business to business contact

Australia has limited trade relations with Afghanistan. In 2017, total merchandise trade between Australia and Afghanistan was valued at approximately $11,316 million. In 2017, Australia was the 23rd largest destination for Afghan exports, and the 30th largest origin of imports. 

Fruit and nuts are one of Australia’s major imports from Afghanistan

Economic cooperation between Australia and Afghanistan can be improved by enhancing business-to-business partnerships and private sector relations between the two countries. Afghanistan is an emerging market with tremendous opportunities in various sectors such as agriculture, mining and natural resources, construction, telecommunication and services, scientific research, livestock, education, energy and infrastructure.
Australia and Afghanistan signed a Comprehensive Long-term Partnership on 20 May, 2012. Based on the Partnership, both Governments affirmed the importance of an open and predictable trading environment for economic growth and development.
Subject to the laws and regulations and investment policies in force in their respective countries, the Governments agreed to take such measures as may be appropriate to strengthen and diversify bilateral trade and economic relations. In this regard, as Afghanistan is an LDC, Australia, subject to its customs laws, agreed to continue to accord duty-free, quota-free treatment to all goods originating in Afghanistan for so long as Australia applies such treatment for least developed countries.

Australia also considers, as part of Australia's broader development assistance commitment to Afghanistan, the provision of technical assistance to Afghanistan to support goods originating in Afghanistan to meet Australian requirements.

The Governments agreed to work to enhance bilateral business relations and investment including through the promotion and facilitation of business exchanges. Both Governments continue to cooperate in creating a conducive environment for Australian investment in Afghanistan.

The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) has been engaged in efforts to develop and strengthen the business relationships between Afghan and Australian entrepreneurs and businesspersons.

The Australia–Afghanistan Business Council Ltd (AABC) represents ACCI in Australia. AABC operates as a non-profit and non-government organisation in Australia and aims to promote business networks, social contacts and new trade and investment between Australia and Afghanistan. The objectives of the council are to be the preferred source of information on and introduction to doing business in Australia or Afghanistan.

AABC holds an annual Australian-Afghan Business Council Conference which seeks to facilitate engagement and networking between businesses and official representatives from Afghanistan and Australia. Participants in the conference are able to connect one-on-one to share information and ideas.

H.E. Mr Wahidullah Waissi addressing the 3rd Australian-
Afghan Business Council Conference, 2017

His Excellency Mr Wahidullah Waissi gave the keynote address at the 3rd Australian-Afghan Business Council Conference 27 April 2017. He spoke about the private sector’s potential for generating wealth and new jobs in Australia and Afghanistan and across the wider region to the mutual benefit of Afghan people and investors.

Ambassador Waissi said that over the last few years, there has been a quiet transformation occurring in Afghanistan. The Afghan government, in partnership with the private sector, has drafted and enacted more than 20 business-friendly pieces of legislation that form the basis of any modern, vibrant trading regime.

These include customs reform, trade facilitation, intellectual property rights, food safety and standardisation. The passage of those laws, and other trade-related reforms, culminated in Afghanistan becoming the 164th member of the World Trade Organisation in July 2016.

Afghanistan’s integration into the global economy has sent a clear signal to the world that the country is committed to establishing a predictable, cost-efficient trade environment conducive to investment.

Ambassador Waissi also spoke about the Afghan Government’s active and substantial support to the private sector commercial investment with particular focus on the leading sub-sectors. This support includes considerably more focused investment promotion activities, more effective incentives and the expansion of opportunities for public-private partnerships.

The 4th Annual Business Conference on Afghanistan in Australia will be held on April 9-11 2018, in Sydney.

For more information on doing business in Afghanistan or Australia, see the Doing Business in Afghanistan and the Doing Business in Australia sections of this website.