Prior to establishment of CBR, traders had to go through a lengthy process and spend weeks and even months to get a license and register their business. In order to register a business and get a business license, traders had to go to two different departments of MoF which were located next to Kabul Customs and in the revenue department in Cinema Pamir. There they got a TIN and paid Sukok (tax) and for publishing in Official Gazette traders had to go to Ministry of Justice and finally for registration of their business they had to refer these documents to commercial courts. They had to go to different braches of Da Afghanistan Bank in order to pay the fees in each stage. This process of registration where traders had to visit various entities entailed much cost and time, but the establishment of CBR has provided the facility to register businesses in one- stop-shop in less than an hour. CBR also maintains a good database of registered businesses. Maintenance of this database can help MoF collect annual taxes from businesses and investors.
Awareness activities with regard to reduction in tariff rates in Afghanistan in comparison to neighboring countries and self-assessment of businesses’ owners through CBR staff pave the way for promotion and development of trade in Afghanistan.
Alexander John who is the owner of Minnesota International General Trading Co (MIT) and customer of CBR said: “Licensing and Registration System in Afghanistan is better than in Kuwait”. Haji Shah Zaman one of the traders expressed his view with regard to establishment of CBR: “I registered my business four years ago which took more than one month; since I had spent lots of money and I had to go to various departments to get license, I was almost regretful and I was about to withdraw my business. Now Shah Zaman has returned with different views to CBR to change the articles of association of his business and added: ‘Establishment of CBR as one-stop-shop within the MoCI is valuable and beneficial initiative for traders. Now we see that all registration process are done in one-stop-shop in less than one hour without spending money and waste of time, I am really happy and satisfied.” Ulfatullah Altaf Marketing Development Manager of Afghan Oil and Gas Co. has come to CBR for the first time to register. He expressed his view about the working process of this office and said: “I am very happy and satisfied that staff of CBR behaved very well and I completed the registration process in less time and money that even I could not think of it.” He added: “Establishment of CBR is a valuable and good step taken by the MoCI for traders’ community because they do not face any kind of problem during registration of their businesses and the process is expedited and cost- effective.” Hence, it can be said that satisfaction of domestic and foreign investors and business owners from trade facilities in Afghanistan can encourage them to increase their investments. Attraction of investment paves the way towards reconstruction of Afghanistan and provides employment opportunities for thousands of unemployed individuals in industrial and agricultural areas and of course growth in the economy.
The Afghan Government supported by international community is committed to economic expansion in the country. Establishment of ACBR is considered to be one of the areas facilitating the process. Business registration which is implemented to attract investments and customers help provide access to public services, receive bank credits, obtain trade and investment licenses, obtain trade and travel visa, enforce trade contracts, create facilities in international transactions, accelerate custom process and to abide by the laws.
ACBR will be extended also in other provinces within the next few years. Consequently, Afghanistan can have a modern and comprehensive system for business registration.