Washington, DC — In a move to improve the business climate and create more economic opportunity, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and local business leaders from the Afghan province of Kandahar just released a Provincial Business Agenda (PBA) report that highlights recommendations for reforms to reduce corruption, ease access to credit, increase security, and improve infrastructure.
“Local business leaders have collectively identified a range of reforms that will improve the business climate and boost economic growth,” Andrew Wilson, Acting Executive Director of CIPE, said today. “This PBA report provides a roadmap for how local government and the business community can work together to create much-needed jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Kandahar.”
Kandahar Provincial Governor Humayoon Azizi expressed strong support for the PBA recommendations, stating, “It is the resposibilty of the government to create an enabling business environment for the private sector so that they invest inside the country, expand their businesses, and create job opportunities for youth.” He added that national stability depends on economic growth and the wellbeing of the people.
The Kandahar PBA is one of four reports that CIPE has worked on in regional economic “hubs” outside of the capital, Kabul. Besides Kandhar, these provinces include Herat, Nangarhar and Balkh.
The reports build on the CIPE-supported 2011 National Business Agenda (NBA) process. In March 2011, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a coalition of mostly sectoral Afghan business associations released a National Business Agenda for Afghanistan.
As a result of intense advocacy efforts by the business community involved in the NBA process, major economic reforms were enacted, including an anti-monopoly law, banking reforms, and land leasing reforms. CIPE provided financial and technical assistance in organizing and managing the NBA process.
CIPE and its Afghan business community partners chose to replicate this NBA model at the provincial level.
With the massive reduction in foreign military troops across the country and the commensurate reduction in development spending by the international donor community, many of the provinces outside Kabul are experiencing significant economic contractions.
The PBA report is the result of recommendations made by over 450 representatives of business associations who participated in a meeting held in Kandahar City in February 2016. To read the report visit: http://www.cipe.org/publications/detail/kandahar-provincial-business-agenda.