Afghan government endorses development of export strategy (en)
(Kabul) – Afghanistan’s High Economic Council (HEC), chaired by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, on 3 April endorsed the National Export Strategy (NES): Peace through Prosperity, Prosperity through Trade. Aimed at growing the country’s exports in the immediate and long term, the President’s endorsement follows previous approval by the Council of Ministers and the Executive Committee on Private Sector Development (PRISEC).
The endorsement marks the end of a yearlong public-private consultation process to develop the National Export Strategy, which has been led by the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) together with the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries. During the consultation period over 500 Afghan industry leaders, small business owners and public sector officials have provided inputs on how to develop a homegrown blueprint for competitiveness and export-led development in Afghanistan.
A series of major stakeholder consultative meetings were held across the country, including in Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif, Herat and Kandahar. These were complemented by a series of bilateral meetings with industry experts and key regional buyers, as well as assessments of factory supply chains.
At the meeting of the High Economic Council, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and other Ministers lauded the European Union and the International Trade Centre (ITC) for the financial and technical support. The National Export Strategy is a central component of the Advancing Afghan Trade project, a trade-related support programme funded by the European Union and implemented by ITC in support of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Commerce and Industries.
The National Export Strategy builds on the commitments from the 2016 Brussels Conference on Afghanistan and is viewed by both the Delegation of the European Union to Afghanistan and ITC as a fundamental platform for Afghanistan to use trade as a lever for enhanced regional cooperation and inclusive trade, job creation, prosperity and peace.
Announcing his full support for the National Export Strategy, President Ghani said his government would place focus on inter-ministerial coordination, practical implementation and capacity building for its operationalisation. President Ghani considers the future implementation of the Strategy as a means to address the country’s trade imbalance, gain greater access to EU markets, and ensure that trade development ultimately has a positive effect on peace and stability.
In the coming weeks, an official launch and a donor roundtable under the leadership of EU will take place to further mobilize key national stakeholders and international partners for implementation of the National Export Strategy.
To learn more about Afghanistan’s journey towards developing a NES watch the film Peace through Prosperity, Prosperity through Trade”.
Notes for the Editor
The EU-funded Advancing Afghan Trade project is implemented by ITC under the leadership of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries. It is a response to the Afghan government’s ongoing efforts to use trade as a driver of economic growth, regional cooperation and stability.
Afghanistan acceded to the World Trade Organization in July 2016, after which it immediately moved to ratify the global trade body’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.
To ensure sustainability, local ownership and long-term impact of the project, ITC will be working with a range of partners from the private sector, academia and civil society organizations based in Afghanistan.
For further information about the Advancing Afghan Trade project, please visit: http://www.intracen.org/AAT/
The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
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To read the translated version in Dari and Pashtu please click on the links.