Close

 

women at work atelier                                                           AREU

Female business leaders are completely missing from policy-making bodies such as the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency and the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and  Industry. The presence of women in those bodies could result in polices that create more enabling environments for women in business.

 

The study “Small and Medium Enterprises Development and Regional Trade in Afghanistan”, published by AREU (Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit) reviews the progress and key challenges for SME’s development in Afghanistan.

 

 

 

In Afghanistan’s turn to market economy since 2001, the private sector, 85 percent of which made up of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), was defined as the engine for growth. In the absence of large investments, due to the country’s unpredictable economic climate, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are more adaptive to current conditions, as they make up half of the country’s GDP and employ more than one third of the country’s labour force.  

 

AREU’s findings in the study suggests, the tremendous flow of aid and money over the past decade distracted the government from focusing on the development of SMEs and facilitating their access to market, which would ensure the sustainability of the economy in the long run.

 

 

The research reviews government policies related to SMEs, the SMEs development, as well trade within Central Asian Countries.

AREU puts forward a number of recommendations:

 

·         Female business leaders are completely missing from policy-making bodies such as the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency and the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and  Industry. The presence of women in the decision-making bodies could result in formulation of polices that create more enabling environments for women in business.

 

·         Afghan traders still struggle in finding markets abroad. The government needs to help SMEs in marketing and networking strategies to engage long-term clients.

 

·         The SME Directorate should work with public and private educational institutions to ensure that educational curricula reflect local economic and business needs.

 

·         Afghanistan has struggled with communications with Central Asian countries. The result is low level of coordination at the border crossing point. Streamlined channels of communication are needed to facilitate hearing about problems from traders and the removal of barriers.

 

Read the full report    AREU - Small and Medium enterprises 2014

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

About AREU

 

The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) is an independent research organisation based in Kabul. AREU’s mission is to inform and influence policy and practice through conducting high-quality, policy-relevant research and actively disseminating the results, and to promote a culture of research and learning. AREU was established in 2002 by the assistance community working in Afghanistan.