The Investment Climate Reform Program operates within the context of the World Bank Group’s “Doing Business” indicators. The Program measures the efficiency and strength of laws, regulations and institutions that are relevant to domestic small- and medium-sized companies. The program encourages countries to promote more efficient regulation; offers measurable benchmarks for reform; and serves as a resource for academics, policymakers, journalists, private-sector researchers, NGOs, business executives and others interested in the business climate of each country. In the 2014 Doing Business Report, Afghanistan ranks 183 out of 189 countries. Please see http://www.doingbusiness.org/ for details on the Doing Business framework.
With USAID funding, the International Finance Corporation/World Bank Group (IFC/WB) and the Government of Afghanistan have developed a program to promote a better investment climate to stimulate inclusive growth and enhance the country’s competitiveness. The $2.5 million program, which began in October 2011 and is scheduled to end in April 2016, supports regulatory reform in three areas: starting a business, issuing construction permits, and getting credit.
- Reengineer the process of issuing construction permits for commercial and residential buildings in the municipality of Kabul to stimulate investment, improve building safety, and reduce illegal construction.
- Develop a construction permit automation system and build capacity to operate this system by providing training to municipal staff.
- Establish a credit bureau to store information about companies and individuals to increase access to credit.
- Assess and revise the process of issuing construction permits for commercial and residential buildings in Mazar and Jalalabad municipalities to stimulate investment, improve building safety, and reduce illegal construction.
- Promote increased and enhanced dialogue between public and private sector stakeholders in the construction sector.
- Facilitated introduction of a new fee schedule for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by the Afghan Investment Support Agency, enabling SMEs to better forecast and manage their budgets.
- Implemented a unified collateral registry to enable entrepreneurs and small business owners to leverage their movable assets and strengthen their access to credit.
- Reduced average time to obtain residential and construction permits from eight months to five months thereby improving market efficiencies and promoting transparency.
Last updated: December 31, 2014