The second meeting of the Working Group 4 (Trade Facilitation and Industry Development) was held on December 5, 2020, in the conference hall of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. The meeting began with the opening speech of Omar Shakib Hemmat, Head of the General Directorate of Industrial Parks and Industrial Development, Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
Later, the Trade Facilitation and Industry Development Specialist of PriSEC Committee provided information on the format of the implementation plan for selected short-term and medium-term reforms. The implementers of the reforms are the relevant departments, which have been assigned according to the work plan, and the process of implementation of the activities is followed by the PriSEC Secretariat.
Short-term correction plans to be implemented within the next 6 months include:
- Establish Ombudstman to inspect private sector complaints under the OFVP
- Develop a mechanism to facilitate the private sector access to waste materials of the public entities for recycling and to ban the exportation of waste materials such as metals, used batteries, plastics, cotton yarns and etc that can be used as raw materials in domestic industries
- Establish and activate a preliminary analysis committee for applicants that requests access to land in industrial parks in all economic zones of the country
- Develop a roadmap for implementation of Afghanistan’s national trade policy and productive Afghanistan strategy
Medium-term correction plans to be implemented within the next 9 months include:
- Draft the National Industry Development Strategy
- Set up surveillance cameras on key customs activities
- Install and activate the surveillance cameras in all customs
- Procure the required software to connect surveillance cameras online with the Ombudsman office for Private Sector
- Reduce electricity costs for small and medium enterprises and simplify the relevant procedures
- Improve the Afghanistan-Pakistan trade and transit regulations framework including;
- Reducing the steps for goods inspection
- Specifying the mechanism for customs valuation, pricing, and abolitioning seasonal tariffs
- Setting the main principles of goods transit
The implementation plan of the priority reform programs, which was reviewed and approved by the participants in this meeting, will be implemented by the relevant departments, and they have to report on their work progress in the next meeting.
In this meeting, representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Economy, Afghanistan Chamber of Industries and Mines, Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, Ministry of Agriculture, National Standards Office, Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment, Ministry of Urban Development and Land, Breshna Sherkat, Chamber of Shopkeepers and Craftsmen, International Chamber of Commerce, the Investment Facilitation Unit, the First Vice-President I.R.A, and the Trade Facilitation and Industry Development Specialist of the PriSEC Committee were present.