 1327 Comments: Implementing international trade agreements was seen in indepth interviews as an important function of the government with respect to trade as well.0777 0. taxes. taxes.1775 0.177 0.3539 0. Response was ranked “First” Implement trade agreements with other countries Provide finance to exporters Improve Afghanistan’s image in foreign markets Provide better information on customs regulations.0061 Lower Bound 0.064 0. .0427 0.0641 0. "No response" and "Don't know" indicate the respondent did not select any items.

86 Response Pakistan China Iran India Other Uzbekistan UAE Japan Tajikistan Russia Don’t know No response Estimate 0.8%).1459 0.4 .7073 0.524 0.Question G11: Who do you think are the biggest trading partners of Afghanistan? Respondents may provide up to three free-text answers Pakistan China Iran India Other Uzbekistan UAE Japan Tajikistan Russia Don't know No response 0 0.0777 0.7%). and the US (21.14 0. .0454 0.0634 0.0014 Upper Bound 0. Afghanistan’s three largest import partners were Pakistan (23.00 .899 0.69 0.035 0.6949 0.8517 0.8 0. Afghanistan’s three largest export partners were India (23.825 0.0104 N = 1327 Comments: As of 2007.0305 0.013 0.1441 0.0899 0.07 0.0204 0.862 0.06 0.0354 0.9%).1711 0.0038 Lower Bound 0.8%).3%).0734 0.05 0.09 0.04 0.6 Fraction of all respondents .1963 0.79 0. as of 2005.1283 0.13 0.00 0.2 . and Germany (6.0878 0. Pakistan (22.0016 0.7%).0528 0.086 0. the US (11.0367 0.0046 0.8143 0.2516 0.0654 0.7884 0.0949 0.

and leaflets Government trade office Public meeting / workshop Text (SMS) messages Estimate 0.0759 0.0073 N = 1327 Comments: Newspapers.0225 0.0085 0.1268 0.2389 0.0027 Lower Bound 0.0049 0.026 0.2838 0.0138 0.0134 0.0977 0.5507 0.4 .008 0.4185 0. making it the third most popular medium.00099 Upper Bound 0.0317 0.0441 0.0049 0.0322 0.0718 0.0042 0.0728 0.0029 0.6 Fraction of all respondents Second Don't know Third No response .2 .0048 0.024 0. brochures.3334 0.8 1 First Not selected "Not selected" indicates the respondent did not select the current item.0444 0. were ranked in the top three by 33% of respondents. brochures. behind television (78%) and radio (69%). .1523 0.0132 0.0113 0.0287 0. while very few respondents’ first choice.297 0.0195 0. but selected others.Information Dissemination Questions: were also given to all respondents: Question I1: What form of trade and customs information delivery is easiest for you to access? Respondent assigns ranks to top three options Television Radio Internet (websites) Outside signs Posters in common places None of the above Other Newspapers Printed materials in the form of booklets. Response was ranked “First” Television Radio Internet (websites) Outside signs Posters in common places None of the above Other Newspapers Printed material in the form of booklets. "No response" and "Don't know" indicate the respondent did not select any items.0656 0. leaflets Government trade office Public meeting / workshops Text (SMS) messages 0 .

Question I2: What new trade and customs information would you like to see in printed materials like leaflets, booklets, and brochures?
Respondent assigns ranks to one or more options
General information about trade agreements General information on customs procedures Market price information for key imports/exports at locations in and around Afghanistan Tariff rates for goods coming into Afghanistan Tariff rates for goods entering Iran, Pakistan, India, China, Uzbekistan Information on foreign markets Information on standards for goods for export Information on trade fairs and exhibits Information on WTO accession and other upcoming trade agreements in which the Afghan government is a party Information on getting foreign visas Other



.4 .6 .8 Fraction of all respondents Fourth No response Fifth


First Sixth

Second Not selected

Third Don't know

"Not selected" indicates the respondent did not select the current item, but selected others. "No response" and "Don't know" indicate the respondent did not select any items.

Response was ranked “First” General information about trade agreements General information on customs procedures Market price information for key imports / exports at location in and around Afghanistan Tariff rates for goods coming into Afghanistan Tariff rates for goods entering Iran, Pakistan, India, China, Uzbekistan Information on foreign markets Information on standards for goods for export Information on trade fairs and exhibits Information on WTO accession and other upcoming trade agreements in which the Afghan government is a party Information on getting foreign visas Other

Estimate 0.2373 0.1405 0.135 0.0945 0.0613 0.0213 0.018 0.0176 0.0154 0.0144 0.0115

Lower Bound 0.1866 0.0971 0.087 0.0522 0.0373 0.0094 0.0069 0.0091 0.0086 0.0078 0.0045

Upper Bound 0.2969 0.199 0.2035 0.1649 0.0993 0.0475 0.0463 0.0338 0.0277 0.0265 0.0291 N = 1327

Comments: More respondents selected market price information (at any rank) than any other option.

Special Questions: were given only to those who belonged to a special group respondent:

Question S1: Would you do business with a female trader?
Respondents may select one option
Yes 0.59

Yes, only if I know her






No Response


Don't Know



.2 .4 Fraction of all special respondents


Response Yes Yes, only if I know her No Other No response Don’t know

Estimate 0.5906 0.1971 0.1702 0.0184 0.0216 0.0184

Lower Bound 0.4959 0.0783 0.0762 0.0075 0.0111 0.0075

Upper Bound 0.6791 0.4149 0.3378 0.0447 0.0417 0.0447 N = 473

Comments: Similarly, the majority said yes to trading with women during indepth interviews, but it seemed that the response was more driven by what the interviewer was thought to be interested in hearing than the interviewee’s true perception.

Question S1: Would you do business with a female trader?
By province location
Yes Yes, only if I know her 0.14 0.23 0.03 0.03 0.00 0.62 0.28 0.08 0.01 0.01 0.57


No Other No Response Don't Know Yes


Yes, only if I know her No Other No Response Don't Know 0

.2 .4 Fraction of all special respondents


Border provinces only:
Response Yes Yes, only if I know her No Other Estimate 0.5709 0.1375 0.2347 0.0261 Lower Bound 0.4167 0.0353 0.0846 0.0088 Upper Bound 0.7125 0.4097 0.5044 0.0753 N = 231

Interior provinces only:
Response Yes Yes, only if I know her No Other Estimate 0.6185 0.2816 0.0788 0.0075 Lower Bound 0.3997 0.0799 0.0146 0.0008 Upper Bound 0.7979 0.639 0.3309 0.067 N = 242

Comments: It seems a bit counter intuitive that interior provinces have a more positive attitude than border provinces. However, the confidence intervals are quite large, so one should be cautious with comparisons.

02 0.24 0.59 0.2 .4964 0.0611 N = 276 Comments: Respondents.6 Traders only: Response Yes Yes.4624 0.6823 0.0148 Lower Bound 0.0066 Upper Bound 0.1065 0.278 0. seem amenable to trade with women. only if I know her Other No No Response Don't Know 0 Doesn't trade .4 Fraction of all special respondents .01 0.0488 0.0229 Lower Bound 0.28 0.1054 0.415 0.0422 0.11 0. only if I know her Other No No Response Don't Know Yes Yes.Question S1: Would you do business with a female trader? By whether respondent or family trades Yes 0.1135 0.5854 0.0762 N = 188 Non-traders only: Response Yes Yes.1158 0.11 0. only if I know her No Other Estimate 0.5926 0.2712 0.7375 0.0034 Upper Bound 0.02 Trades Yes.59 0.00 0.02 0. .2129 0.2426 0. only if I know her No Other Estimate 0. regardless of trading status.531 0.

0714 0.0499 0.00 0.04 0.3838 0.1885 0.48 0.0154 0.24 0.11 0.0385 0.0652 0.4965 0.6 Response Lack of security Discouraged by tradition / culture Lack of education Family obligations Lack of economic means Lack of capacity / interest Other Discouraged by government / laws No response Don’t know None Estimate 0.1353 0.1479 0.033 0.4 Fraction of all special respondents .07 0. .0381 0.2 .26 0.05 0.6216 0.0518 0.0028 Lower Bound 0.4779 0.5952 0.1138 0.0603 0.60 0 .2648 0.02 0.3622 0.6866 0.1859 0.1503 0.Question S1a: What are the impediments to trade for women in Afghanistan? Respondents were instructed to provide up to three free-text answers Lack of security Discouraged by tradition / culture Lack of education Family obligations Lack of economic means Lack of capacity / interest Other Discouraged by government / laws No response Don't know None 0.0121 0.1164 0.3378 0.0895 0.09 0.0663 0.0038 0.0185 N = 473 Comments: Note that security is considered more of a problem than cultural and family restrictions.00042 Upper Bound 0.2379 0.

9365 0.Question S2: Do you think that international / regional trade agreements benefit Afghanistan? Respondents may select one option Yes 0. .8 1 Response Yes No No response Estimate 0.9773 0.04 0 .4 .6 Fraction of all special respondents .011 Upper Bound 0.146 N = 473 Comments: The highly positive response to this question among “special” respondents follows the general pattern of positive attitudes towards trade seen among all respondents in question G5.94 No 0.0489 0.0418 Lower Bound 0.2 .0095 0.8345 0.0217 0.02 No Response 0.

9909 0.8204 0.0171 0.6573 0.8 1 Border provinces only: Response Yes No No response Estimate 0.0335 Lower Bound 0.2 .082 N = 242 Comments: These positive attitudes seem to exist in both border and interior provinces .Question S2: Do you think that international / regional trade agreements benefit Afghanistan? By province location Yes 0.4 .9383 0.9806 0.0072 0.9352 0.94 Interior No No Response 0.0476 Lower Bound 0.1112 0.0405 0.0132 Upper Bound 0.05 Yes 0.94 Border No 0.3738 N = 231 Interior provinces only: Response Yes No No response Estimate 0.0282 0.0042 Upper Bound 0.03 0 .6 Fraction of all special respondents .0067 0.03 0.02 No Response 0.

9897 0. .Question S2: Do you think that international / regional trade agreements benefit Afghanistan? By whether respondent or family trades Yes 0.1999 N = 276 Comments: As might be expected.02 No Response 0.007 0.0134 Upper Bound .8 1 Traders only: Response Yes No No response Estimate 0.8849 0.0245 .0819 N = 188 Non-traders only: Response Yes No No response Estimate .2 .02 0. traders are a bit more positive about trade than non-traders.0689 .0158 Lower Bound 0.0029 Upper Bound 0.0551 Lower Bound .0536 0.06 0 .6 Fraction of all special respondents .96 Trades No 0.9646 0.4 .02 Doesn't trade Yes 0.9205 .0084 .92 No No Response 0.0196 0.7749 .975 .

1997 0.4 .4614 0.2 .3449 0. many stated this would be highly beneficial to farmers.2967 0.0014 Upper Bound 0.1166 0.4018 0.0109 0.0135 N = 473 Comments: Building more cold storage scored high.Question S3: Which measures would improve the ability to transport goods from the farmer to a foreign market? Respondent assigns ranks to top three options Improve security Improve roads Build cold storage and buy cold trucks Eliminate roadside checkpoints Improve access to credit Other 0 .1718 0.3203 0.0612 0.8 Fraction of all special respondents Second Don't know Third No response 1 First Not selected "Not selected" indicates the respondent did not select the current item.0739 0.0288 0. Response was ranked “First” Improve security Improve roads Build cold storage and buy cold trucks Eliminate roadside checkpoints Improve access to credit Other Estimate 0.2062 0.0043 Lower Bound 0. . during in-depth interviews.4066 0. "No response" and "Don't know" indicate the respondent did not select any items. but selected others.6 .0201 0.

Question S4: Who benefits from the export of carpets?
Respondents may select multiple answers
Brokers and businessmen 0.83



Sheep herders


Dye makers




No response


Don't know




.4 .6 Fraction of all special respondents


Response Brokers and businessmen Weavers Sheep herders Dye makers Other No response Don’t know

Estimate 0.826 0.3177 0.1764 0.0899 0.0346 0.0118 0.0036

Lower Bound 0.724 0.1719 0.0881 0.025 0.0128 0.0053 0.00072

Upper Bound 0.8957 0.5108 0.3219 0.2757 0.0904 0.0257 0.0175 N = 473

Comments: An overwhelming majority thought businessmen and brokers would benefit the most, while it was expected to think every body would gain. It seems relative gain is considered more important than absolute gain.

Question S5: When you hear the word tariff, what do you think it means?
Respondents may select multiple answers
Tax on imports Tax on exports Tax on production Don't know Tax on sale of goods No response Other 0.04 0.01 0.08 0.15 0.22 0.20 0.60


.2 .4 Fraction of all special respondents


Response Tax on imports Tax on exports Tax on production Don’t know Tax on sale of goods No response Other

Estimate 0.5964 0.2236 0.1965 0.1544 0.0798 0.0392 0.0143

Lower Bound 0.4446 0.1006 0.0946 0.0837 0.0377 0.0223 0.0055

Upper Bound 0.7317 0.4256 0.3638 0.2675 0.1611 0.0678 0.0369 N = 473

Comments: Most respondents understood the meaning of tariffs.

Question S6: What do you think of Afghanistan's tariffs?
Import tariffs

Production tariffs

Export tariffs

Sales tariffs



.4 .6 Fraction of all special respondents About right No response Too low



Too high Don't know

Not selected

Import tariff responses Too high About right Too low Production tariff responses Too high About right Too low Export tariff responses Too high About right Too low Sales tariff responses Too high About right Too low

Estimate 0.2798 0.0844 0.0654 Estimate 0.1238 0.0745 0.0305 Estimate 0.0276 0.0643 0.042 Estimate 0.0227 0.0144 0.0017

Lower Bound 0.1515 0.0406 0.0331 Lower Bound 0.0555 0.023 0.0106 Lower Bound 0.0109 0.0159 0.007 Lower Bound 0.0095 0.0057 0.00015

Upper Bound 0.4582 0.1674 0.1254 Upper Bound 0.2536 0.216 0.0843 Upper Bound 0.0679 0.2263 0.2145 Upper Bound 0.0534 0.0359 0.0186 N = 473

Comments: People generally thought that tariffs on raw materials used for domestic production are high, but the average of import tariffs are lower in the region.

6883 0.17 0.07 0.0026 Upper Bound 0.418 0.2 .1629 0.4 .0349 0.028 0.0143 0.0261 0.0058 0.1542 0.07 0.0553 0.0676 0.56 0 .0273 N = 267 Comments: The graph and table above excludes respondents who did not provide an answer or reported no knowledge of the Customs Department.6 Fraction among special respondents providing any answer Response Problems with corruption and illegal activity Other negative experience Processes are slow / inefficient Problems with staff knowledge / professionalism Tariffs are too high Problems with inadequate facilities / equipment The department is improving The department operates well Other positive experience Estimate 0.01 0.03 0.07 0.01 0.0283 0.0084 Lower Bound 0.0333 0.0224 0. .0158 0.1676 0.1007 0.067 0.1301 0.0686 0.2659 0.0099 0.Question S7: What have you experienced or heard / about the work of the Afghan Customs Department? Respondents may provide one free-text answer Problems with corruption and illegal activity Other negative experience Processes are slow / inefficient Problems with staff knowledge / professionalism Tariffs are too high Problems with inadequate facilities / equipment The department is improving The department operates well Other positive experience 0.06 0.03 0.5574 0.

Question S7: What have you experienced or heard / about the work of the Afghan Customs Department? By province location Problems with corruption and illegal activity Other negative experience Problems with staff knowledge / professionalism Tariffs are too high Processes are slow / inefficient The department is improving Problems with inadequate facilities / equipment The department operates well Other positive experience Problems with corruption and illegal activity Other negative experience Processes are slow / inefficient Problems with staff knowledge / professionalism Tariffs are too high Problems with inadequate facilities / equipment The department is improving The department operates well Other positive experience 0.02 0.12 0.12 0.03 0.8 Fraction among special respondents providing any answe Border provinces only: Response Problems with corruption Estimate 0. .22 0.06 0.02 0.08 0.01 0.4389 Lower Bound 0.5007 N = 142 Comments: This decomposition by province location suggests that border residents experience or perceive greater levels of Custom Department corruption and illegal activity.6 .05 0.4 .2 .02 0.3788 Upper Bound 0.6527 Lower Bound 0.05 0.04 0.66 0.44 0.8355 N = 125 Interior provinces only: Response Problems with corruption Estimate 0.4198 Upper Bound 0.03 0.02 Interior Border 0 .

Question S8: In your opinion.1931 0.2906 0.2865 0.2374 0.3341 0.2105 0.5344 0.4046 0. how large a problem is each of the following in the Afghan Customs Department? Respondent assigns a score to each of the options Slowness at clearing goods Queue lines Poor facilities Lack of service counter or person in tax offices The amount of fees paid at customs Speed at moving goods through customs The process for handling complaints and appeals Low professional qualifications for staff Lack of information on custom duties and procedures Knowledge of customs officers Staff behavior toward citizens and visitors Not enough customs officers Other 0 .1276 0.4095 0.1359 0.5152 0.1463 0.Minor problem 4 Not a problem Response was rated “Major problem” Slowness at clearing goods Queue lines Poor facilities Lack of service counter or person in tax offices The amount of fees paid at customs Speed at moving goods through customs The process for handling complaints and appeals Low professional qualifications for staff Lack of information on custom duties and procedures Knowledge of customs officers Staff behavior toward citizens and visitors Not enough customs officers Other Estimate 0.0535 N = 473 Comments: on average everything is scored the same way. except for the number of customs personal which was relatively not considered to be an issue.1484 0.2 .3337 0.2166 0.1621 0.0883 0.5085 0.Major problem 1 .3246 0.2187 0.2812 0.3903 0.2501 0.1929 0.1721 0.0091 Upper Bound 0.1322 0.8 Fraction of all special respondents 3 Don't know 2 No response 1 5 .0223 Lower Bound 0.2963 0.2498 0. .2985 0.4 .6 .3198 0.1466 0.1973 0.396 0.2034 0.0978 0.

0312 0.0044 Upper Bound 0.2955 0.1335 0.077 0. but selected others.4 . "No response" and "Don't know" indicate the respondent did not select any items.0173 Lower Bound 0.8 Fraction of all special respondents Fourth Fifth 1 First Not selected Second Don't know Third No response "Not selected" indicates the respondent did not select the current item. .6348 0.1756 0.0636 0.Question S9: What steps would you take to export goods for the first time? Respondent assigns ranks to one or more options Talk to a successful exporter Contact the local Chamber of Commerce or local business association Contact EPAA or Afghan Customs Department Contact a local government official Other 0 .1253 0.5084 0.2 .745 0.0433 0. Response was ranked “First” Talk to a successful exporter Contact the local Chamber of Commerce or local business association Contact EPAA or Afghan Customs Department Contact a local government official Other Estimate 0.0976 0.6 .0656 N = 473 Comments: Contacting government officials was one of the least preferred choices.

4352 0.0647 0.5219 0.0194 N = 473 Comments: Details of trade agreements were considered one of the areas where people thought they need more information.4421 0.0869 0.4 Response Transport opportunities The customs process Details on trade agreements The visa process The government No response None needed Don’t know Other Estimate 0.0297 0.0083 Lower Bound 0.0036 Upper Bound 0.0475 0.0289 0.1216 0.1583 0.5967 0.3154 0.2813 0.44 0.03 0.1947 0.29 0.0176 0.40 0.402 0.44 0 .0092 0.616 0.1125 0.1352 0.2928 0.2864 0.01 0.467 0.1 . .06 0.2887 0.2 .3 Fraction of all special respondents .05 0.Question S10: What export-related information would be most useful to your work? Respondents may select multiple answers Transport opportunities The customs process Details on trade agreements The visa process The government No response None needed Don't know Other 0.19 0.

5 Response Yes No No response Estimate 0.4628 0.46 No Response 0.4 .5902 0.06 0 .0646 Lower Bound 0.Question S11-1: Do you know the term: World Trade Organization (WTO) Respondents may select one option Yes 0.3579 0. .47 No 0.5983 0.3 Fraction of all special respondents . it would be worth reiterating the names of important organizations in trade for familiarity.1 .2 .4726 0.0228 Upper Bound 0.3326 0.1696 N = 473 Comments: For an outreach campaign.

5% of respondents were familiar with the term.56 No Response 0.7268 0. only 28.3287 0. .5926 0.5574 0.Question S11-1: Do you know the term: World Trade Organization (WTO) By province location Yes 0.6 Border provinces only: Response Yes No No response Estimate 0.0892 Lower Bound 0.227 0.7% knew the term. Jalalabad. For example.4 Fraction of all special respondents .40 Border No 0.0108 Upper Bound 0. 87.3384 N = 242 Comments: While.2 .4587 0.5821 0.3736 0. there is great variation across border provinces. in Kandahar. residents of interior provinces are more likely to know about the WTO.2794 0. on average. while in another border province.05 Yes 0.3953 0.6961 0.58 Interior No No Response 0.0184 Upper Bound 0.1848 N = 231 Interior provinces only: Response Yes No No response Estimate 0.33 0 . a border province.0473 Lower Bound 0.3822 0.09 0.

5655 0.2717 0.27 No 0.4 Fraction of all special respondents .Question S11-2: Do you know the term: South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) Respondents may select one option Yes 0.2064 0.07 0 .6 .7448 0.3485 0.66 No Response 0.2 .8 Response Yes No No response Estimate 0.1807 N = 473 Comments: SAFTA is known less than WTO .6609 0.0674 Lower Bound 0.0232 Upper Bound 0.

6906 0.Question S11-3: Do you know the term: Afghanistan Pakistan Transit and Transport Agreement (APTTA) Respondents may select one option Yes 0.4 Fraction of all special respondents .56 No Response 0.2144 0.2 .1807 N = 473 Comments: Even APTTA is known more than SAFTA .0674 Lower Bound 0.07 0 .5593 0.3733 0.4191 0.6 Response Yes No No response Estimate 0.0232 Upper Bound 0.37 No 0.5653 0.

4386 0.68 0 .Question S11-3: Do you know the term: Afghanistan Pakistan Transit and Transport Agreement (APTTA) By whether respondent or family trades Yes 0.162 0.7392 0.8 Traders only: Response Yes No No response Estimate 0.0917 Lower Bound 0.04 Doesn't trade Yes 0.6433 0.2164 N = 242 Comments: The APTTA is relatively well-known to traders compared to nontraders.6 Fraction of all special respondents .227 0.2989 0.0356 Upper Bound 0.23 No No Response 0. .3085 0.09 0.2528 0.5237 0.44 No Response 0.0106 Upper Bound 0.4 .1263 N = 231 Non-traders only: Response Yes No No response Estimate 0.6137 0.7419 0.6812 0.52 Trades No 0.2 .0378 Lower Bound 0.

Laboratory funds are needed for infrastructure development of a single window concept. The problems that we have are in non-tariff barriers. Trade facilities in Afghanistan have faced tariff and nontariff barriers. We have made it automatic. . During the past years. but now our tariff system is the lowest in the region. we will have border police. all the theories of comparative advantage to absolute advantage and opportunity. the current deputy minister of finance for customs and revenue affairs: Q – 1: What government policies can improve trade in Afghanistan? A – 1: Trade plays very important role in economic development of a country. When the truck comes in. In customs regions. technology. someone else may come and say that tariffs are low and we want the government to increase them. Our other achievement was improvement of procedures. National security. Single window means that when trucks come in. and implementation needs. For example. Manufacturers and producers want the tariff to be increased. which is good. That makes our job in setting tariffs difficult. I don’t know the number. capacity building. but in comparison with the last decade. and then they can provide the certificates and paperwork in a computerized form. When a trader comes. We suffer funding problems for this idea though.Transcript of Deep Interviews Interview with Mr. all the representatives will be there to see and check. I am not saying that we have done everything we could and there is nothing to be done anymore. For example. our tariff system was really disorganized. We want to establish border management and a single window so we could provide more facilities to traders. All the representatives from these ministries will be in one room and when the trader comes in with paperwork and all the data are entered in the computer. Sayed Mubin Shah. if a trader comes to us and says that the tariffs are high and we need lower tariffs. we were able to decrease the number of procedures with the help of our friends. it is important that we should have trade facilities. I have already prepared the policy concept so Karzai could approve it. it will be measured on a scale and scanner. we have different offices. together at one point. we have decreased the procedures. We are thinking how to approach donors to pay for these. We don’t have laboratories yet but we have some limited funds to establish laboratories in some places. I mean that we need to institutionalize tariff policies. Ministry of health. The theories given by Adam Smith to Ricardo. a T1 is given to him in a few minutes and then he is done. These estimates are the first thing that we need. We have had really good achievements in the past few years. We don’t have the manpower or the skill to perform research on the best action. we are trying to employ professional people for this. Ministry of commerce and other ministries. We are getting cost estimates for construction.

You should take a look at it.Other problems are the transit routes. net income and this would be the basis for their tax. We will take your suggestions. There are some other things which can help to facilitate more trade. so we distributed the tax payers to three categories. Large Taxpayer 2. you will see that they charge money. A trader would come. At the same time we have problems too. director of taxes and revenue department). Small Taxpayer We need established offices in Kabul and we have established LTO in some provinces like Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif and we are almost done with its establishment in Jalalabad. We call it self assessment. we think that taxpayers are trying to keep the tax law in mind. That’s why. it’s hard for them at the beginning. Medium Taxpayer 3. they would say their income. (Idrees) Whom should I follow up with? You can follow up with me (Eftekhar. Our income department employees are very professional. In provinces. Every department has its own special guidelines. We give the form and our customer service will guide them. we have review procedures. If reviewers check a questionable file. Our technical tax team will have meetings with traders where we will take their suggestions too. For example it’s in three languages. municipalities and others get money from traders for different reasons. expenses. They pay their tax and we acknowledge receipt. Just to make sure that they don’t lie. If you go to Pul-e-Charkhi. they have graduate degrees. Q – 2: Is there an average transit for how long it takes goods to get from one border to another? A – 2: You should do that calculation. 1. there are checkpoints which take money from traders. The trader calculates the tax himself. we don’t have it at the moment. then the client is introduced to the review committee. I am not saying that we don’t have problems. We want to open doors to trade in the region and we become member of ECHO or any other regional forum. I don’t know where that money goes to: does it go to the government or is it going to a private pocket? The other problem that our traders face is with the tax system. We have MTO and STO in four provinces and LTO in one. (Idrees) So far the traders that I have interviewed have said that it’s very complicated. We have signed over 40 bilateral agreements with neighbor countries in different sectors. Because our traders don’t know the law. When introduced to the review committee. Traders have . Our problem at the moment is we don’t have a lot of control over traders. over 50% of the files are in violation of the law. and compliance has increased. so it could help traders. a committee sits and checks to see if everything is correct.

(Eftekhar) There are only 30. and our employees will know that he has imported many trucks but they haven’t gone through customs. but there . For example. they are not interested in owning a farm or working in an office. I agree that there is problem. which increases their money. these kinds of things. traders’ want to run away from taxes. In most of the cases. Most of the people we know. but I disagree with this question because only 400. there was a truck that was supposed to pay taxes in Kabul customs but they were lost on the way to Kabul and they never paid it. A good example is you. (Idrees) Understanding tax systems is difficult in the entire world. Income tax law. what are the reasons? A – 3: I am not sure about the percentages. but I think trade during the war years in comparison with trade in the previous year might have decreased. And the same number might work for NGO’s and the private sector.000 companies in Kabul. SCODA gives us the calculation. not specifically very high level trade but something like shop keeping or taking something from here to sell in Pakistan. I am sorry. Q – 3: Ignoring all the government related problems for a second. Q – 4: In your opinion. Then you should check the percentage and you will find it to be more. We have bilateral agreements. which we only use for implementation purposes. they are interested in having a private business or trade. yet not paying taxes. we can reduce traders bringing goods into markets. but not so much towards trade. last month. We had a few cases of this yesterday. there is no report for it. In your opinion. out dynamic systems can tell us how many trucks have crossed Torkham or Islam Qala and what customs are they going towards.000 Afghanis back and sells it in Afghanistan.000 Afghans work for the government. We have a tax calculation manual. it will be checked in SCODA.a free hand at the moment. For example. yesterday a trader came to get his tax clearance. but in current conditions. Someone goes to Pakistan and brings goods worth 10. The rest of the people are all busy in trade. (Idrees) I meant international trade not retail and small business. by having some restrictions on traders. what are some reasons that Afghans do not trade more now a days? It seems like people are changing sectors. you should compare the number of factories now with the past years. There is international trade. When he comes back to see if he is clear. when they have returned from Pakistan. high or low tariffs are good? What’s the general policy position? A – 4: General policy position is that tariffs will change but based on the situation and condition. We will go towards WTO. In order to increase their profits they are happy with the disorganization. Invisible trade is very common in Afghanistan. and guide form 08. which explains everything in three languages. we need funds for a tax awareness dimension.

Q – 5: What would be the best evidence of accountability of government towards customs and trade in general? For example. and legal solution. Even the standards the conventional system requires is not enough. An economic. even if he does he is not going to understand you. After education. then the whole world finds out about it.The reason that we can’t improve human resources is that we don’t have an incentive system. first the recruitment process should be reformed. let’s take part in political independence of Afghanistan”. We have created a customs academy and classes where we send our employees to learn. it never covers the new professional staff that we hire. does having experience and skill but not having commitment. academic.The third base of management is dumping going on.the person must be fed because he is hungry. Our new slogan is that “Our financial independence is our political independence. I don’t know how many sensitive items we have. We are hoping that we will be able to make it better. not only Customs. and time management commitment to decrease non-tariff barriers. as it’s defined solely as knowledge. Once you have fed them.a reminder that laws should be followed. There is someone who is hungry. we didn’t talk about sensitive items in transit agreements. what would you suggest? Three things are necessary for this person. and 3. if someone is a doctor like you. Procedures include functions. 3. I am against the definition of capacity.The fourth base is structure. 2. experience. But you tell me. we are trying to make it more transparent. These three solutions are needed. 4. These are ongoing. At the moment we can see that recruitment process for all government offices. When we do good no one appreciates it. but as . there is something else beside this definition of capacity. The hungry person won’t listen to you. we have a problem in the structure of administration. warn them that if it happens again. In Afghanistan.Administration consists of human resources. we are going to punish you. which is an economic solution. and skill. 2. is wrong. Do you have any thoughts about what might be the best indicators of government’s accountability and transparency? A – 5: Reform in every administration is based on four things: 1. If you are a court. Management style is not good. management actions. then educate them. he steals but he doesn’t know. But how are you going to implement them? We should find some food first. the media never talks about our new building or our new procedures. will that person be useful to me? That’s why. 1-Education is needed. This is to create moral. but if something goes wrong. Capacity building is part of it too. For example. publishing figures would show more transparency or punishment of staff who are involved in wrong doing.

then the only thing which is covered is that bombing. Everyone in the U. We take the feedback ourselves. we have a planning department but don’t have safety. and nothing else. and how much we had processed. so they could provide these programs too.soon as a bomb explodes. what information is really important to be given to traders and how can we get this information to them? A – 8: All information is available on the internet. For example. We would prefer to have a system from the beginning to prevent this rather than being told by someone. Q – 8: In your opinion. as well as the number of forms. and news publications too. For example. I think. but again. (Idrees) But the problem is that all policies have side effects and positive effects. and if he does. We use all our facilities. because the . And improving procedures for increasing revenue decreases the efficiency because it angers everyone for making it too complicated. I want to do a survey in this regard myself. do you have independent observation? Do you get any reports outside regular chains of command? A – 7: We don’t have a very well organized channel. and tell us about our weaknesses. (Eftekhar) When we make the procedures. We gather the money but we are not allowed to spend it. who would fill it out in different provinces. we keep in mind 80% of people’s problems. We will provide them with the tax guide or other important information.S. when the last person came to join customs. (Eftekhar) It’s really easy for us to calculate revenue. We are trying to make tax awareness a key issue. Q – 6: According to the definition of capacity building which includes commitment. I can’t say specifically. especially if they are subordinates. We would love to be evaluated by people. Regarding commitment. And then we can compare the this year’s revenue with last year’s. what percent of those staff do you think are committed in customs? A – 6: We might have a good percentage. because there is no incentive for them to be critical. through TV commercials. We are trying to work with Ministry of Commerce and Industries. it’s good if people tell us about our weaknesses. it’s not enough though. we can compare before streamline procedures what was our revenue. the deputy said that to achieve that optimal level. Usually. the main distribution source is the internet. We had planned to hire a foreigner and an Afghan. we need funds. I made him take an oath on the Quran. someone who is hired internally it would be hard for them to criticize. so that he wouldn’t commit anything against the law. then he’ll accept the consequences. They’d use a form that would be given to randomly selected people. then they could provide trainings. you need revenue but also fairly simple procedures. Earlier. and in the rest of world thinks that the only thing which happens in Afghanistan are bomb blasts. Q – 7: For checking the procedure. Then the evaluation would be done systematically.

Q – 9: Do you think trade is a good job for women in Afghanistan? A – 9: Why not. It’s important for our fresh and dry fruits to meet the requirements of quality certification. one can calculate an answer. (Eftekhar) Information about large and medium taxpayers: both are available on the internet. This needs studying as import substitution can have a negative impact on the goods which were produced here. Afghanistan is an Islamic country. elimination of check points. but importing the same thing from outside. they are saying that it’s not digestible. Another thing is marketing for Afghan products by having conferences. there is no problem. You have to first find a partial equilibrium.Chamber of Commerce is to serve the traders. exhibits. Qurban Haqjo. and match making events in countries where Afghan products have markets. Second thing. which is known as the Afghanistan Craftsmen Union. its packaging. This increase in quality will include the quality of goods themselves. In that case. and the establishment of a well-equipped cargo system. it means that trade is not good for employment. Interview with Mr. We’ll meet with them to tell them about the new information. (Idrees) They are not saying that information is not available. but it was just a comment. At the same time. and Afghan women can follow her too. they can send one of their employees or they can also travel with their husband or brother. Q – 10: Will increasing trade result in an increase in employment? Q – 10: We have partial equilibrium and general equilibrium in economics. if you think that home production might employ 100 people. Then you can say if trade is good or not. For small taxpayers we don’t worry as much because they have a union. the current head of Afghanistan’s chamber of commerce: Q – 1: What government policies could improve trade in Afghanistan? A – 1: We have to increase the quality of our products in accordance with market standards. We can send our people to train Chamber of Commerce if they don’t know tax information either. and getting them quickly to the market. Given money market supply data. In different conditions. we might have 50 people indirectly employed. and based on that it is judged whether utility and productions are maximized. Bibi Khadeeja was one of the Muslim women who did trade. This includes paved roads. improvement of airports. Women don’t have to travel themselves. we should have speedy air and road transportation facilities with low prices so our goods can compete with similar foreign products. and then general equilibrium and stability can follow. such . people have different needs.

Afghanistan economic capabilities and Afghan products should be demonstrated in these countries so we can develop better markets. with different rates: how to pay. Lack of a transparent economic policy is another problem. existence of a good policy is important. he wants to be done with it. but it’s too complicated at the moment. What’s their trade policy with Afghanistan? With the new agreement.S. a sample of Afghan products and if . Today in trade. medicine or other goods are imported as samples first to be checked in Ministry of Public Health. Currently it’s not transparent at all. trains. Government should provide cooler storage facilities. the U. Without security. Afghanistan won’t be able to import goods from India. (Idrees: Is our marketing week?) Yes. and how it can provide growth opportunities for a sector. Government should have an agenda. In fact. none of them are professional. It’s very complicated. government gets money from traders for no reason.S. electricity and energy are important core infrastructures that should be established. which would help quite a bit. A person with 5000 AFS salary from government has 5000 capability to spend. how to best use current resources. We should study what Pakistan does. Thirds. it should know of economic growth opportunities. They spend their nights in discos and sleep during the day. they visit a few markets. which itself creates confusion. Risk of fire and theft by Taliban is high. There are different kinds of taxes. Second thing is policy. Without security you can’t define you supply and demand. It’s a great source of corruption. Government is missing these things today. These labs should be in every customs department. Today. All the data on those forms have been copy and pasted from other countries like the U. It’s not important to have high or low tariff. self sufficiency of Afghanistan in areas where it has competitive advantage should be a priority. we don’t have marketing. Tax laws should be so simple that people should know how much they have to pay. It’s exactly why a trader is ready to pay a bribe. Tax forms are in three languages. But it’s good that our trucks can go to the ports.. and he can’t spend more than that. when to pay… everything is very complicated. take product catalogs of Afghanistan. we should study comparison tariffs of our partner countries. the Middle East. Instead. the government can’t define its expenses. In the future there might some changes. Government shouldn’t act as a competitor but should act as a policymaker and a facilitator in the Europe. There is no company in Afghanistan which could meet the demands of the tax forms. First. These samples stay in Ministry labs for days. Second is a capability of people. Roads. If we take a look at our businessmen who go to other countries. and in our region. Security is important. Even the procedures are complicated. it’s really weak.

Issuance of such exemptions to companies destroys transparency and competition. and it’s because we don’t have any production inside Afghanistan. low or high? Q – 3: At the moment. Q – 3: What kind of tariff would help Afghanistan the most in the current situations. on the contrary. where the government is obligated to support private investors. Bringing together similar works under one department instead of several ministries creates transparency and improvement in procedures. This environment becomes corrupt. This can be seen practically in Ministry of trade. low tariffs would help Afghanistan the most. Ministry of Transport. Next thing is recruitment of individuals who are committed and who believe in a market economy. and provide them with growth opportunities. Q – 4: What would be the best evidence of accountability of government? A – 4: The first thing is implementation of the 10th. our purchasing power is low and we import all our needs. and must implement tax laws on everyone. it’s very low. the government should act as sponsor or facilitator and should oversee the implementation of law in the market.5%. Second. it should be categorized and then announced. income tax from four telecom companies was $130 million . Ministry of Mines.possible inform us about a few exhibits so that we can send our businessmen to take part in it. for example creation of ANSA under AISA (for quality control and standardization). Our tariffs are low. but the implementers don’t believe in a market economy. procedures and creation of related departments. The thirteenth amendment obligates government to support small and medium ownerships and handicrafts. accountable. 11th and 13th articles of constitution. and should be for growth purposes of Afghanistan’s economy. The eleventh article states that all the imports and exports should be arranged in accordance with the constitution. It will really help in the improving our exports. Q – 2: What do you think of the Afghan tariffs? Is it too high. they prevent a market economy implementation. Once taxes are collected. bribery starts and results in a mafia economy. In reality. government must be very transparent. The average for Pakistan is 55% to 60%. there are certain companies and NGO’s who are exempted from import tax. an equal provider. The tenth article is about a market economy. who are against private sector. Ministry of Agriculture. and Ministry of Energy. According to article 42 of the constitution. For example: last year. which if we compare with the world. Today. There are market economy laws. low or reasonable? A – 2: Our average tariff rate is 5. implementation of these laws will need clear rules. It had and it will have its negative impacts on our agricultural products and small and newly established industries.

This money comes from people. and brochure? A – 6: Contracts. Women are underestimated. Their education and work skills are low. Private sector should know that certain amount have been added to the government’s revenue. same as the revenue from the Ministry of Trade. industries. In Afghanistan people don’t have postal addresses. out of which he transfers $20 million AFS to the governors of insecure provinces every month. why should it be spent that way? Who is going to be accountable for it? There is a project in Ministry of Finance. The annual income from carpet is an average of $150 million USD. Email and websites are not useful. Q – 5: What form of trade and customs information delivery is convenient to deliver important information to Afghan traders? A – 5: There are difference ways. .USD. they don’t answer phones. Processing of all the dried fruits are done by women. biddings. people don’t know about taxes so how can they be encouraged to pay taxes. they don’t check internet. and import tax rate of other countries international agreements. are other traders concerned about trading with a woman? A – 8: Foreign traders can’t trust the Afghan women traders from a business point of view. Needle industry and clothes industry are all done by women. which provide the children of this country an education. Newspapers are useful too. consultancy services. but the most convenient to deliver is television. and it’s not that traders will come themselves to get information. through which every sector and every company who has paid taxes will be announced to bring transparency.2%). but they have an important role in economy of Afghanistan. Q – 8: Generally. Ministry of Mines. There should be transparency in the tax system so that people know how the government is spending their money. booklet. Q – 6: What new trade and customs information do you think traders want to see in printed materials like leaflet. treat the poor in hospitals. More credits and loans are available to men than women. factories. All our handicrafts are done by women. 80% of these carpets are weaved by women. and some in industrial parks and agriculture sector. issues related to tax and tariffs. Q – 7: Is trading a good job for women? A – 7: There are around 750 women traders out of 35.000 (total number of traders) who are registered with Chamber of Commerce (around 2. and help the government maintain security and law and order. This should have been announced. Those who are interested can download a copy of agreements. These women work in handicrafts business. and other sources. People hear that the president has a secret bank account. At the moment. family businesses. but people might not know that.

because Pakistan is producing them. But now. British cars). Q – 11: Which markets are attractive to our traders at the moment? A – 11: India is attractive for exporting. In the past. Kunar is mountainous. If we focus more on industry.Trade is not a good job for women. But the smallest company can provide job opportunities for five people. For example: At the moment we are allowed to import right hand cars (Steering on the right. No trader is going to pay taxes at the time of import and pay again to Pakistan while re-exporting it. The only importance for the government is the charges for the services. there will be a high percentage of taxes. Ashraf Ghani came. If traders re-export legally. services. But instead. women can’t travel unless they have a man with them. The best re-export is in Dubai. When Dr. and mines then employment increases. shopkeepers. where there is no tax and tariffs. Q – 9: Who would benefit more from free trade with other countries? A – 9: Importers. cars are smuggled though Khost and Paktika to Pakistan. and consumers will benefit the most. Trade is all done by a limited number of people. which are specified by the president that can be imported. Q – 12: What percentages of our imports are re-exported? What promotes reexport? A – 12: All the imports are for needs. it decreases employment. Q – 10: Is trade good for employment? A – 10: No. because tariffs were high in Pakistan. Illegal re-exports are not registered. refrigerators. So that the goods wouldn’t be used in Pakistan and it would return to Afghanistan. Q – 13: What are main the impediments to trade in Afghanistan? . borders were open. and televisions were imported to Afghanistan because tariffs were high in Pakistan. washing machines. Common routes are Jalalabad and Paktika. so it’s hard to get goods there. agriculture. For example: Cell phones used to be imported to Afghanistan and then exported to Pakistan. Pakistan decreased the tariffs on the import goods. Pakistan is protecting its industry. But now Pakistan doesn’t allow import of any of these. Goods such as cigarettes. Travel is really important for a trader. But in general they can do business. when the prices are high in Afghanistan. but only for spare parts. he increased the tariffs for Pakistan. You can import and export anything. and then traders won’t have any profit. In return. and in Afghanistan’s society. Any good imported for market purposes cannot be re-exported. cell phones are imported from Pakistan. We could export them to Pakistan but the tariffs would be 200% or 300%.

but they haven’t done yet? A – 1: First of all. in spite of presence of 10th. the government should encourage the traders to increase their capital investments. Next problem are the markets in Afghanistan. something I believe in is having a strong political agreement from government for accepting a market system and trade freedoms. In most cases. we act in accordance with different systems. there are people who don’t pay taxes. but unfortunately. what can government do to improve trade in Afghanistan? What things they have done so far.A – 13: Education. Nepal. There are big steps that government has to take regarding trade in Afghanistan. There are economy mafias. Faruqee. But unfortunately during the past eight or nine years. no one cares about capital. there are no Afghans to be recruited. . businessmen. in the past eight or nine years different administrations and departments have caused problems in different sectors of trade and business for different reasons. in most of the cases decisions which are made. government is obliged to help the private sector. whether it’s the right way or not. nothing is predictable. and other countries. Even the government doesn’t think about improving the capital. that is economic policy decisions. everyone thinks about immediate gains. Interview with Prof. Today in general we don’t have professionals in education sector. Another thing is lack of development in the private sector. means we are standing at a crossroads. 11th and 13th articles of the constitution. are the biggest reasons why Afghans don’t trade more? A – 14: I believe that trade has in fact increased. They have black money. but the next. Capacities are low. The negative message that government still doesn’t believes the way that it has chosen. the former minister of transport and current professor of economics at Kabul University: Q – 1: In your opinion. When installing a factory. once they enter the market they knock their competitor out of the market. Per the constitution. By mafias I mean people who have strong relations with government. That’s why it’s one of the big problems that out business and trade sector have faced during the past eight or nine years. negative or positive? What things can government do. everyone needs to be hired from Pakistan. do you think. Mafias have facilities to compete but others don’t. such as living expenses. It’s really expensive to pay for this. manufacturers. government is still shaky in this regard. visas. This unfortunately sends the wrong message to our traders. In Afghanistan markets. traders are not treated fairly by the system. and other expenses. we act in accordance with market economy one time. transportation. Government policies regarding trade improvement and trade development should be to move from classic ways and towards the new ways. and those who want to invest in Afghanistan. Q – 14: What.

Third is focusing on the trade institutions. they don’t believe in the market. comes down to which people know the right. which is contradictory. how can the constitution be in conflict with the policy? In the constitution it says that government will act as a regulator to provide opportunities so all the businesses in . Government takes sides instead of being a regulator. Government has treated private institutions as if these institutions will take over the government institutions. this is an attitude that needs to change. they still believe that this system is not the right system in Afghanistan. but behind the scenes they won’t cooperate. These factors have been marginalized due to the presence of these policies. a governmental institution. The government has taken big steps in legalizing trade but there are still some laws which need implemented. or do you think it’s because people who work in policy making positions are involved in the market. they don’t believe in the system and they won’t take time to implement it. etc. then obviously they will create big obstacle for trade.” When leaders believe in such ways. we can’t leave the market free. we follow the laws of previous systems. he won’t take actions. Today. the government needs to pay attention to law and implementing it. This deserves government attention. Last year we showed our strong disagreement but they said that it’s the policy. or what we call it today as corruption. People who are working in key positions. The issue of competition. new ideas factors. Q – 2: The attitude that you explaining. and some which are not yet ready to be implemented. Again and again. most of the trade factors have been marginalized: creativity factors. they use words like “we should have the control of the market. even he if he has the knowledge. For example. It’s either because of lack of knowledge or due to a lack of commitment as I said earlier. influential people. You might have heard when our leaders speak in official and non-official ceremonies.Secondly. you heard last year that government went against all market principles by supporting Arianna. he will never implement it. there is no commitment. do you think it’s because of lack of understanding of policy solutions. Our representatives in parliament have created delay and problems in most of the cases. This isn’t open and equal opportunity as promised and has a negative impact and sends wrong message. They might show in the presence of law that they are supporting it. In some cases government still sacrifices huge profits in the private sector for the small government institutions. and this year they did the same. and commitment factors. When a minister doesn’t believe that a market economy helps increase goods in the market. instead of thinking them as friends or coworkers. and thus private sector is treated as rivals instead of colleagues? A – 2: There is a third reason beside those two. some that are in the process. Government institutions think of private institutions as their rivals. I strongly believe that beside the lack of understanding. lack of understanding and knowledge and they don’t have believe either are real issues. our stance was. These two problems.

but we still have problems in Customs. which impede trade. Another problem to trade is unfortunately the services which are provided for the trader. Another problem is instability of the currency. Transition and Transport with illegal checkpoints on the road. If government is not committed. and towards the Afghan nation. where we pick and choose what we think is best. That’s why government doesn’t have a commitment toward privatization and establishment of factories. dollar cause problems. Another problem. Traders face old rules and regulations. beyond that. and it is assumed that government is still incapable of handling the market system. checkpoints. We have to accept some risk and loss. You know that today. cheating in quality control. Transit has always been a threat to us. mafias will take over. and anti-government groups. but this facility is really weak here. whether accurate or not. Q – 4: Ignoring all the problems that are caused by the government. medicine. This can be a threat to trade. Ministry of Finance. Government has always backed away. it shows where the government commits itself. We are still unable to implement effective monetary policies or to follow ways which can stabilize currency. and Ministry of Finance because we are still unable to establish a one window stop all over Afghanistan. they claim that the government is afraid of a monopoly where traders might take over the market and threaten government control. transport. which I think government still hasn’t been able to deal with it. towards the international community. electronics. is appropriate support strategies which could create a good field for competition. A trader takes the risk relying on the market information available. We have to follow market ways because of the commitment that we have towards the constitution.the market will compete equally. especially in infrastructures like customs. from a legal point of view. There is no doubt in the benefits of trade today. The next problem is cheating. what are the impediments to trade in Afghanistan? A – 4: Another problem regarding trade in Afghanistan is transit. So we are at a crossroads. bribes. or mainly there is a bad ideology in the central government? A – 3: Apparently.S. Q – 3: Do you think the main idea behind all these policies is that government is afraid of monopoly businesses. all of . it’s a loss and it can’t be recovered. Fluctuations against the U. Government must be committed and be ready to act against a monopoly. We agree that most of the government institutions still need help but if supporting a small government institution goes against national economy policies. consumable goods. I strongly insist that this is the biggest problem today. but as much as we are delaying it. But as I have studied the past eight or nine years. For example. there is no quality control. government still doesn’t have the commitment. unfortunately the government has established an organization called AISA.

that most of the people take low quality goods so serious comparing to some other concerns. most of the people hypothesize that we if look at the trade 200 years back. what could be the reason? A – 5: Yes. Baghali Mardan and Bagh-e-Qazi. because the investors use resources to introduce a good in the market and import it legally. The people who are located on both side of the border. don’t exist anymore due to this illegal trade. it’s say 20%. Another problem is low quality services within businesses like packaging and facilities to make goods look better in countries located far from us. they worked really hard to close this route. These non-tariff “extras” are high. After the coming of Dr. do you think it is true? If yes. but then see that someone else brings good in from somewhere else illegally and supplies it for half-price. it is true that the number of people involved in trade has decreased. Unfortunately. Ashraf Ghani. The products of Afghanistan in the markets of Mandawee. Q – 7: Do you think average tariff rates are high or low? A – 7: If we compare to other countries in the region. If you look at tariffs independently. You know that annually hundreds of millions USD was coming into Afghanistan as industrial trade. It’s the threat that traders have faced during the first years of Afghan government. and most of the people mentioned the low quality of goods in the market is the most important negative impact of more trade in the Afghan economy. But in reality it is much higher than it should be.them are brought illegally to Afghanistan markets. This was smuggling and traditional trade which would benefit Pakistani industries. this re-export has been their historical right. if we compare the number of people involved in trade before the wars and after wars. Pul-e-Kheshtee. 15%. (Idrees) We chose 7 provinces in Afghanistan and asked people about the problems in trade. It’s really interesting. Q – 5: In general. It’s a big problem that we don’t have quality control at the moment. it is because of the life of people on both side of the border. or 10%. Q – 6: Do you think one of the reasons that Afghans claim re-export is their rights is because of the Durand line? A – 6: No. these problems were a big threat to trade. then other institutions add to it and it grows. but unfortunately the conditions didn’t change. it’s low. it has decreased. becoming 50% higher than the tariff rates of neighboring countries. as a person who said that this trade is illegal. It’s 3% or 4% lower. Q – 8: Do you think non-tariffs are good or bad? Is it even bad for protection of industries? . This is a big problem which results in some investors leaving Afghanistan.

but they do need to be followed. and finally because of . while the real revenue is 3 billion. we should let private sector to play its role. and at the same time move towards using our natural resources. the natural resources of Afghanistan need to be developed quickly. At the moment. which is floating on the most valuable mines. they can decrease and make tariffs reasonable if free trade is implemented in the market. We should really trust our constitution. Besides this. and if there are such goods. Real investors who follow rules and principles will never come with the message that we send them with our actions in the past eight years. increases in employment and economic growth are another problem. lack of government attention. Industry experience has shown that if businesses grow under the supportive tariff policies of governments. If we increase the tariff on the traders. by using them efficiently and effectively. let private sector grow as a backbone of economy. we should have had invest from the Afghan Diaspora. These are all due to wrong policies.A – 8: It’s absolutely bad. because government might have to meet the requirements set by IMF? What about unemployment? A – 9: Policies of international organizations like IMF. Policies that IMF has implemented in other developing countries are often for their own needs. today we could have the biggest foreign investors in this country. In the past eight years. IMF has not implemented policies which can increase the employment opportunities. government has always fed them. they will increase the price on the consumers. and irresponsibility. If countries use polices against our policies. they are either here for a short term or they have personal. Those who did come. Because these businesses have not grown based on actual principles of business. Other revenue opportunities can be found by looking at the experiences of other countries. Q – 9: For a moment. It’s very rare that there might be goods which we can protect with tariff. illegal interests here. Afghanistan can pass through these conditions quickly. They would have come rapidly because this is their country. different sources show the government’s revenue to be 1 billion. find new means of income. we went and we tried to invite people to come to Afghanistan and invest. those trades will lose as soon as tariff policies have changed. That’s why I think it’s possible for us. low capacities. If we had trust in this system and we had commitment. Most of the goods which we favor are the goods which are consumed by the people below the poverty line. We can’t increase the tariffs on the goods in a country where 50% of the people are below poverty line. and I don’t think we can protect our industries through tariff. if we look at it from the government point of view. how can government end the problems of unemployment. but people didn’t do it. If we can organize and manage revenue collection. so we are not dependent on international aid anymore and we don’t have to follow the policies which have a negative impact on us. we can rapidly increase our income. some have already come but the rest are not coming because of security. You know that today. But a country like Afghanistan. corruption. don’t have a good impact on countries. lack of infrastructures. the growth opportunities are much higher here than in other countries. then there should be regulation to prevent them. insecurity.

data. no more than 5% of people are employed in government. only those connected traders will profit the most. and other factories. and the ones who are already big will be limited in number. we had thread factories. because when trade increases. After consumers. and information is out-dated that’s why they are not used often. If you look around the world. Under current conditions. and maybe some other goods. Q –12: Who is going to benefit the most from free trade in Afghanistan? Most of the people think that when trade increases. especially our young traders of today. specific traders who import fuel. NGOs and organizations have also done some research on specific issues but this information is not collected in one place that would be accessible to everyone. and we wonder why the private sector is afraid? Is the private sector afraid? No. it would illegal if people still benefit from a connection to the government. cooking oil. especially the consumers. if we ask the government today to employ 10% of the people. who is going to hire the remaining 90%? That’s why. those trading based on principles. traders who have seen the world. they think about short term issues. Not for the traders who have inherited trade from their fathers. In Afghanistan. we have created the Afghan women traders organization under the Chamber of Commerce of Afghanistan which has created hundreds of jobs for women. The things you mentioned above might be useful in some cases. Middle-sized traders will profit the most. but their research methods. When we are talking about free trade. there might be several women who are doing international trade. during the good days of Afghanistan. what do you think? A – 12: Everyone will benefit. prices and economy policies of government are important. Even today. When they see that tariffs have increased or decreased. the private sector is like an migrating bird. cooking oil factories. It’s just the government who doesn’t have the commitment to help the private sector. that’s what’s important to them. those who have connections with the government will profit the most. do you think trade is a good occupation for women? A – 11: Yes. Q – 10: What kind of information do you think is highly needed by our traders and manufacturers inside Afghanistan and what’s the best channel to deliver them? A – 10: I think there is an organization by the name of CSO.these negative messages that we have been sending. those trades which are small grow to become middle. businessmen who are committed and creative will benefit. they trade in specific circles. their numbers might not be more . they will migrate to wherever they find food. For those traditional traders. Q –11: In your opinion. Even during that time. the percentage of people employed within government was no more than 5%. it’s the private sector’s responsibility. In these current conditions.

If it gets faster and shorter. 3. but unfortunately they have the lowest capacity. even though when he was my officer. I had an officer in the budget department who had a bachelor’s degree from Peshawar Princeton. The bank that I work for is a small organization. There are a few things which are really important: 1. 2. These three problems exist. It’s a big shame. because the corrupt individuals’ income channels will end. no foreign trade is willing to send their goods to Afghanistan because risk is very high. if you imagine this on a larger scale then you will find the same result. The issue of membership in WTO is profitable for Afghanistan. corruption happens. but I am unable to improve the system because I can’t. The first thing government can do is to bring professional and qualified people. System People Human Resources Process Process is very slow. Noor Khan Haidari. Now he has a very high position within a different ministry. As long as this process goes and takes time. Interview with Mr. Because if doors are opened. I think that consumers will benefit the most. Everyone is taking advantage of it. Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Trade. has a good command of English. Now how can government improve the trade with these kinds of capacities? Another thing is an overall system. it will always be this long. We can export our goods with low tariffs to other countries. 4. but now he’s important. no one is trying to make it short. This process will never speed up. the current CEO of Azizi Commercial Bank in Afghanistan: Q – 1: What could government do to improve trade? A – 1: The first thing government can do is to provide more facilities in customs. but they are the ones who trade illegally. I think it will be beneficial for Afghanistan. especially in Ministry of Finance. But on the other hand. who have understanding of finance and trade. anyone who comes from another country. these two organizations should be the priority. If there are policies and there is real free trade.than ten. Most of the people say that this is not beneficial for the business in Afghanistan. then corrupt employees can’t benefit. We couldn’t use him for anything. When I was at the Ministry of Finance. neither in Ministry of Trade. nor in Ministry of Economy. doors are opened to us. So. This weakness of government is an obstacle towards economic development of Afghanistan. which there isn’t. But again it will depend on how much Afghanistan government will be able to promote this. in reality we profit because no foreign trade is interested in investing in Afghanistan. and knows someone influential in the government gets a really good position. Nowadays. Government should ease . but I disagree. he didn’t know anything except Excel. There is no system in Ministry of Finance.

indirectly and directly. In international trade. when a foreign country or an Afghan company invests in Afghanistan. and Bangladesh. People were not worried about security. Q – 2: Who would benefit more from increased trade? A – 2: Everyone. the government. Q – 3: Is more trade good for women at the moment? A – 3: Yes. it’s very natural that there will be exchange of ideas. . We went to Nepal and we observed that women have great influence on the economy of the country. but they didn’t because there was law and order. It will help in education and capacity building of women. Now Afghan women will profit from this as well. relations are made. which were Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Trade. Q – 4: What are main the impediments to trade in Afghanistan? A – 4: Insecurity is the biggest obstacle at the moment. In the past it was really good. but new and big vehicles are stopped to get some money from them. the investor and other companies beside will benefit. people will be able to get visas more easily. We talked about the technical ways to facilitate trade. But in Ministry of Interior. If there is security. exchange of goods. More security will bring more employment. and people will be able to visit… it’s beneficial for the society. small businesses are the ones who don’t get much profit because they don’t have the capacity to produce more. and other members of society. Even though they are very poor. But these small businesses are the transformers of raw materials into goods which will help the big businesses to produce. They would stop you on the road and ask for money. as a result profit stays low. Small and old vehicles which might transport all kinds of illegal stuff are not stopped. and trade opportunities. non-technical issues require the likes of Ministry of Interior. People in power could do anything. security was not corrupt. even in Malaysia. National Intelligence and Ministry of Defense to provide security. More trade is good. When doors are opened. With the current facilities that we have. it’s impossible to do it. Gender equality will be implemented the day when women are more involved in society. Indonesia. Providing security is very important. When doors are opened. traders can work better. manufacturing. starting from soldier to police to commander everyone was a thief and they are still. This was internal security. and visits will have an effect. because this society is ruled by men. insecurity on the borders and inside the country. It will be beneficial for normal people of society. because when one large business gets the opportunity to sell something or produce something. thousands of other businesses get work opportunities. women have as important a role in the economy as men. Also. external security is not so good because of the Taliban. The main source of corruption may be the Ministry of Interior. This doesn’t provide opportunities.

what kind of clothes are people interested in? Or. and should be totally familiar with Afghanistan. Most of the people who are here from Pakistan. the education level in general is very low. they are imaginary. When you implement a tariff you calculate the number of manufacturing companies. in the past international relations were not so good. This is good as it helps to support local Afghan products. and economics but you also should know your geography. they don’t know anything about Afghanistan. These are the social factors which no one thinks about it and now cares about it. statistics. working for tariffs and customs department doesn’t only require understanding mathematics. whether that tariff will create production capacity… none of this is studied. education was considered very important and interesting. so one can make better decisions. in your opinion. Because in the past. when it gets low. No one estimates whether changing this tariff will decrease imports. it has increased in the past few years. how much production ability the country has. people were able to travel easier. cultures of different regions. for example. Even though Afghanistan had good security. population in the cities increased. The problem in Ministry of Finance is. the number of people in universities is low too. From that point of view. There should be no . and people in the cities paid less attention to education. they would not do so. they come to government without any official procedures and ask for deduction in tariffs. It would cost more or routes didn’t exist. If our traders would go officially and were literate. For example. import and export facilities were not as good as it is today. As these group increases they have to find a way to get food. get visas easier… but transportation. Because the production capacities are very limited in Afghanistan and in all cases. people come from all across the world to make tariff laws. but as far as I know. But at the moment. people turned more to trade. in the south no one buys Iranian clothes because of the discrimination that exists. That’s why trade has increased more now than compared to the past. they don’t know how many provinces Afghanistan has. a better status among nations. in Hazarajat. slowly as time went by. On the other hand. so they turn to occupations like trade. Then how can they make a good tax policy? That’s why. You should also be familiar with different sectors such as health and education in different parts of the country. tariffs are high on products which are grown locally too. Q – 6: In your opinion.Q – 5: If we compare trade in Afghanistan before the war with the past six to ten year. Also. Because of the influence in the government. On the other end most of the traders are illiterate. One should know the people of different regions. do you think trade has increased on decreased? A – 5: I don’t know so much about the old days. on average are Afghanistan tariff rates higher or lower from what they should be? A – 6: We can say that they are high… but some could be considered low. that this much tariff should be reduced or taken. or in the north people are not interested in buying Pakistani goods. and in what areas. in most of the cases when tariffs are made.

none of them will be sold. high tariffs are not profitable in Afghanistan because we don’t have the capacity to produce all our goods and needs. In Afghanistan unfortunately people think about how to get the job done. But if you send raisins without packaging. in some cases there are tariffs on exports too. Demand exists. what color. for example? They demand this cup and kettle. In all cases. if we go to international markets. and what design. are high or low tariffs goods for Afghanistan? A – 7: Well. if you tell them to nail a nail on the wall. we come back to finishing. they don’t care if nail goes straight or not. If you clean the raisins. They don’t know that demand in other societies are not only the kettle and cup. Besides. For example. which will have a negative impact on exports. what would help? A – 9: Things that you said might help around 20%. the remaining 80% is the demand of the society. which can price an Afghan out of a Pakistani market. then they are going to do the same thing. For example. Q -10: In case the international community might want to educate Afghan traders about finishing their products and international demands. put in a good looking plastic bag with a label inside it. and finishing the product can improve the sale of goods abroad. Q – 8: What do you think would improve the sale of Afghan products abroad? A – 8: Education for producers on packaging. It’s very important. not for government though. they don’t care if wall gets damaged. Finishing is not given importance. then everyone will prefer to buy this product. if we come to your first question. cleaning.tariffs on exports. On the other hand. Q – 9: What form of information can help a trader to trader better? For example. they just want the nail on the wall. we cannot increase our tariffs. or information about different rates in the market. but what kinds of demand. not having good trade relations with other countries will also have a negative impact on trade. They don’t care about the demand and its details. they will only think about getting that nail in the wall. what channel of . they don’t care if wall gets dirty. then we come to the question whether we have the capacity or not. Q – 7: In your opinion. people don’t trust local products and prefer to buy foreign products. Again. when you put a high tariff on Pakistani goods. They just focus on demand that someone needs this cup and kettle. Let’s say we are not in international markets. but is also for its color and its design as well. What does society demand. If the country has good production capacity then it’s good to have high tariffs. information about the trade agreements and their conditions or general information about customs. information about tariffs in other countries would help better. that’s why lower tariffs are better for consumers.

and so if they don’t know the requirements or have the needed forms. In Afghanistan for the next 20 years. what a balance sheet is. For example: wherever in the country the head of the bank is from. and transportation will have more employment opportunities. A – 12: Banking is the heart for the trade. etc. which can be land. Another issue is that. they are not literate to read websites. We are already providing blood. traders would be too busy drinking and having fun.information would be good to contact traders? Website. But there is a bank which has charged even up to 50%. There is only one bank which charges 24%. mining. Traders don’t know what computers are. For example our bank charges from 12% to 15%. there are many restrictions and requirements on loans. But access to credit is pretty hard. and security for further investments. that would work. they come and they make a balance sheet for three thousand USD. which most traders don’t have. because here we give money based on collateral. construction. we can’t give them a loan in accordance with the law. and license. qualified and experienced personnel. face-to-face training or workshops would work. saying that the minimum is 12% but that it can be as high as 24%. its easier for groups of people from that area to get loans. television. whether legal or illegal. the other banks charge lower interests. The Afghanistan Bank should force banks to act according to law not in accordance with personal preferences. They say they have no access to credit. it should have an audited balance sheet for at least two years. cash flow statement. We haven’t charged more than 15% so far. and when other groups come. they’ve complained about interest rates. . Access to credit is hard for some and easier for others. short procedures. it’s the blood. If there is a system. Q – 11: What is the best way to reduce unemployment in Afghanistan? A – 11: Good question. magazine. newspaper. It has also increased the employment opportunities for Pakistanis. or what? A – 10: None of the above. when you would be broadcasting the program. existence of law. and this makes it hard for them to get loans. Television would be too expensive. secondly. there would be no unemployment. The business should have a business plan. Now even small businesses are forced to make up documents. unemployment is an afterthought. There are many ways. Now most of the traders don’t have land or a house to place as collateral. If everything discussed earlier is implemented. But if you want to get them together and make them understand. they don’t get anything. Q – 12: What role do you see for banking sector in improving trade? Most of the traders that we have interviewed. professional. but they just come up with something. growth of financial system.

There are some skills but the capacity building should be done. That’s why the Afghan government should take three issues very seriously: 1. The second thing which is very important is access to loans and credits. The lowest rate is 12% and the highest rate of interest goes up to 24%. That’s why. This is a very important issue. In current conditions in Afghanistan. There are some international microfinance institutions that provide small loans to businesses. In some cases the annual interest rates goes up to 24%. most of our small local productions are extinct and even today our industries in Herat are in danger. with the current facilities and technical equipment. Another thing is capacity. By charging 2% per month. the current director of handicraftsman and small manufacturer’s union in Afghanistan: Q – 1: What government policies could improve trade in Afghanistan? A – 1: One thing which is very clear is to implement a market economy system very quickly. 2. 3. especially newly established businesses to help them stand on their own feet. Tariffs policies should favor local products. as a result we were unable to compete with the developed industries of a country like China. but considering the expenses of these businesses. as a result of which businesses are not encouraged to take loans. so they need to be sold . businessman cannot use these technologies. most traders have taken over the businesses that their forefathers ran. Since we didn’t. That’s why we cannot be up to date with the latest technology. especially in the small business sector. There should be high tariffs on goods which are similar to goods produced in Afghanistan. but as there are shortages in capital and limited access to loans. the interest rates of the institutions are very high. they have to increase the interest to make a profit. so it’s not like trading has become an academic subject to learn. facilities should be provided for taking loans and interest rates should be decreased to 5% to 10%. Markets are very important. Sepahee. Our traders were saying yesterday that if the conditions continue to go like this. There should be monetary motivators for private sector. around 250 newly established production institutions which are active in Herat (working mostly in food sector) will be closed soon. it means that before rebuilding the infrastructures. but because their own operating expenses are very high. it’s a very high tax. we open the doors to neighboring countries products.Interview with Mr. The only bank with a little lower price of 12% is National Bank of Afghanistan (Bank Millie Afghan). our people are not in the condition to buy decorative and luxury goods such as handicrafts. These microfinance institutions get their money from international organizations. The third thing is use of the latest technology. at the end of the year it becomes 24%. Tariffs on raw material and production equipments should be decreased. because Iran and other countries have started implementing dumping policies. before reaching an economic growth stage. That’s why we faced many losses.

Also. even now Afghan carpets have many fans in foreign international markets. Secondly. Afghan carpets have increase in quality and design compared with the past. they’ve been copied from developed countries but it’s impossible to implement in the current conditions of Afghanistan. like fruits. Another problem related to capacity building is that goods need to be produced in accordance with national standards. are good exports. As the carpets are exported through Pakistan. The carpets are processed further and then Afghan carpets are export under Pakistan’s name. Q – 2: What are the main reasons that Afghans cannot trade more in international markets? A – 2: One of the big problems is transit routes. Now the government is issuing some new policies which are against the law. These are the problems which are caused by our neighbors. Q – 4: What are main the impediments to trade in Afghanistan? A – 4: Well. It has been two years that the government is trying but is unable to implement the tax system. Due to insecurity there aren’t many tourists here either. Our gemstones have good quality and their own buyers in foreign markets. the prices increase. even though Afghanistan Promotion department has brought changes to ease the procedures. so to prevent the increasing cost we have to transport them through Pakistan. For example. There are certain restrictions in our laws and procedures as well. but we have problems in those sectors too. which results in the fruit spoiling during transport. Taxes are too high. the stone is Afghan. since we don’t have the facilities. Pakistan has increased tariffs 15% on Afghans fruits. In Afghanistan one cannot sell and buy azure stone in open markets but people can buy and sell azure stones in Pakistan’s markets. These policies and norms are still too high. but when it’s processed in Pakistan. it decreases the government revenue and it is hard for the traders and private sector. We have the same issue with azure stones. We don’t have access to water for shipping. it’s exported under Pakistan’s name. Some other things which are not even related to handicrafts. On the roads there are illegal checkpoints which have created big problems. it should have better packaging . Pakistan doesn’t allow our trucks to enter Pakistan. The expenses would increase rapidly if we send the products by air. All our natural resources are exported to Pakistan and then exported to other countries from Pakistan. Q – 3: If transportation and access to markets were not a problem. we have to ship goods through Pakistan and then Pakistan re-exports our goods under its name. do you think Afghanistan could then be able to compete with other countries? A – 3: Yes. the main problem is again the bureaucracy in procedures.

government can do it. Most of our traders try to have quick income. Q – 5: In your opinion. felt the threat to its textile industry’s 3 million workers jobs.S. import are more than exports. But if we take a look at China. it produces in lower quality and lower price. still provide its traders with subsidies. Q – 7: What do you think of the Afghan tariffs? A – 7: Afghan tariffs are low. the U. were Afghans more involved in trade thirty years ago or today? A – 5: Afghans are busy with trades. That’s why. Because I think that import of foreign goods have helped our local goods to improve by making our goods as good as foreign goods.S. equipment. then one wouldn’t see the improvement in our products. should the average tariff rate be high or low? A – 6: I am not in favor of restrictions on imports from other countries.when supplied to market. we come back to resources. everyone can bring anything they want and shouldn’t be stopped. but its implementation needs the right time. everything is imported and it costs us a lot. other countries might not have. the government purchases the wheat at a high price and sells it at a low price. We had a furniture exhibit a few days ago. In the past we were only focused on how firm and strong the furniture was. For example our wood. but when we try to do such thing. Manufacturing and producing trades needs time. which is an unnecessary product. but if foreign furniture was not imported. But if the trader goes to China and brings a container of goods he profits instantly. and illiteracy. the government increased the tariffs on Chinese textile products. Again. It’s curious why the U. Our import and export balances are incomparable. when the U. currently in Afghanistan. they need time to acquire land and create a company and it won’t produce income in the beginning. But the tariff on wood. but now we also have to keep in mind how delicate and beautiful it looks. because China has destroyed the markets in Japan too. The tariffs should be reasonable so that our local products can compete with imported ones. For example in the U.S. and the U.K. Now you decide. The facilities and the resources that China has for cheaper production. in general. Or for example. The reason that our local products are expensive is that all our raw materials are imported. we are prevented by IOM and are told that we should let the market to be free. our glue. and we exhibited that how our furniture has improved. Even now. I can give you an example. in general if we compare the trade conditions today with the past thirty years (before war).. Q – 6: In your opinion. which is used to make furniture.K. Now it’s the same problem with Japan. was 2% as well. I was checking some customs department booklets to see the tariff rates for furniture. low skills. I noticed that the tariff rate on chewing gum was 2%. but it’s mostly import trade. We don’t have any problem with the market economy. who would put the same tariff rates on chewing gum and wood? Wood .

when the government increased the tariffs on the imports of other drinks. where traders can find good equipment and machines. They have the capacity and the . Q – 8: What would be the best evidence of accountability of government? A – 8: I am not a trader and I am not in much contact with business. and gas. it can get increased to twenty and then later on to thirty workers. basically. For example. brother of Qasim Fahim owns the biggest natural gas company in Afghanistan. There are some other traders who are not involved in government but they back up the government officials. We can encourage them by providing loans and capacity building programs. But the local industries and facilities that we have in Afghanistan are an employment opportunity itself for industrial growth. Or for example if we take a look at non-alcoholic drinks produced in Afghanistan. we saw that the carpentry workshop which was owned by women had really good furniture and was ranked third in the exhibit. because the product has found its place in the market. they decide how much the government should charge in tariffs on their imported chewing gums. if we take a look. Now it’s ok if the prices for tariffs have increased. Aseel Fahim. As chewing gum importers are powerful people. Traders should know about the taxes and tariff system of other countries too. Q – 11: Who would benefit more from free trade with other countries? A – 11: Big industries like Najib Zarab and Alekozay act like the government themselves. Q – 9: What kind of information is helpful and important for importers and exporters from the government? A – 9: Information about markets. Q – 12: Is trading a good job for women? Q – 12: Why not? If it’s available for men. if today we strengthen a local carpentry house to ten workers. For example. Big investments bring capital and more profit. President Karzai’s brothers are involved in cement. but it needs time and security. They competed so well that today our local companies are able to export beverages with 15% tariffs. Women today are investing in different fields. that’s why I can’t say anything. oil. Most of the traders can’t dare to invest in Afghanistan. it should be for women. information about equipment. In this furniture exhibit that we had. which will provide employment opportunities. the import didn’t increase and the local beverage companies were able to compete better.tariffs should be lower and government can increase the tariff on chewing gum. Q – 9: What is the best way to reduce unemployment? A – 9: Strengthening of local industries and agriculture.

the old cultures in provinces won’t let us implement this new idea. Retailers or services like restaurants and grocery stores. which is distributed in three groups: 1. bakers. Interview with Mr. what are the biggest problems that our traders think of? A – 13: I don’t think traders think of trade so much. Other than that. 2. This is a very small group in the union. training. and ten to fifteen other services. mechanics. Q – 15: What do you do for them? A – 15: We protect their rights with the government and other entities. We cannot travel to insecure areas. etc.000 craftsmen. Q – 13: When thinking of exports. and facility to export. For example. but the most important part is what government can do to improve trade in Afghanistan? A – 1: The only thing that government has done is set Afghanistan on the path to a market economy system. they haven’t done anything. Also. we provide services like internet. When the Afghanistan government had control of the telecommunication sector. conditions were really bad. even though it’s not perfect. money. when it comes to tariffs. mostly traders’ products are exported by exporters. Because they don’t have the capital. Q – 14: How many craftsmen are members of the union? A – 14: The union has around 48. But the only problem is that we should consider this in cities. and any other repair people. The other thing is that the culture of being part of unions is weak in Afghanistan. carpet weavers. Those who repair items like refrigerator repair. what government policies could improve trade in Afghanistan? You can talk about the things government has done so far. gas. the former head of Afghanistan’s Chamber of Commerce: Q – 1: In your opinion. Those who produce items like carpenters. Hafizi. goldsmiths. We are present in 22 provinces and villages. we protect our union members. In general we are here to protect them. All the achievements that you see are all a result of the market economy system of Afghanistan. marketing. For .ability to work in different fields. If landlords increase the rent.. So the first thing they think of is which exporter is going to export my products at a good price? The producer only produces and exporters only export. Export is done by someone else. we go and talk to the government about the tariff rates. tailors. 3. and oil sectors and had control over retail. which has resulted to some activities.

all during the past six years. we can’t establish democracy. that which was possible. which helps to increase people’s awareness. All of these are great achievements. This is a very small example of effects of a market economy in Afghanistan. Where the government couldn’t do anything. or even China. For example. We have around 500 daily. at the moment these things are not available in Pakistan. which would increase the overall price of products. At the moment we have around 12 million cell phones. and monthly newspapers and magazines. Central Asian countries. It’s amazing for a backward country like Afghanistan. it has been established all over Afghanistan and as you can see its performance has been quite good. didn’t end up happening. Today. The prices were pretty high but they are low now. directs millions of dollars to pockets of individuals and has taken the opportunities from the medium-sized traders. it’s all digitalized and connected to the world with up to date software and equipment. Iran. Ministry of Finance. The private sector does have its own deficiencies due to expanded corruption in government. the problem is with security. we have more than 100 radios which broadcast on the FM frequency. due to a misuse of power. But based on the green light which was given to private sector and international investment. we had to bribe customs. it’s an amazing progress in the history of region and Afghanistan. we had a great development in the telecommunications sector. we created industries.000 cell phones which were not able to connect two provinces to the 12 million which connects us every moment to the world. That’s why we . From this point of view Afghanistan had a big change and development. but besides the ending cost. not only Afghanistan but amazing in the region as well. All of these are related to the private sector and are not related to the government. weekly. and local government representatives like governors. Government has not been able to guide the market economy of Afghanistan towards development. and more than 70 or 80 devices which telecast locally. With the help of private sector. This private sector infrastructure is really good. But something which is missing is national guidance. For example. such as making illegal payments. bribery. cables in the cities were fixed. Without freedom of speech. There might be some publications which might want to turn the information and news in their own favor. There is no problem in transportation. government doesn’t have control over information and freedom of speech which helps with the implementation of democracy. Also. specific monopolies under government control. Regarding airlines and the transportation system. but in general. or corruption in the government. or the lack of specific policies which could increase industries and help Afghanistan stand on its own feet. which are the trade of fuel and general gas.example: we only had 25. our publications and broadcasts are totally democratic. It’s amazing to compare the 25.000 cell phones which were not even able to connect provinces together. Other than televisions. We have over 20 channels. our mass media.

Gas was one of our main products. even our president and his advisors were not wise enough to think about these things. for example. which could have been really useful in paving roads in Afghanistan. Now that the consumption of gas is very high in our country we can be self-sufficient. and other products. which reduced opportunities. For example. No policies were made. government could create a very good oil refinery in Sheberghan. Pakistan. every year we import 1. and something which could increase in purchasing power of people. we have experience in extraction of natural resources. there were wells where we extracted fuel. We could have served the needs of international forces and if we had any extra. Also. regarding liquid gas. which slows down the work instead of speeding it up and the documents which need to be signed by one person. we could have supplied it to countries in the region that don’t have fuel. Government didn’t have any specific policies towards this. or Central Asian counties.couldn’t compete with competitors’ goods produced in China. a hundred or two hundred tons.5 million ton of low quality iron from other countries. there weren’t even intentions to help Afghanistan become self sufficient. (These imported irons are made from the old iron). But in the last year of the Communists’ government. The president would ask what that thing is. You know that we have the biggest and the best quality iron ore mine in the world. for example. at the moment has diesel but no petrol. we could have produced asphalt from the remains of these fuels. That’s why we should really think of creating more employment opportunities. We had to prevent losses by increasing the pipeline to the capital. We could have also established petrochemical industries. government has employed 20 people. with the savings of . I think our cabinet. But for construction purposes in Afghanistan. We have told President Karzai several times that we should do the following: 44% of our work force is unemployed. Even Iran. a place which needs two persons. they would buy it cheap in the years of 1987 and 1988. For example. It used to be produced but not on a very large scale. All of these results slow down the work process. increase government capital. diesel. Government didn’t encourage the investors by providing credit for creating employment. This refinery could have helped us to refine petrol. I mean. DC1 (airplane fuel). a plastics industry and things which are mixed with plastic like plastic pipes used in buildings. like Pakistan and Tajikistan. we had two hundred and seventy six million dollars in revenue for our gas production. Besides. It’s a sort of duplication. after the Soviets left. to prevent harm to the environment. we would prevent consumption of wood obtained from jungles. has fifty or sixty signatures. which could help to answer the needs of international forces in Afghanistan. Russians never bought the gas according to the market price. government employees don’t have anything to do besides drink tea. employment of the rest of the 56% is hidden by unemployment. we used to produce one hundred and forty four billion square meter gas production before the Soviets came. We would answer that we used to extract fuel which was used in electricity of Khair Khana and the heating system of Meckrorayan. Our suggestion to the president of Afghanistan was that.

But unfortunately good actions haven’t been taken. They don’t know what to do themselves. it means that a weak person always uses people weaker than him.000 ton of cotton to export per year.5 million ton. Our agricultural needs would have been satisfied and we would have 100. Problems in administrative. people are promised that they will be given three . the government becomes afraid that this organization might show the backwardness and corruption of the government. purchasing power increases and it creates circulation in the economy. economic and security are due to this behavior of government. Government must make an agricultural economic development program a priority and give some of the lands to investors and then help set up canals for irrigation. so how are they going to lead and guide a ministry where so much is expected from them? The presidents’ choices are based on interest and agreement. We had 20. 3. Practically they have taken the land of Afghanistan. For example: we could have established iron manufacturing factories which could have improved during five or six years.000 employment opportunities.000 indirect employment opportunities. our imports would have been reduced by 1. we could have used 1. and should not disturb medium level people. total 95. what type of impediments towards business in Afghanistan do you see? A – 2: Mechanization of an agricultural economy or business in Afghanistan is impossible without government assistance. For example. Government recruits people to the cabinet who have no idea about their ministries. which can cost 60. One of the negative policies of the Afghan government is whenever there is an organization without corruption that has a good professional staff.people in the bank. Q – 2: For a moment.000 direct employment opportunities and 60.000 USD per ton. They don’t have specific policies about their ministries. As a result of which the administration and management quality goes down. you should make a policy which could give priority loans to those who invest and work towards economic development.9 million hectare of good land in Afghanistan that used to be used for economic agriculture is under the control of government. all the government offices try to close that organization. a thousand to two thousand ton of thread exports for Kashmira (Cloth) per year. That’s why the corrupt unite and remove those making examples of the system. This industry would have created 35. with a surplus of 3. This is called a negative balance.5 million tons. it would have resulted in many big investments. and that weak person will use the weakest. Here we should have an understanding and knowledge of lower than medium quality. Government doesn’t give this land to anyone else beside their family members. They want to give the world a picture that Afghanistan can’t be without corruption and when there are organizations without corruption. Even if we could produce 5 million tons. If they had given the land under certain conditions. let’s keep the government aside with all the things it can do but isn’t doing for whatever reason. You know that when opportunities increase. Those who are left in the margins are national cadre.5 million of it. otherwise competition is created and works are either improved or gets worse.000 animal wool exports.

and what . will increasing tariffs help? No. Farmers wouldn’t sell the wheat anyways. the minister tried to get the famers on his side and announced that farmer’s wheat should be bought in higher prices but instead. In cases of necessary goods. which results in the coming to power of people who are not well qualified for the job and keeps them from doing their one important job. it even kills the industries in Afghanistan. problems still exist. they should keep the market open for their friends on the other side of the border to produce. not very low but low. Q – 4: Keeping in mind the current economic. what Afghan product can be marketed outside of Afghanistan? A – 5: We did some research to focus on the question of what can Afghanistan produce that is good for the country that we can further develop later.ministers and it doesn’t matter if they get a farm animal as minister. but 5% on raw materials. Increasing tariffs will have a negative impact on the poor of society and the NGO employees with less income. The president just approves them. in comparison with the region. Currently 95% of our famers are medium-sized farmers. increasing and decreasing tariffs has to be economic logic. Last year. which is serving people. because they produced in quantities just for themselves and their family. Even if there were good policies. because there is no implementation. The remaining 5% sells their wheat in the market to make money to buy other necessary goods like tea and sugar. But the problem with tariffs in Afghanistan is that it doesn’t encourage industries in Afghanistan. Q – 5: In your opinion. implementation of the law needs happen. the poor consumer who has a low income will have to pay relatively more for it. For example: at the beginning when the traders used to import finished goods. Professionalism is ignored and instead relations are given importance. Every provincial government has a strategic store of 1000 to 1500 tons of wheat. It means that the government would fine the manufacturers for producing. Q – 3: In your opinion. in your opinion. to make sure that our produced goods are sold in the country and to keep the employment in the country we increase the tariff.5%. tariffs are low. People sold the wheat that they had kept instead of distributing it and government never bought the wheat from farmers. when the tariffs are increased. If government wants to improve the agricultural sector. the tariffs used to be 2. the government bought the donated wheat by WFP (which was donated for free) from thieves at a high price. political and security conditions of Afghanistan. Our medium-sized farmers only grow as much as they need. on average do you think Afghan tariffs are high or low? A – 3: If you look at tariffs. Economic logic is that when we become self sufficient. It means that the government is telling the traders not to produce anything. they should buy wheat directly from farmers in high prices and store them in strategic stores. Government should buy the wheat from farmers at a high price and distribute the old wheat from the store at the market price. not just be a piece of paper.

If certified. many of our agricultural products are made of agricultural products . Q – 6: What do we need to export our fruits to international markets? A – 6: The first thing we will need is implementation of transit agreements that we have with neighboring countries. this is true with walnuts too. The Chamber of Commerce should be in contact with international businesses and the WTO. larger traders may not needs this. as I told you.are sectors where the country won’t have much of an advantage. If government could recover those areas. Honest people can open the door of Afghanistan’s economy to the world and can be a real help to small and medium enterprises. or at least had given it to the private sector so they could manage these pistachio groves. what kind of information is necessary for our traders and what’s the best to way get that information to them? A – 7: As it is in the other parts of the world. Secondly. and bring to the attention of international markets these traders. the ending price would be higher than it might cost to produce in Germany. We must provide training to our farmers about packaging. In most cases our products are exported to Pakistan and India and then the products are packaged. for example. its better if we improve our capability to do this packaging inside the country. or government could recover the areas where pistachios were looted. Q – 7: In your opinion. The main task of the Chamber of Commerce is to create a strong medium sized group. No one would be able to compete with us in this sector. no chemicals are used in growing them or to kill pests. In most cases when we want to send our fruits to India through Pakistan. But in our research. as they are already in international markets. businesses could take advantage and expand it over time. we found out that we can have a comparative advantage in exporting fresh and dried organic fruits. later on people found out that it was a very well planned strategy. at the moment our farmers gather the raisins from the soil. which is ten times more expensive than regular wood. Our packaging is really bad. we can sell it 300% higher in the international markets. If government was able to stop cutting down pistachio groves. people would come here to buy pistachio trees roots. and then later on they have to wash it if they want to pack it. if we produce Mercedes Benz in Afghanistan. I think the best way is to have the Chamber of Commerce deal with these tasks with understanding. These medium groups don’t have access to many things. Producing a car is not a good idea for Afghanistan. fruits often get spoiled in Pakistan. People would go and take pistachio trees out of the roots and sell it. which can’t happen for international export. knowledge. Then we can process it according to market needs. All Afghanistan pistachios are raised in natural circumstances. Sometimes other things get mixed up with raisins. For example. the Chamber of Commerce should have a database of all the traders. its duplication and ending cost would be too high. we need to pack in accordance with international standards. For example. and honesty. to bring up the local businesses to international level.

and car bodies. or their logistical supply chains get their support from somewhere else. other than that it doesn’t have any impact on the national economy. At the moment we have more shops than we need. and buyers. where we might need only five on that road. but nothing has been done in this regard. Pakistan and India.Quality control laws. At the moment you can even import poison and there will be no restrictions on it. as a national security issue for Afghanistan. for example thread from cotton. Q – 8: Will free trade increase employment or will it create more problems? A – 8: We have 93% negative trade balance. you will see that it’s all dishes or clothes stores. nuts and bolts. so that we have good mechanism running. If you look at Maiwand road. We should export our quality goods that can be sold in international markets. beam. pipes.Equal competition opportunities should be provided. our registered and non-registered imports is more than 5 billion USD but our exports in 2008 were 619 million USD and in 2009 they were 540 million USD and this year it is down to 400 million USD. except a few specific importers and traders. If we continue like this and foreign forces move out of here. which should be equipped with laboratories. At the moment we have three problems: 1. retailers. and our market doesn’t turn to a monopoly in search of profit. We need industries for export purposes. This has resulted in Afghanistan’s market economy growing negatively. At the moment.000 USD. and even we can have nails. no one else is going to benefit. should be established and implemented in all our trade ports. which is an extraordinary condition. Government should think about self sufficiency. You might never see 10 shops of cloth beside each other in any other country. we can establish a steel industry because we have iron in high quality. It has only profit to a few rich consumers. Our farmers don’t know where to sell their agricultural products at a good price. This can be done with having a factory with five plants. Q – 9: If free trade increases in current conditions. this amount won’t be even 50. If we transform it to big blocks of iron.themselves.000 yards of land and a medium size trader can’t even have 5 yards for building a factory. 3. real and stable rates. what sector do you think will benefit the most? A – 9: By trade if you mean the current conditions. We need two kinds of industries: We need industries which will satisfy our national needs. That’s why our negative trade balance is 93%. we export 5 million ton to our neighboring countries like China. we can have rebar. Dollar price is not based on national economy but is based on a few customs revenues. stores. For example. which could guide our traders and producers. 2. We need a good network of shops.Anti-monopoly laws have not been established or implemented. . a person who is in power can take up to 20.

the current deputy head of Afghanistan’s Chamber of Commerce and famous trader: Q – 1: Before starting the interview. that’s why this trade is continuous. And.Q – 10: Do you think trade is a good job for women? A – 10: All the jobs are good for women. only you can answer. and it’s not that we had just given the positions to them. There are women in Afghanistan who work in service. in spite of all the problems and corruptions. Women can be seen more in services and there are a very limited number of women in imports and exports. only if prices aren’t fixed. freight forwarding. Interview with Mr. The questions are about re-export which is not done through routine transit routs. Political Section 2. he made the line between Afghanistan and British India of that time. four of the directors on the board were women. Q – 11: Overall. and had also studied the economic condition of the people. I would like to ask you some other questions that. which can create an arbitrage opportunity for the people? What else can cause this? From the economic point of view. When I used to work in Chamber of Commerce. which are registered in Ministry of Foreign affairs: 1. It was stated that as there aren’t any employment opportunities from Kunar to Helmad. Military Section 3. there were three decisions. it was suggested that this area should be a . neither side would harbor England’s enemies. per Haqjo. if we stop it how much loss and profit does each country have to bear? A – 1: I would like to talk about this from a historical point of view first. What are the incentives for this business? Is it the difference of tariffs between Pakistan and Afghanistan. They were really good in their daily business deals too. Economic Section The person named Durand who was working on this Durand line. trade is a beneficial in anyway. More trade brings more facilities and more choice. had already studied the social lives on both sides. Second was military. There are women in production too. they had really good experience and management skills. Based on studies. Both sides agreed not to create problems for each other. do you think trade is beneficial for Afghanistan? A – 11: Yes. Alekozai. and handicrafts. Third was the economy. When the Durand line was created. but they had fought to be elected to their positions. there are no obstacles in their way. which created the political line.

and Nawa that are connected to Chatral. For example. To relieve people from their traditions in this free trade area and to implement the law. that’s why he is ready to protect the border from Taliban and others. For example. At the moment. it had made it really easy for the people to take goods from Islamabad and Lahore and bring it to Kunar. These 150 routes are the main and important routes in this 2. Small cars can travel but not big ones. if you try. a militia soldier of Pakistan is not going to work for 15.500. people turned to trade. people live on mountains. the people on both sides wouldn’t fight with each other and caravans which passed wouldn’t be looted. Traders import and export from these routes to earn the money that they would pay as tariffs.000 RS. Same in trade zone. Out of these 150 routes. Jaji. the soldier is not going to work. So from one point of view.000 kilometer road.000 RS from these trades. and Helmand. around 2 . There is no electricity. you might find one in the Ministry of Tribes.5 or 2 billion dollars comes from Pakistan. Traders will sell their goods for 100.000 RS out of this difference of 400. we have around 5 to 6 billion dollars in trade revenue with the world.000 RS less in the market to compete better.000 to 20. one who manufactures and the other who sells and exports the goods. These 150 roads are specifically to travel on foot or by vehicles. The rest is from Central Asia and Iran. there are routes. out of this amount around 1.000 RS to the local people who have transported materials with donkeys. Traders would pay 200. Uruzgan. no natural resources. the trade should be performed on the two sides of the road but not on the road. Because people were jobless on both sides of the country. to import one container from Pakistan though regular routes would cost them 1.100. there are 300 to 400 routes. Kamdesh. These were the historical aspects of this issue. Barekot. According to our estimations. This is mostly done by Pakistani traders. and people don’t even have water in Bajaowr and Khaybar. The security agencies take advantage of these traders. as he has daily income of 5. Q – 2: Are there any lists available for these routes? A – 2: Yes. Kandahar. it’s a way to keep border secure too.000 RS. These people who are stuck within these nine areas don’t have a human life at all. There are 150 routes on foot and by vehicles. Englishmen intentionally drew this line to provide job opportunities for people. There are two kinds of traders in Pakistan. if one counts those. Once they had employment. There are more routes when as you go further.000 RS. If Pakistan bans this trade. We have excluded the routes for cattle. only ten to fifteen of them might not be suitable for car travel. So to satisfy these needs. These hundred and fifty routes are routes such as Bargeematal. One reason for the trade is it provides the needs for the region. but now they travel by vehicle. Khost. People used to travel by horses and donkeys in the past. As it had turned to a profession for people. but from these routes it would cost the traders 1.

Pakistanis won’t be even able to cross the Afghan border. exactly 250 cars. it has become a source of employment for Afghans. now it impossible for them to do it for 600 RS. As the prices have increased.000 RS to transport it through this way. can they? A – 3: No. more than 500 Datsun fertilizers are imported. the goods are mostly exported through Jalalabad and Wesh (‫ . In addition to that. Sial Kot. Therefore. through Arghistan. Achakzay. Afridi. only from Lalpur area. All these goods are exported to Pakistan by mule and in packs. and textiles. and Waga to India. Another example: A Pakistani trader might want an Afghan trader’s license number to import fuel into Afghanistan. he will be willing to pay to the government and take an official route.500. a deal which traders used to make for 60 RS. spare parts. At the moment. For example. once the fuel enters Afghanistan. Their political groups and their militias and soldiers… all of them earn money from it. And it’s because of the money that their political groups are doing their job. and all other Pakistani goods come through this route. Because India is a manufacturing country. and Khosti have licenses. That’s why people take goods from Sri Nagar. clothes. whom can we ask for more information about these 150 routes? A – 2: Local people would know it the best. Pakistanis bring the Indian products in return. It’s a bad deal for me since I will have to pay the tariff and then bring it up to Jalalabad. Now that its costs the 1. it’s not profitable for the traders anymore. Then the Pakistani knows what to do with it. they are all taken to India. tea. Goods which are exported from Afghanistan to this country are cigarettes. fans. Nothing is transported by vehicle. cooking oil. electronic washing machines. but in reality. even pack animals haven’t been able to cross. This includes food. all kinds of plastics. then it’s bought by Pakistanis on the border. Daily.)وﻳﺶ‬due to security reasons it’s hard to export through Khost and Kunar now. Afghan traders only take the goods to Pakistan border. It’s not that Pakistan is preventing it. then it’s handed over. I trade through that way. the goods that we send. In the last six months. Local people know about it.billion dollars in goods are smuggled to Afghanistan. tires. Pakistan has a good income from it. The traders on this route might be 20% Afghans who take the goods to Karkhano. Plastics. the rest of the 80% are Pakistanis. a Pakistani asks me to move their goods up to Jalalabad. Q – 2: In your opinion. Goods are Pakistani. Q – 3: Pakistanis cannot import through this route. Daily. they can’t. around 250 Datsun cars are filled with sugar. its government tries to prevent the import of other goods by increasing the tariffs. they may prevent it officially. Almost 90% goes through these borders. The tariffs of Pakistan are lower than the tariffs in India plus the markets in Pakistan are smaller in comparison with Indian. If you take a look at the textile market in Afghanistan. sugar. In return. black tea. Afghans like Shinwari. refrigerators. and Chinese and Indian clothes. none of the textiles from Pakistan have gone through customs. Every Datsun has 250 sacks of sugar. Afghans don’t have the ability to sell the .

They trade in the area. As a result the trader will have 20% to 25% loss. They have documents. because their goods are standard. This category focuses more on increasing corruption as they want more profit. These traders have made their trade professional. paperwork. Two kinds of law. who have their own logo.000 USD or maximum of 1. we give this tea to 150 people. and their trades are not stable.The second category is traders whose annual capital is from 100.000 to 100. Once we have the prices for our products. and material. 100 in Kunduz and 50 in Mazar-e-Sharif. These are the people who bring their own goods to the market. They don’t have goals and are not professionals. and Safi. the small changes in the tariffs and tax systems have a big impact on their business. Their capital is from 50. Because its capital is small and not in circulation. They likely have a store in Kabul. Then they hired agents with bonuses and responsibilities. or Abdul Rahman Ter. and whatever else was in the market. they have worked for years and now they have a place in the market.000 USD to 500. This category believes that their income is not very much with the import of 3 containers in a year. Generally. The percentage for these kind of traders might be 15% percent. The first category might import 100 containers of goods in a month but this category might import only 1 container and will import once they have sold this one. and goods. our traders are busy with this kind of trade. Law is not clear with respect to this group. These traders can do international trade and some rules and restrictions don’t change anything for them. This category travels less in comparison with the first category.Weight . Many other people too. We can’t interfere in Pakistani markets. products. Corruption starts with this group. they increased their trade and later on they got introduced to companies. and as time passed. They would import oil. Habeeb Gulzar. agency.The first group is the big investors and traders. These goods used to be imported in small scale by their fathers. These businesses are not new. 2.goods in Pakistan. Dawood Khan and Zahir Khan had specified the laws in the past. which is real trade or what we can call modern trade. There are laws that even the administration doesn’t know how to implement.000 USD.000. It has a big impact on tariffs too. we explain the increase in price to our traders. Q – 4: Which market is best for Afghan traders to sell in (for Afghan exports)? A – 4: I should tell you that our trade is very traditional.000 USD. These 15% traders include Abdul Rahman Alekozay. For example: We import tea. 60% to 65% of these traders have small businesses. We have three categories of traders: 1. flour. only Pakistanis can sell the goods in Pakistan. so the only way for them to increase their profit is by bribery and not paying the tariffs as much as possible. a.

Traders would ask why they should pay bribe if they were asked to. who have many deals with people but their capital and businesses are small.000 and if the trader didn’t argue he would be charged 50. that’s why they often have complaints. Another type of tariff is a varying rate for when the good was imported and then a tariff would be charged. annually their circulation of capital is 50 million dollars to 100 million dollars but they don’t have their own money. One would import food.b. now that the government has turned it to a prepaid system. They have a license.Varying rate tarrif Under weight laws imported goods were taxed based on weight in tons. We suggested to the Chamber of Commerce that the government should make it cash. they would take the goods. Those people whose capital is 500 million or 600 millions USD is very simple if there is a change in the price for flour. It was very transparent. would take the commission. Their total commission is 50 to 60 thousand. There are different types of rates for different candies. and instead of giving you 20% of it. I am trying to say that these 60% to 65% of traders. since there isn’t a given target. I have given the goods to a Pakistani. In the past these people would tear and through away the license.000 USD and 1 ton of stone was 50 USD.The third category are the people who export goods. Their only income is by getting commission for transporting the goods to Afghanistan. clothes. 3. or even stones and everyone would pay the same per ton. they face many losses in some cases. All tariffs were per ton. they don’t have their own capital. no matter what. Now its not clear. That’s why the trader is forced to make up with the government employee. These were the four categories of trade and the creation of markets.000. and they were Pakistani goods which they are going to sell in Pakistan.000. They bring their goods. they have the money to pay for it. Government has ended the dealing between the government employee and trader. milk. and would keep the tariff which they should hand pay to the government. also around forty or fifty thousand USD and a shop too. If this trader argues with the government employee. Because the third group is a service company. I have already given you 45%. They go to Karkhano or Karachi to get people’s goods with a guarantee by putting their money with money dealers that in case of something going wrong. what else do you want? That’s when this sector starts to have problems and Ministry of Finance can’t understand it. For example: 1 ton of milk was 1. they will have to pay at the end on the profit . but people are lost. that employee can charge up to 500. This group says that we have already paid the tariffs in customs. MoF has not considered the conditions before implementing the law and tariffs. I had taken 50. The first category traders won’t lose but the second category traders won’t have anything to do if their only capital is stored and not circulated. They will keep their flour and know that the tariffs will change and will supply when the tariff rates turn back to normal. That’s why there should be more options in tariffs for the second category traders. There would be a difference in the price per ton though.

prostitute. these companies should give a balance of their business. Everything has 4% tax in Dubai. charge it at once. next time it might be clothes. traders. Pakistanis come and ask for how much these companies will transport the goods. I am saying that tariffs should be reduced. quality. These companies are service companies. 20% of the interest would be 10. Later on then the government asks for the balance. Goods are someone else’s but these companies take it to Torkham. Government charges 2% business receipt tax. Receiving and giving bribes is worse than an alcohol drinker. Once it might be spare parts. During the time of Dawood Khan. the tariff will be 1.000 will be charged 2% and another 2%. and the trader will have to end his profession. or unconscionable person. traders say that whatever you are charging. One 2% tax on sales. There are two million people working in this field. Ask him about the tariffs… now the tariff laws are about 500 to 800 pages. This is the main problem which results in corruption. and the business then says what balance should I give? I have received 50.000+1.000. who is still working in customs. the other 2% is prepaid tax. for example if a candy is lemon flavor it has a different tariff. These are commission workers. that the company should pay 20% on the profit. didn’t have any corruption.Construction goods. Everything is in too much detail.that they have made. I had never thought that corruption would increase to this level. next time it might be cigarettes. At most candies should be divided into . what else do you want then? Now customs employee will ask the trader to pay 10. Q – 5: In your opinion.000. This should be made very clear. You just send the paperwork on my name. This prepaid is received no matter if the business has made a profit or not. they would get it very secretly and employees were ashamed to receive bribe. what tax policy can end these problems? A – 5: I think Dubai is a very good experience. it’s not even considered bad. but I don’t know about its purchase. Back in those days. Government is right too. But now there’s pride in bribes. if someone would ask for 20 AFN bribe. if a candy has orange flavor it has a different tariff. 800 pages tariffs itself is corruption! It should be decreased. next time it might be paan. and next time sugar. medical goods. Or they should make it to two categories: 1. One of these companies might say 45. tariff laws were not more than 25 pages. how many should leave this re-export profession? These two million people are made up of drivers.000.000 which is the 2%. and goods but it’s not my profession.000 USD. people who move the goods.Consumer and luxury goods 2. I have already give you 40. sale. and agricultural goods Consumer goods are things like food and clothes. and people who move the goods by mules and others.000 from the dealer in Pakistan.000 per million for the circulation of capital. next time it might be cooking oil. for example: if I import goods of 10. You know that Dawood Khan and Zahir Khan with their very limited personnel. It has been 35 years that Saeed Mir Jan has been working with the customs but still doesn’t own a house and doesn’t use a computer or the internet. 10. Saeed Mir Jan knows about it.

Dawood Khan. For God’s sake.000 people. Government has made its budget in accordance with a bourgeois country. Zaher Khan’s governments had the same amount of money and it was sufficient for them. We are from Kunar where there is a war. Today in all over the world. I would like to say that exported goods should be given leniency. increased the tariffs.000 containers we need 12.000 vehicles. The government charged for 400 containers. they don’t increase their personnel so much. Karzai has made an organization. All the members of implementing council get 300 USD salaries. people don’t trust the government and they feel no one should pay taxes. People believe that the money that pays for taxes is not given to clinics. who could sit and decide how many clinics and schools do we need? They are the same commanders and Mujahidin of yesterday who are paid to stop war again. They donated around 9 billion dollars to his campaign. Our people say that who should we pay the taxes to? To someone who can’t differentiate between enemy and a friend? They say that the president supports those people who used to rob until recently. They are increasing the personnel day by day and are getting it back from traders and the poor. each village has a council which consists of 40 members and for all forty members Karzai pays a 200 dollar salary. high. Recently we an American military base was established where the land was provided for free. For 12. kid’s milk is 10%. This system is very modern and is made for very developed countries. the tariff on cigarettes is 200% and it’s 10% here. where there are 400 and something district governments. people will support those who are against the government.three groups.500 containers of goods when the tariffs were low. If one is poor. Secondly. What do they want with all these kinds of candy tariffs? Another example is milk that has to be categorized based on fat content. What kind of policy is this? Anyone would know that if it’s not in profit of government then why would the government support this. government puts a 16% tariff on flour and 10% on cigarettes. The importers of cigarettes were the biggest donors to Karzai’s campaign. but the government decreased the employment in the country. medium. . This is not how the governments are run. Even the councils that he is supporting are not educated people. What difference would it make if we paid a border tariff? In 2003. Abdul Rahman Alekozay imported 12. The only thing that Afghans think of is that how they can increase their own money. and low quality. they don’t keep this many servants. if I am not wrong. On this basis. So much employment has been created. There are tens of items which are increased and the rest are decreased.000 vehicles we need 12. It’s very hard. what are these people going to do now? All these unemployed will be a burden on the government. even the Communists had the same amount and it was sufficient and they would go to war with this amount of money as well. Insecurity increases. Multiply 40 by 4000 then by 200. for 12. Where does he get the money for it? Zakhel Wal claims that he doesn’t have money. In 2005 restrictions were instituted and he brought in 400 containers. in each province there is provincial council beside the implementing council consisted of 100 members.

Afghanistan is different from other countries in Europe and the United States of America. I told a colonel one day that families are . If you go to Karachi customs department. thanks for your question and coming here. It has negative impact on all four categories. no water for him to irrigate field. some people might think that they can solve this problem of Afghanistan by bombs and weapons while a manager might say that we can solve it by managing it. the current director of union of Afghanistan’s industrialists: Q – 1: What do you think government could do to improve trade in Afghanistan? A – 1: First of all.Q – 6: What’s the main problem that traders don’t prepare for? A – 6: Bureaucracy is the main problem. they say “what’s done is done”. he is misused by terrorist organizations. Once they know the buyer of the imported goods. In Afghanistan they can’t track the retailer so they get all the taxes from the importer. both the husband and wife work. When there is no job for him. But in our country there are families comprised of twenty members. Interview with Mr. Hajji Gul Zaar. but we are telling you that the problems of Afghanistan can be solved with an increase in employment. Then Customs department of Pakistan follows up the goods with where the trader is going to sell these goods. I have talked about this issue with American generals and colonel. we truly believe that as trade increases and people get busy with work. The problem is that currently the rights of the majority are ignored. I’m also the head of the Afghanistan Industrialists Union. and manufacturer provides the balance. then what is he going to do? Due to his problems and needs. Kaminzada. my name is Kaminzada and I am the owner of Tanweer Naweed Limited and Baheer Publishing Company. It’s the same in Pakistan. and some people might want to solve these problems politically. they will charge you tax separately and tariffs separately. For example. the seller. People think differently. then they will say you are done. we know everything. Hajji Zarab Gul. People know their calculations. ten members or may be fifteen members. which is the biggest publishing house in the country. because the breadwinners of the family in those countries are all the members of a family. and the importer doesn’t pay any tax. and Abdul Rahman Alekozay never complaint. MoF can check trader’s accounts. problems of Afghanistan will be solved from an economic point of view. someone else with another profession like police might say that we can solve the problems by bringing rules and regulations. and only those who are in power or are influential. he will be willing to do anything. We see the solution from an economic point of view. it will be entered in their system. and when he is given five hundred or eight hundred USD. can influence decisions. I would like to introduce myself first. they have their own companies. Even though families in those countries are comprised of no more than three members. I would like to answer your question briefly. exporter. and out of all these people only one or two of them have work that can feed the rest.

I believe that you won’t even hear a noise the day after it. Government now wants everyone starting a business to pay taxes from the very first day.000 USD by then. at least the other nine members will have something to eat. land. why shouldn’t I kill myself by suicide bombing.000. they want to kill the sheep on the first day. once they do. Even though industry and business rules don’t accept this. but government hasn’t pushed that development route. Government hasn’t provided them with credit. Then why should we trade? A factory can benefit thousands of people. There is no institution. security. when we import raw materials like plastic. culture. it means that when someone wants to establish an industry.000 USD. Or for example. But at least give them a chance. show me if there is anybody else. Out of this society. By availability I mean with low interest rates. where you could go ask them for security. we leave it for a year before we could get benefit from it. industries. he will take ten thousand dollars and will do suicide bombing. and business will have a positive impact and is in benefit to everyone. I won’t go too technical. later on after a few years when the company is fully established. like the ones from Kabul to Jalalabad. their industry hasn’t even been active for a few months before the government comes for all kinds of taxes and balances. it might be 1. and now they want high tariffs on raw materials… how can a business develop and grow? It means that this government. but we have lost education. has not allowed Afghan industries to get chubby and rich. then you can charge them more in taxes than what you are charging now. when it won’t go anywhere outside the country. This is an achievement. 80% of it is either part of the mafia or are from the poor of the society. For example: Now that you are charging the factories 100 AFN. either unintentionally or intentionally. If the tax you are charging right now is 100. and Mazar-e-Sharif to Kabul. Even raw materials. I am going to give you a very simple example. for example.different in Afghanistan. if a family has ten members and only one breadwinner. Now. it’s better to import finished goods instead because the tariffs are the same for both. Herat to Kabul. The amount that they are right now spending on the ammunitions. in your opinion what can government do to improve trade? What has government done so far and can it do even more to improve it? A – 2: I think government unfortunately hasn’t done anything. When we grow wheat. The only thing government has done is the pavement of a few roads. if even half of it is spent towards economic growth. He would say that I am going to die from hunger anyways. There is no bank where traders and investors could get credit and loans. we don’t expect to get wheat right away. We are not a country who has lost one thing. That’s why we are saying that more trade. Government is not paying attention. We don’t even have professional staff. and professionalism. we wait for the sheep to get fat and chubby before we slaughter them. Q – 2: If we accept that improvement in business is the solution. then you can charge them a 10% or 20% tax. There isn’t even any institution. Government hasn’t realized that thousands of youth are unemployed. we import some professional staff from outside the . But in our government. we have a slaughterhouse where we keep five sheep. Government hasn’t helped the investors with anything. The government hasn’t provided electricity.

Now they are against it too. government should pour some honey so it gathers all the investors. These three foreigners haven’t been in war for thirty years. Government Government can’t do anything without an investor in these to do the work for us. Let three foreigners come from other counties so they could train three hundred local nationals here. they send us information every day about the facilities that they are providing to investors. I mean that if international community and government want to build this country. India. So. We can go to China for investment. unemployed Afghans could be employed. you will have the flies there. Now that we want to bring them to train our illiterate employees. We were not able to invest in the past. See this world has changed from what it used to be in the past thirty years. But if they . Wherever there is food. the EU. If there is no profit for the investor. those who don’t wants us to develop. And investor without government means an investor invests and government can’t provide security and the investor loses its investment. security. Other countries like Canada. people were forced to stay in Afghanistan. What they are doing is due to their lack of knowledge and information or they are doing this intentionally to ruin this country. Our leaders don’t know that a factory can employ five hundred people. but instead they have learned for thirty years. since 1991. How have they increased employment? If doing something is only giving licenses. but now we can go anywhere and invest. Indonesia. and these five hundred people can have a job because of three foreigners. I am really disappointed in them. government can’t develop at all. Why should they? In the old days. investors will never invest. now a Chinese can go to Canada to invest. Malaysia. I will close everything here and I will go to Dubai. then the government doesn’t cares about its electricity or its raw material. i. Since 2000 I haven’t seen anything from this government which could show that they care for increasing employment. Ministry of Foreign Affairs doesn’t allow us to bring them. I will see wherever my profit was high. Traders and investors are like flies. and China give you citizenship if you invest in their country.e. which government doesn’t allow. or Canada. and credit in Afghanistan. Q – 3: Let’s put aside what government has done or hasn’t done. One investor 2. or our leaders don’t even know how to eat their food. That’s why it has been many years I have been with these factories and industries. If investors know that there is electricity. If credit facilities are not provided by the government. what are the impediments towards the development of trade in Afghanistan? A – 3: I think no investor and trader is ready to put himself at risk. then they will invest. The biggest impediments are: 1. again investor won’t invest. During the past ten years I have come to the conclusion that either there is a very strong hand behind all this. now that I have money. how are they forced now? Provide money and you can go to any country you want. then they should create employment for these people. Every day.

These parks were established during the time of Dawood Khan. No factory wants to invest for ten years. Afghanistan’s population back then was 16 million. are people transferring their money to Europe as soon as they earn anything? People are killed because of their money. I can’t go out. get whatever they can out of it and then go back once they earn a few AFNs. by now we should have no unemployment in the country. do you think most of the people in Afghanistan were busy with trade before the war or busy right now? A – 4: I think people were busier in the old days. now they just want to bring the machines in 10 days. but we didn’t have as many unemployed citizens. Even though they were fools. you won’t find even a hundred. Now that I have invested. He would ask about the problems. am I crazy? Now. and next year when you deserve a tax return they tell you that once the money has gone to the government’s vault it never comes out. even though they were not accepted by the international community or Afghans. investors will invest their monies in Afghanistan to earn it back in six months and then leave. back then people were busy with their own jobs. land. I have a factory but I can’t go to my factory. Is this how support is? Is this how they want to build this country? We are in industrial parks of Kabul. Where does all the money go to.know that they are in danger then they won’t do anything and will go back. five hundred factories were established in industrial parks. These promises should be fulfilled and shouldn’t be only on a piece of paper. They block investors’ money for a year. the Minister of Mines of the Taliban government distributed factories to the people. He told the owners of the factories that they should start and get running the factories in six months. Now that the population has increased to 30 million. Go and see now. and credit. but now they are not able to. They should give electricity. haven’t you noticed? I had no idea what a weapon was. all of them closed and investors left. At the beginning people started to send their money to Afghanistan from all over the place. but when they saw that they are not going to profit out of this. Q – 4: If we compare the past eight or nine years with the times before war. the government receives 3% in advance of the balance you’ll need to pay at the end. Those people who were fools and didn’t know anything. if it’s electricity then he would provide you first with electricity. then they transferred their money back. I have bought my own land and pay more tariffs on the raw materials. People could earn a piece of bread to eat. Now they have a new rule that when someone imports raw material. it’s amazing what happened. The minister himself would go and visit the factories to see if they had been established. unemployment has increased significantly. I know hundreds of people like this. . like Pakistan and Dubai. Even though we had billions of dollars flowing into Afghanistan. but now I have to move around with two bodyguards. what can government do to get the trust of investors? A – 5: Government should provide investors with land and electricity. I remember during Taliban times. At the beginning. whatever percentage that they charge in tariff. Q – 5: In your opinion. I am not talking about trade only.

If these 30. obviously we will say that we are not going to pay its taxes. government can’t show us the services that they have done. and we are Afghans. At the moment we are begging municipalities to come and clean. When the drive in front of my house is clean by me every day. Q – 6: You mentioned tariffs a few times. why shouldn’t we call the municipality? When government doesn’t perform services. about their education. knows about its factories. when someone pays taxes in return the government provides them with services too. they will either join terrorist groups. or to see if they can work or not. In other countries services are good too. We are telling them that you should provide good services to the people for a few years. why would I pay 5. Municipalities should come and say that I have cleaned your road and I am charging you for it. till then you should also give a chance to the investors so they could invest. It means that only in these industrial parks we have gathered 30.000 people. for example your goods are coming. the minister hasn’t even seen the factories to see how they are doing. if I knew they’d clean in front of my house every day. then why are you charging us taxes? It’s the tenth year that I’ve paid municipality taxes but I haven’t seen them even once in these ten years. do you think on average Afghan tariffs are high or low? A – 6: See.000 people are not provided jobs.000 people. we clean the roads ourselves. I have to process them I will need to charge you for that. They always compare Afghanistan to USA and Europe. knows about its companies. Here. Then what are they charging us taxes for when there are not services. is our government aware of it? No. well. because the government knows about the health of its citizen. they give you the example that in developed countries people pay 50% taxes. we should first ask ourselves why do we pay taxes? Whatever government takes is for serving its citizens. This government serves nothing. Q – 7: In general do you think tariffs are good or bad for the economy? . In the United States there should be 100% taxes. they will either get together with mafias.considered the factories as their top priority. Then the government can tell the trader that. Whenever you tell them about taxes in Afghanistan. Because when in front of our door is dirty. We are humans and follow favors. we have saved the government of providing jobs to these 30. or they will cause some other kinds of problem for the government.000 every month to the government? I would certainly pay them. Then why should we pay taxes? We are humans. we have to ask someone to come and clean. to ask them if they are alive or dead. What has our government done? Today if Iran seizes our goods or our goods gets lost in Pakistan. these people with all this knowledge and their talks. we are from this country. Whenever they improve their services then they should start charging taxes. and knows about its insurance.

government will have to destroy itself to pay the salaries of its employees. government will not need to worry about the people anymore. these salaries are not comparable to neighboring countries. and by support I don’t mean false promises. and then slowly. factories.A – 7: It is good for the economy but it’s not good for a country like Afghanistan. Everyone would give then. Then the government should have asked the factories that could have started to start paying taxes to the government. and how to protect them. So that people could be convinced that if we invest in Afghanistan we will have profit. that’s why. You won’t even find a company like this in . then people will start accessing private markets for health care and even education. no one even asked if they needed anything. do you think we can compete with the countries in the region? A – 9: Why not. I think that in the current situation the only thing that government should focus on is how to get investors. People should have invested so their life standards could have improved. A company beside our company burned down. then they will travel in private cars. then 2. We are saying that government is nothing without a private sector. until it becomes stable as it is in the rest of the world. at the moment. government has started gathering taxes when the company is newly established. In this situation we should give up something obviously. Even if the company makes a loss now. The government gives salaries in U. For example first they will think that they will have 50% profit. government should show honey (incentives) to the investor. Q – 8: In your opinion. These were foreign countries’ money. I can say this with a guarantee that if the government supports development. government officials still insist on the traders to paying a tax. this government won’t be even able to pay the salaries of its government employees. Government expenses will decrease. Sixty billion dollars was given to this country during the past ten years and government should have encouraged people to make the country better. at the moment we are in a condition that we should be really focused on bringing investors to Afghanistan. and companies. dollars too. When employment has increased for the nation. slowly government should increase competition so that the profit comes down from 50% to 10%. Q – 9: But from quality and packaging points of view. How is the government going to make revenue? But there is a way. through decreased taxes and increased employment. The government has to sell itself to pay these salaries. you just talked about packaging. so it could be profitable to traders. instead of government buses. But they should reduce tariffs.5%. How can investment increase in this country? I am sure that if the foreign aid ends. Unfortunately. like Dubai. But at the beginning. because when the people have money. everyone will mind their own business. Support means that make industrial parks. what can increase Afghan exports to foreign markets? A – 8: Everything. government hasn’t lost anything. even if after a few years the foreign aid was ended. For example. that we have honey here.S. I have made the biggest packaging company in Afghanistan.

they have all the information. There is no need for information. If we produced fertilizer. Q – 12: Is trade good in creating employment? A – 12: Manufacturing is good. they don’t even know how to bring changes in the tariff rates. how much are they going to profit. But how has the government helped me? See. because they have their own grapes. that if I sell grapes. newspaper. they don’t know what’s happening in the world. because these thirty five years of immigration resulted in Afghans scattered all over the world. then a person’s land will have a lot of harvest at the end of season. I know that I should send grapes to India. they already know all the information prior to opening a business. If we think of giving tractors at a good price to farmers. we need tractors and industrial equipment for agriculture. then we can import goods so that we could send it back to . website. They just need the government to show them that if they invest. give 20 to us and you keep the 80. Q – 11: How can traders be informed? Through what channel.the neighbor countries. I know the ways: I know that I shouldn’t export grapes to France. if this country is a free zone like Dubai. what information is useful for traders and manufacturers of Afghanistan? A – 10: Brother. when people start business today. and which countries have grapes and which ones don’t. where government will charge only 2% tax. such as the government will provide land. when they trade. the countries they need. They have gathered really good ideas. they have rates from Pakistan and India. I know that we send grapes to Karachi and that we send it to Dubai. But our own Afghans are really well experienced. government should say that. We should have electric saws. when I import boxes. 50% for business owner and 50% for the government. Manufacturing is good because if we look at the agriculture sector. I can’t export grapes to Tajikistan. because it’s near to me. For example. we should think how to produce saws. For example: the government should give land. we should think of producing the tractor ourselves. radio. government should tell the traders and investors that come invest here and will give you these facilities. If I am a trader. television. what will the government provide them in return? Other than that. will I be able to sell this good or not? Our trade representatives are just useless. Two years later. so we don’t have to use manual labor anymore. Government should just show the honey instead of information. for example. or some other sources? A – 11: These traders have experience. I know about rates myself. Government should actually show them in action. and the government should explain that if your annual income is 100 AFN. government can’t do anything. I pay a 2% tariff on the boxes and 5% tariff on the paper. That when they send this fruit to Dubai. I import packaging paper and boxes. where I can sell them with most profit and how I should package them. Trade is practical. Why can’t we do packaging? Q – 10: In your opinion.

I have made a company. industrial parks of Juma Muhammad Muhammadi. For example. but now that we have everything we can’t even produce our own clothes. how can they trade? But it’s very effective. This includes the industrial parks of Kabul. we could sew these shirts too. if women are involved in business. and in Kandahar. at the current conditions. We have the raw material. 100% better than men. I want to process dried fruits and package them and I am sure that women will do a much better job than men. they are humans too. we can process copper and produce cable and export it to the whole world. Because I know that in Dubai. Don’t give it to the Chinese. and other Central Asian countries. and when we process copper then we can manufacture cables. if we count the total number of factories. I think women will be more successful than men in that company. where it gets polished and cut. then millions of people could have worked. women can’t come out of the houses. Weren’t we used to exporting shirts and all kinds of clothes to Soviet Union? We didn’t have anything back then. At the moment women can’t do anything.000. For example. 80% percent of stones are imported from Italy and Afghanistan. the most that the owner will get back is 50%. 500 are the active members which are registered with us. Q – 14: Is trade or manufacturing good for women? A – 14: Look. in Herat. Uzbekistan. poor women have many problems. For example. otherwise trade won’t work in Afghanistan. in Mazar-e-Sharif. But this culture should be introduced to this country first. The rest is to the people. it’s hard for them to get there but even when they are ready and they get out of their houses. they are stared at. instead we import Chinese clothes. while when an industry is established. who is going to profit the most? A – 13: The rich will have the most profit. We have copper. It is true that women must trade. Our Helmand stone is exported to Karachi. if those skills are learned. our individual self or women? How will she dare to go and do this job? For example. give it to us. whom are we going to protect first.Tajikistan. there might be more than 1. We have iron is something you won’t find it anywhere else in the world. but when I take them to Pul-e-Charkhi. today how hard are these shirts to make. When they come to factories. Q – 16: What is the average amount of investment? . there are no stones like the stones in Afghanistan. and then it’s exported as a gem to the rest of the world. industrial parks in Jalalabad. 80% of trade money goes back to traders. Q – 15: How many members are in the union? A – 15: We have more that 500 factories in Afghanistan which are active. What should people import now? Q – 13: If free trade increases in Afghanistan. Believe me that no country has stones as fine as ours. We couldn’t even polish and cut the stones so we export it.

we go to them so they could decrease it. the land was given to the manufacturers but then different departments from the government came to the manufacturers and said that this land was their land. This is not what we call investment. We are afraid that government might take everything from us. like spare parts. They come and pay the tariffs and take it to their countries. I don’t know the average amount. that’s why we have established a union to protect ourselves. and then twenty of us get together and we go to the government. I am not saying that its bad. If you are talking about motorcycles. former trader and well-known author about Afghan trade and economy: Q – 1: What items and goods are important for exports? A – 1: There are two kinds of goods which are imported to make export goods: 1. there were many investments but most them are now gone. Sometimes the government creates problem for their lands. The second group of goods is ready-made items. Believe me that. . the whole world can change. Q – 17: What services do you provide to them? A – 17: We don’t provide any service to these poor people. only one factory can’t do anything. The first kind is raw materials which are used in industries. electronics. 2. 80% of it is imported but it’s assembled in Afghanistan. we go to them but they don’t listen to us. Therefore to protect ourselves from this we established the union. We can send tea and cigarettes to Northern countries. The first one is when the country where we export knows about it. In ten years. for example.A – 16: Brother. to provide credit for each other? A – 18: It can happen if factories have at least grown a little bit. Interview with Mr. Now there are two kinds of exports too: 1. but we have made only two companies. thirty five factories have been attacked. Each factory might have an average of 500. the only thing that we are doing is that we protect them against the government. 1000 AFN per month. These are item which are exported. tea. These are chemical goods. tires. cigarettes. or if the government has increased tariffs. The all pay a membership fee. but I am saying that we can’t build the country with one motorcycle or cold drinks factory. For example. Q – 18: So you don’t have a mechanism at the moment.000 USD. and some expensive clothes. sometimes police creates problems. Thirty five factories were taken over by someone else. if the government has imprisoned a manufacturer. Dawood Musa.

in your opinion what are the best questions that these teams can ask people? A – 2: Do you know that Americans have provided a budget of several million dollars to study the smuggling trade of Afghanistan? The irony part is that Americans want to determine the areas though which smuggling is done.195 routes across the border. the only people across the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan who want peace. Not only is there is no logic in stopping it. Another problem is. The biggest logic in this matter is that powerful Pakistani people have a big hand in this trade. we will have you in a car with us and we will take you to the crossing point. The second one is when we bring the goods. to refrigerators. but smuggling uses routes which are hidden. there is no specific line which could be called the Durand line.2. we pay for the tariffs. Which are exported (smuggled) into Afghanistan. but the government won’t be able to stop it either. From needles to cooking oil. But Pakistanis cannot control this. because it was written in the Durand Agreement that the people on the border can take items with them. If it was clear to everyone then it wouldn’t be smuggling anymore. Q – 2: If we send a team for surveying. there are 8 routes. even though they have military and ISI on the border. these smugglers have guns and they will rise against the government. Once these goods are loaded on the buses and trucks. because if it were possible. We told them that our friends in Chamber of Commerce are from Kunar. and even fans. the Pakistan government would have stopped it by now. Iran. In return they send their own goods. they will be . are the smugglers. otherwise. for vehicles. In Kunar. (Idrees) So there is no logic in stopping the smuggling. all are made in Pakistan. The other thing is that. Not Sindhis. The moment the government closes this route. only the people on the border do it. but Pakistan would say that this area is theirs and at the moment it’s in our control. They will claim that government has taken their income from them. the routes would have been closed a long time ago. So these are the types of exports which we have which are mostly exported to Pakistan and to an extent. We just have to bribe the military of Pakistan and ISI. and then we can distribute the goods all over Afghanistan. These people on the border are controlled by Pakistan. and not Baloochis. Then the people on the border like Afridis can smuggle the goods. not Punjabis. You will see that our mules take the goods to other side of the border and comes back. The people on the border will buy their bread if the bakery was on that side and will buy their meat with the butcher on this side. At the moment there are 190 . It comes up 15 kilometers to border in vehicles and then the goods are transported by mule. even though we might say that they are on the other side of Durand line.

it is about who is allowed to take the goods across Pakistan. High ranking people in Pakistan are involved in this trade. comes to Torkham for processing. it is processed in Karachi customs. So. or in Kabul. we had to import from Iran. Pakistan had complaints about this issue. At the moment Pakistan has given us four options that we either have to pay some tariffs same as Pakistan. in earlier case the paperwork was processed in Torkham. and they tell us we need to decrease the tariffs. Except Warakzai. others are not allowed. There are 194 ways where trucks can travel. For example. These good comes from port and stays in Karachi. at the moment half of our budget is provided by the IMF. they are worth gold but they are taken down and sent to Pakistan. On the other hand we . gets processed. So that if someone steals it on the way. and then goes back to Karachi. now its processed in Jalalabad. The second case is when the goods are lost on their way. Mohmand. If an Afghan trader can take these goods all the way across Pakistan and is not stopped by police. Go with some local people and pretend that you are their guests. There have been times when Pakistan closed its borders to prevent export and import of goods. or maybe even in the north. and gets processed in Kabul. You can go to any safe province on the border. As much as the price increases in Afghanistan. but they won’t be stopped. This is the worst case. But the paper works comes from Karachi to Peshawar. Bajawar. or there should be a quota for the goods which enter Pakistan. Smuggling of Afghan goods is the biggest loss. how far can vehicles go from the Afghanistan side? Are they our vehicles or Pakistan’s? A – 4: It’s not whose vehicle it is. We didn’t accept them because it will decrease our profits. both Pakistan and Afghanistan loses. In this case. as I told you before. not increase them. is it? A – 3: You can go to safe provinces. so in new contracts we decided to install a tracking device both on containers and trucks. it is not going to be effective. we get to know that it has been removed. or let them collect our tariff or letter of credit. the difference between us decreases and the goods are no longer profitable for smugglers. All of these were to increase the total price in Afghanistan so that smugglers can’t smuggle. it’s amazing. or in Kandahar.checked on their way to Karachi. Q – 5: Where are the main markets where these goods are loaded? A – 5: The worst case is when goods come from Karachi. You will see that goods come and go. etc. If they stop our vehicles once then we won’t send our vehicles the second time. because our trees are hundreds of years old. if we had made our tariffs as theirs. Q – 4: In that case. The third problem. Q – 3: So if we send a survey team.

none of them are open today. Who can compete when the goods are imported without being processed through customs? We had 14 plastic companies. when people went to India. If you go to Jalalabad. they say that we should totally end tariffs. their children learned that in the long run Afghanistan should have industries.want to be part of WTO. They came back and were asking for increased tariffs so their goods so were able to compete. as the fathers has more power so they have kept the tariffs low. And none of the clothes have gone through customs. and the Middle East. There are cases where father says something and son says something else. During the years of war. The economy of Afghanistan is based on smuggling. you can find in Afghanistan. Go to textile markets and ask the shopkeeper if he can show you a cloth which has a custom stamp on it. Check how many are stamped. if someone already brings something in at a lower price through smuggling routes. anything that is made in Pakistan. I am going to sell it 10AFN lower than what you sell. It’s going to be having a negative impact in the future. Q – 8: How can we tell if someone brings flour from Kazakhstan. Q – 7: Is the stamp system the same for all the goods as clothes? A – 7: It’s different for all goods. if someone smuggles flour to Afghanistan from Pakistan. Q – 6: Which markets can represent better the amount of goods imported from Pakistan? A – 6: When textiles go through customs. . you won’t find any other piece of cloth but the ones made in Pakistan. we have submitted our application. they get stamped. They will influence the government to keep tariffs low so they could smuggle. Q – 9: Who has most information about smuggling on the border? A – 9: People who are involved in this won’t give you information. or someone who brings the flour legally? Do they all sell in one price? A – 8: No. At the moment. No one is going to buy from you and next time you will smuggle too. The same with the letter of credit: it will increase the prices. and those who have a hand in this trade are those who have great influence on government. We can’t tell from the prices if goods are smuggled or not. why should someone else import the same good at a higher price. Again. For example. Pakistan. The shopkeeper will have to open the clothes and re-wrap it so he has the stamp at the end. At the moment. while in the past ten years we were not able to establish one textile factory. All the men’s clothes in Afghanistan come from Pakistan. if I smuggle the good and you bring the same good legally. as Afghanistan will be dependent on Pakistan. unless it’s of different quality.

Karzai found out about it. It will result in insecurity. Today the government is not providing the public with the services that it should but it’s charging very high taxes. but when the Taliban closed the route. Because of 10 people. Third are trade facilities such as electricity and fourth is a work force or labor. then the people won’t run away from taxes.Q – 10: How about indirectly? A – 10: There are people who have shops. they immediately chose Herat and sent their agents. he earns millions of people. Their offices in Herat have Pakistani employees. Q – 3: One thing that the traders are thinking and emphasizing is that the government should provide traders with credit and loan opportunities. The government should then increase the tariffs on similar goods which are imported in Afghanistan to strengthen the local products. we don’t have the money. who bring their goods to Torkham or wherever they want. especially skilled labor being allowed to enter Afghanistan if there aren’t any in Afghanistan. At the moment government has set some restrictions in letting foreigners in Afghanistan. they have their own people there to transport it from there on. It’s all financed by Pakistan. Industrial parks should be made for factories along with a market to sell goods. Frootan. only if the government provides services in return.000 from every bull. and no private sector development. But there are people who are involved in this. If you go there and get his confidence. Interview with Mr. You know that the younger brother of Din Muhammad. It used be in Torkham first.000 for every truck. They give the order. Din Muhammad gets 10. I as a commission worker get the money and order the tires. But if the government provides the services then public will be ready to pay taxes. and Abdul Qadir’s son gets 3. because . the current director of legal compliance at the Kabul Bank in Afghanistan: Q – 1: What can government do to provide better opportunities for trade and traders? A – 1: First is security and second is the elimination of bribery. he asked Din Muhammad for reasons and Din Muhammad provided him with 10 traders who said that they give the money to Din Muhammad by their own will. These billion of dollars that we are talking about is not ours. then he can tell you everything about it. But when the government can’t provide the people with the services that it should then it’s inappropriate to charge people taxes. Q – 2: What do you think of taxes? A – 2: Taxes are good. no development. Will they tell you how many bulls they import and how much do they pay to Abdul Qadir’s son? At the moment. People on both sides of the border in power take the most advantage. When the tires get to Herat. its Punjabis and Sindhis money.

They just love to get the money and come back in a year to pay back if they have the money. business plan. Back then.traders think they will need to get loans. Tazkera. but there aren’t any sources to get loans and if there are any. Both loan providers and the loan takers have to pay taxes on the guaranteed properties. Q – 6: In your opinion. 3% at the beginning and 3% at the end. A – 3: Government has its own problems. They are not in accordance with standards that a trader should be and are not familiar with the repayment and interest rates calculations. Corruption is so high that while a Tazkira is a right of every Afghan. But governmental banks do not pay those taxes. traders have their own problem. But they don’t understand that how they need to show the inflow and outflow of cash in their accounts. There are banks who provide loans with 10% interest. in general. he/she has to pay money to get it. but the government has worked in this field to solve the problems. all levels and groups of people in Afghanistan are trading. Something which should be done in five minutes is done in hours. Q – 7: Do you think high tariffs would help or hurt the Afghan economy? . Corruption has reached its maximum level. We need time to educate them. There are traders from all regions and nationalities today which shows that trade has increased in comparison with past years. you can just provide them with a photo. For example: during the transitional period the interest rates were 20% to 25% but today the rates are 10% to 15%. Q – 5: In your opinion. and guarantees. a trader will invest and then invest some more. Even if the person doesn’t exist at all. and they will get you the Tazkira. were Afghans more involved in trade thirty years ago or today? A – 5: In comparison with the past years. are Afghan government tariff rates are high or low? A – 6: They are a little bit high. trade has increased today. and banks have their own problems. trade used to be limited to a very small number of people who were related to the king’s family. If there is security. Q – 4: What are the main impediments to trade in Afghanistan? A – 4: Security and bureaucracy which both belong within the government domain. Many traders are illiterate. There is bureaucracy in government offices. they don’t know that they need to provide financial statements. but today. the rates are too high. in general if we compare the trade conditions today with the past thirty years (before the war). By bureaucracy I mean delay of work and corruption. and if they don’t they would just not pay. license.

Q – 10: What form of information is important to Afghan traders? A – 10: There are different types of information.A – 7: It moves people away from trade. It’s better to have figures with proof. . The traders who had participated in these exhibits. different sectors of trade. Traders should know that when a good is exported to another country. Information about new agreements which are signed between countries. they didn’t come back empty handed because the quality of carpets was high and all carpets were handmade. In Bamyan. Norms and standards departments’ capacity should increase to make sure the standards for Afghan products are high. these are the things that our traders should know. If there is a reasonable tariff rate. for example general information about trade. and better growth opportunities for banks would be accountability of government towards banks (from banks point of view). Our traders don’t even have accounting books. for example. people should know what facilities the new contract will bring. region and world tariff rates. do people pay tariffs on transit. then they should prove that they have built those roads. only 10% of what it says on paper is actually done. trade will grow. trade laws. Afghan traditional dresses are produced which can be sold at a very good price in international markets. Today the reports are all only on paper. Marketing should be performed and foreign travel facilities’ should be provided. Q – 9: What would be the best evidence of accountability of government? A – 9: The government should provide reports of economic development with proof. what kind of paperwork they will need. There are more markets for it. if government claims that they have spent money on roads. improvement. how the payments are going to be made. what economic sector can increase employment? A – 11: Industries are the best ways to increase employment. Q – 11: In your opinion. what transit routes. Until we have improved the quality. and accountability rules. In Afghan villages. If Afghanistan handmade products industry increases it will have a really good result. Transparency. interest rates. and other important information that traders need to know. packaging and traveling routes won’t be important. each has their own industry and products. Agriculture can increase employment too. There were two carpet exhibits which were held in Dubai and Moscow. but if we look at the reality. if we take the latest agreement which has been signed between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Q – 8: What do you think would improve the sale of Afghan products abroad? A – 8: Improving the quality of products would help. markets in the region. For example. what are the goods available in the other country’s market. Afghan villages will be able to work too.

only if corruption and bureaucracy continues. it’s very limited. The most influential people will profit the most. but due to some problems it couldn’t renew its license and the bank was closed. but they can’t work in other provinces. Q – 16: Out of the total number of people who have accounts in bank. . A society which has suffered 30 years of war. if it’s a big business the profit will be big.000 are corporate accounts. Q – 12: Who would benefit more from free trade with other countries? A – 12: Banks will benefit more. In return.Q – 12: For those traders who can’t travel outside the country. trade is not an appropriate profession for women. is trading a good job for women? A – 15: In current conditions it’s not a good profession as there is insecurity. trade can be good for women. Establishment of an agricultural bank. what percentage makes the business community? A – 16: To round off the number of customers.000 customers out of which there are around 35. their land or goods should be taken as a guarantee. what would you suggest? A – 12: Agricultural banks should be established and small & medium loans should be provided to farmers. which will only provide agricultural loans. will they benefit or lose? A – 14: They won’t lose anything but the profit will be very low. could increase the employment. Even if there are women traders in other provinces. Everyone will benefit according to their share in the business of the society. Microfinance institutions can provide loans. As time goes by with better security conditions and improvement in our culture. Today if a women says that she is a trader. If it’s a small business the profit will be small. Q – 14: What about ordinary people. Unfortunately closing this bank was a big mistake. we have 750. Today we have all kinds of people in our society and a woman is starred at when she goes out in the crowd but people don’t even care if she goes somewhere else. Women can only work in Kabul today. but they are not focused on agricultural banks. because they are specialized in providing agricultural loans. We should have agricultural banks. Q – 13: Don’t you think people who have connections with the government will benefit the most? A – 13: Yes. police will create a lot of problems for her. We used to have an agricultural bank. Q – 15: In current conditions of Afghanistan. All the levels of society will benefit accordingly.

Haqiqi and prof. everyone stares at her. I didn’t realize that I was in Afghanistan. It’s more than 5% . Now she has to sell her properties to pay bank loans. very limited number of people would go to her store. Most of the women who trade. at the beginning her business was really good but now she is in debt to banks. you will find women more open in comparison with Kabul. You go to Kandahar there is another culture. Even in Abaseen Zadran Market located in Kote Sangi. It’s used be to be around fifty shops owned by women. . But if you go to a place like Helmand. Q – 17: Do you think it’s because she was a women. but today there is no more than two or three. A woman who is dressed well. if we find out the number of business accounts in each bank we could estimate the percentage of people that are busy in trade. both professors of economics at Kabul University did not happen because they either declined to be interviewed or were not available during the time of interview. when she comes in to the market. A women trader named Meena Sherzoi had a clothes store.(Idrees) It’s a very interesting way to measure the percentage of people involved in business. but when I saw the unpaved roads I realized again that I was in Afghanistan. She had to go back and get a job. Interview with Prof. No business is without a bank account. Not only didn’t she make a profit but she had to sell her property to pay her should be between 10% to 15%. But if you go to Jaghori. you won’t even find one woman without a burqa. Our society creates problems. or is it because the business couldn’t make it? A – 17: Society is not built for her business. Our culture is very low. Saihoon. which resulted in her business losses. women wanted to have shops but they were not given any. they incur losses because of our culture and society.

Vocational education 8. DN D – 3: Marital status 1. Secondary education 7. Informal education 3. Incomplete primary education 4. Widower/Widow 4.Annex – I: FINAL-DRAFT SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE Code of interviewer: Time of interview: Province: Special group code: Demographics Questions (7 Qs) D – 1: Respondents gender (DON’T ASK) 1. 46 – 55 years 5. Divorced 98. Married 2. University education or above (please denote) 98. Incomplete high school 9. Complete primary education 5. 18 – 25 years 2. Never went to school (no form of education) 2. Incomplete secondary education 6. Not married 3. More than 60 years 98. High School 10. 36 – 45 years 4. NR D – 4: Highest education level 1. NR 99. NR (PUT AGE AND CIRCLE CORRESPONDING Date of interview: Location: District: Questionnaire code: . 56 – 60 years 6. Male 2. Female D – 2: Age in Years ANSWER CODE) 1. 26 – 35 years 3.

001 to 40. 10.001 to 20.000 Afghanis 9. DK D – 5: Please indicate your family average monthly income.000 Afghanis 5.99. 2. 2.001 to 3.DK G – 2: If yes.000 Afghanis 8. Small 2. 25. Yes 2. Medium 3. ask only remaining Gseries and I-series questions. 1.000 Afghanis 2. NR 99. Agriculture or food product Rugs and handicrafts Manufactured products Gems and minerals Furniture and wood products . 3. then ask both G-series and S-series questions. what do you or your family members trade? 1. 20. NR 99.000 Afghanis 6. D-series questions are asked from all. DK D – 6: What is your current occupation? D – 7: How many Jeribs of farm do you have? 1. More than 40.000 Afghanis 98.000 Afghanis 3.001 to 10. Otherwise. 4.001 to 15. Large 4. 5. Less than 2. 15. 5.001 to 5. Do not have land 98. No 98.001 to 25.NR 99. DK If occupation indicates that respondent belongs to one of the special groups. General Questions (14 Qs) G – 1: Do you or someone in your family engage in foreign trade? 1. 3.000 Afghanis 7.000 Afghanis 4.

why? 1. 2. We are able to sell more and get more money for our goods by selling to our neighboring countries. We can buy things that we do not make in Afghanistan.NR 99. 3.DK G – 5: Do you think increased trade (export and Import) create more jobs. Trading is our natural role as Afghans and is a respected tradition. 6.DK G – 3: What are the three advantages of trade for Afghanistan? 1.6.NR 99.NR 99. 98. 2. Household items like clothes or cleaning materials 7. The goods in the market come from all over the region and the world.DK G – 4: What are the three disadvantages of trade to Afghanistan? 1. 98. Trade builds friendship and ties between us and other countries. No 98. 2. Other: ________________________________ 98. 5. 3.NR 99. .DK G – 5a: If yes. 3. Getting the important technology/machines to make life easier. Yes 2. Trade means prices are lower for goods because farmers and businesses compete. 4. Economic opportunities for women 7. and economic opportunities? 1. wealth. 8. Construction materials 8.

Other: _____________________________ 98. textile and handicraft makers Transporters (truck drivers.9. Other 98. freight forwards) The government Other NR DK Import G – 6b: Who will bear the most cost of increased import/export? Export 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 98 99 Manufacturers Small Farmers Large Farmers Rug. Afghan producers can not compete with foreign producers 4. Only businesses with the government connection will succeed and benefit 5. why? 1. ( ) Better packaging b. Too many foreign goods and services will come to our market 3. Too much of low quality and dangerous goods will come to our market 2. ( ) Pricing information for other countries c. textile and handicraft makers Transporters (truck drivers. ( ) Better information about foreign markets . DK G – 5b: If no. NR 99. DK G – 6a: Who will benefit most from increased import/export? Export 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 98 99 Manufacturers Small Farmers Large Farmers Rug. NR 99. freight forwards) The government Other NR DK Import G – 7: Which of these measures would best improve the sale of Afghan products in international markets? (PLEASE RANK) a.

NR 99. ( ) Crime on the roads. g. f. ( ) Better technology to improve products f. e. ( ) Implement trade agreements with other countries. a. d. ( ) Other 98. ( ) Other 98. c. ( ) Provide finance to exporters. e. d. ( ) Higher product quality e.DK G – 8: What are Afghanistan’s biggest obstacles to trade? (PLEASE RANK). b. ( ) Provide information on opportunities to traders and producers. ( ) Share information about product standards. b. ( ) Security – war situation and road checkpoints ( ) Lack of pricing information.DK G – 9: How should the Government help Afghans export? (PLEASE RANK) a. e. c. f. ( ) Low quality of goods/inability to meet international standards ( ) Unclear customs procedures ( ) Corruption from government ( ) Other 98.NR 99. ( ) Improve Afghan Customs Department ( ) Improve roads and transportation links ( ) Provide training and education to producers ( ) Reduce taxes and fees ( ) Reduce regulations (On what? Please specify) ( ) Provide better training to Government officials on what? specify ( ) Other 98.d. taxes. d. b. i. c. g.NR 99. ( ) Improve Afghanistan’s image in foreign markets. h. f. and tariffs.DK . ( ) Provide better information on customs regulations.DK G – 10: What are most important things that the government could do to promote trade? (PLEASE RANK) a. g.NR 99. ( ) Transportation challenges ( ) Lack of production capacity—say another way.

b.DK S – 1a: What are the impediments to trade for women in Afghanistan? 1.DK S – 3: Which measures would improve the ability to transport goods from the farmer to a foreign market? (PLEASE RANK TOP THREE) a. No 98. e. Other 4. Yes 2. 1.DK Special Questions (12 Qs) S – 1: Would you do business with a female trader? 1. 98. but only if I know her 3.NR 99. 2.G – 11: Who do you think are the three biggest trading partners of Afghanistan? (Open ended).NR 99. d. ( ( ( ( ( ) Improve roads ) Eliminate roadside checkpoints ) Improve security ) Build cold storage and buy cold trucks ) Improve access to credit .NR 99. 98. 3.DK S – 2: Do you think that international/regional trade agreements benefit Afghanistan? 1.NR 99. 2. No 98. c. 3. Yes. Yes 2.

Too high 2. Weavers 2.DK S – 5: When you hear the word tariff what do you think it means? 1. Tax on production 2.NR 99.DK S – 7: What have you experienced or heard about the work of the Afghan Customs Department? (Open ended) S – 8: In your opinion. Dye makers 4. Brokers and businessmen 5. Sheep herders 3.DK S – 4: Who benefits from the export of carpets? (Select all that apply) 1. how large a problem is each of the following in the Afghan Customs Department? . About right 98. Tax on sale of goods in the market 5.f. No one 98.NR 99. Too low 3.DK S – 6: What do you think of Afghanistan’s tariffs? 1.NR 99. Tax on exports 4. Other ________________________________ 6. ( ) Other 98.NR 99. Tax on imports 3. Other ________________________________ 98.

Details on trade agreement 5.0 – NOT A PROBLEM AT ALL.NR 99. ( ) Talk to a successful exporter ( ) Contact a local government official ( ) Contact EPAA or Afghan Customs Department ( ) Contact the local Chamber of Commerce or local business association ( ) Other 98. Transport opportunities 4. The government 6. 1 – MINOR. Other 98. d. World Trade Organization (WTO) Yes – No – . c. I don’t need any export related information 7. e. The visa process 3. The customs process 2.DK S – 10: What export related information would be most useful to your work? 1. NR 99. b. DK S – 11: Do you know what the following terms mean? 1. 5 – MAJOR PROBLEM Score a b c d e f g h i j k l m Low professional qualifications for staff The process for handling complaints and appeals Staff behavior toward citizens and visitors Lack of service counter or person in tax offices Not enough customs officers Knowledge of customs officers Slowness at clearing goods Queue lines Poor facilities Lack of information on custom duties and procedures Speed at moving goods through customs The amount of fees paid at customs Other ____________________________ 0–1–2–3–4–5 0–1–2–3–4–5 0–1–2–3–4–5 0–1–2–3–4–5 0–1–2–3–4–5 0–1–2–3–4–5 0–1–2–3–4–5 0–1–2–3–4–5 0–1–2–3–4–5 0–1–2–3–4–5 0–1–2–3–4–5 0–1–2–3–4–5 0–1–2–3–4–5 98/ 99 S – 9: What steps would you take to export goods for the first time? (PLEASE RANK) a.

( ) Information on getting foreign visas k. d. c. e.2. South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) 3. Afghanistan Pakistan Transit and Transport-Agreement (APTTA) Information Dissemination Questions (2 Qs) Yes – No – Yes – No – I – 1: What form of trade and customs information delivery is easiest for you to access? (PLEASE RANK THE TOP THREE) a. b. ( ) General information about trade agreements ( ) General information on customs procedures ( ) Tariff rates for goods coming into Afghanistan ( ) Tariff rates for goods entering Iran. ( ) Information on standards for goods for export h.DK . ( ) Outside signs ( ) Posters in common places ( ) Radio ( ) Television ( ) Newspapers ( ) Printed materials in the form of booklets. j. d. leaflets ( ) Government trade office ( ) Text (SMS) messages ( ) Public meeting/workshops ( ) Internet (websites) ( ) None of the above ( ) Other________________________________________ 98. Uzbekistan ( ) Market price information for key imports/exports at locations in and around Afghanistan f. China. brochures. ( ) Information on foreign markets i. booklet. ( ) Information on WTO accession and other upcoming trade agreements in which the Afghan government is a party g. f.DK I – 2: What new trade and customs information would you like to see in printed materials like leaflet. ( ) Information on trade fairs and exhibits j. Pakistan. India.NR 99. b. c. k. ( ) Other__________________________ 98. l. and brochure? (PLEASE RANK AS MANY AS YOU WANT) a. g. h.NR 99. e. i.

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