Afghanistan Trade and Revenue Project (ATAR)

  • Duration: 
    Nov 2013 – Nov 2017
  • Value: $78 million

OVERVIEW

USAID’s Afghanistan Trade and Revenue Project facilitate regional trade by developing cross-border transit agreements and improve economic growth and stability in the region. The project supports Afghanistan’s need to meet and implement its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments. Additionally, it works with Afghanistan’s public and private sectors to increase the country’s international trade and supports the Afghan government to improve its ability to generate revenue to replace donor assistance.

CURRENT ACTIVITIES

  • Improve the capacity of the Afghan government to formulate and implement a modern policy framework for trade and investment in accordance with international standards, including WTO accession.
  • Support trade and transit agreements between Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and India, including support to implement harmonized tariffs, simplify border crossing procedures, and facilitate regional trade.
  • Support Afghanistan to continue improvements in customs revenue collection capacity, including the implementation of electronic payments and the streamlining and modernization of customs procedures.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Supported Afghanistan in achieving WTO acceptance of its accession package in December 2015.
  • Supported Afghanistan in progressing toward ratification of WTO membership with the aim of the country becoming an official WTO member by July 2016.
  • Supported the Afghan government with WTO reforms covering 30 legislative pieces in areas such as trade policy, customs, food safety and intellectual property. Afghanistan’s Cabinet recently approved the Law on Food Safety and the Law on Copyrights.
  • Assisted Afghanistan in concluding bilateral market access negotiations on goods and services in record time with nine WTO members.
  • Facilitated negotiations on trade and transit agreements with regional trading partners including the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement, Central Asia Cross Border Transit Agreement, South Asia Free Trade Agreement, and the Lapis Lazuli initiative.
  • Launched E-Payments system to enable traders to pay customs fees at commercial banks.
  • Helped the Afghan Customs Department improve its risk management system and align the system with international standards.
  • Supported 16 Afghan businesswomen to attend the 36th India International Trade Fair. They reported selling approximately $1 million of their products to Indian buyers, and the event generated potential deals for more than $2 million worth of trade.
  • Worked with other USAID projects to support 11 Afghan traders in Dubai’s Gulf Food Exhibition, where they signed more than $2 million in deals and pursued millions in additional deals.
  • Assisted an Afghan government delegation to participate in the 6th Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority meeting in Islamabad in February 2016, where the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to amend the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement to facilitate increased trade.

 

     

    Last updated: October 31, 2016

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