IRAN: What You Need to Know about U.S. Economic Sanctions
December 2, 2010
The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has created a fact sheet “An Overview of O.F.A.C. Regulations Involving Sanctions Against Iran.” This fact sheet provides general information about the Iranian sanctions programs under the Iranian Transactions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 560, and the Iranian Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 535. To view the fact sheet, click here.
NEWS STORY: Citi and Afghanistan International Bank (AIB) Enter into Banking Agreement
October 13, 2010
New York, October 13, 2010 – Citi announced that its Global Transaction Services business, entered into a banking agreement with the Afghanistan International Bank (AIB) headquartered in Kabul for AIB to serve as Citi’s correspondent in Afghanistan. The arrangement will strengthen the ability of GTS clients to execute payment and trade transactions to support business activities in Afghanistan. The alliance is seen as an important step in supporting Afghanistan’s financial sector and its overall economic development. Since AIB was founded in 2004, it has developed into a fully operational commercial bank, offering a broad range of products and services including access to ATMs and Internet banking for local and foreign customers. From the beginning its major objectives have been to assist in developing the Afghan economy and to build banking capabilities in accordance with international governance standards. To read more, click here.
Third Afghanistan Carpet Fair: Afghan Carpets Combine Tradition and Modernity
November 27 – 30, 2010
Are you a rug collector or buyer interested in Afghan rugs? The Department of Commerce would like to inform you of an opportunity to participate in a carpet fair hosted by the Afghan Export Promotion Agency (EPAA). The EPAA invites you to attend their Third Afghanistan Carpet Fair at the Loya Jirga Compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, which will take place from November 27-30, 2010. You must apply by November 14 to take part in this unique opportunity.
EPAA will select qualified U.S. businesses and will provide travel accommodations including, free round trip tickets Dubai-Kabul-Dubai for which we require the exact date of departure and arrival, accommodation for two nights at a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, and airport pick up/drop and Hotel-Fair-Hotel transportation.
The show will feature contemporary, traditional, modern, and antique rugs (including unique collector’s rugs), representing Afghanistan’s rug producing provinces and associations. All rugs on will be available for immediate sale. The show will attract over 60 vendors who will showcase their products, including new Afghan traders along with those that have been in the business for decades.
Interested rug businesses may submit information to Noor Alam at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Afghanistan Investment and Reconstruction Task Force (AIRTF) Phone: (202) 482-1421 | E-mail: Noor.Alam@trade.gov | Fax: (202) 482-0980, and the AIRTF will submit the information to the EPAA.
American Chamber of Commerce in Afghanistan (AmCham Afghanistan)
The newly launched American Chamber of Commerce in Afghanistan (AmCham Afghanistan) states: “Our mission is to promote American business interests in Afghanistan. To provide a forum in which American business executives and business executives with American interests may identify, discuss and pursue common interests regarding their activities and to promote the further development of commerce between the United States and Afghanistan. AmCham Afghanistan will be a positive business influence in Afghanistan by improving the business climate and conducting business on the highest ethical standards.” Visit the website.
News Story: Massive Afghan Iron Ore Deposit Up for Tender Again
HAJIGAK, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Afghanistan put its Hajigak iron ore deposit back up for tender on Saturday, after taking it off the market last year, promising security for investors despite a worsening insurgency.
Afghan Mines Minister Wahidullah Shahrani said he hoped production would start by 2014 on what he said was a huge, high-quality ore vein, that offered investors a rare opportunity with reserves estimated to be worth as much as $350 billion. To read the rest of this article, click here.
About the Hajigak Iron Deposit from the Ministry of Mines: “Hajigak
Iron Deposit is located 100 Km in west of Kabul the capital of Afghanistan between Bamyan and Maidan Wardag Provinces on ranks of Hindokush mountain, and, according to the survey this deposit have about 2 billion tons of iron and its ores have about 62% of iron. It is estimated that extraction of all of the iron from the deposit will take about 180 years. The council of Ministers has approved the plan for bidding of Hajigak Iron Deposit, but it conditioned to the variety of sub-projects like railway, power generation and other needed projects.” To learn more, click here or visit the Ministry of Mines website. To view the Request for Expression of Interest, click here.
Kabul International Exhibition
October 24 - 27, 2010
As part of the Afghanistan Investment and Support Agency’s (AISA) new Image Building Campaign for Afghanistan, AISA will have its second Kabul International Exhibition from October 24 – 27, 2010. The first exhibition – a smaller version of the upcoming - took place during the Kabul Conference in July 2010.
U.S. and other international businesses are invited to attend. This opportunity allows attendees to be exposed to Afghan products and services, attend an exhibition featuring Afghanistan’s capacities in their various business sectors, see Afghanistan’s recent economic achievements, and more. To learn more about the Exhibition, please view flyer or contact the Afghanistan Investment and Reconstruction Task Force.
Kabul International AgFair 2010: Agribusiness Industry, and Investment Opportunities
October 6 - 8, 2010
The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) invite U.S. and international companies to attend the Kabul Fresh Fruit and Vegetable International AgFair at the Badam Bagh Fairgrounds in Kabul Afghanistan from October 6-8, 2010. This will be the fourth AgFair held in Kabul. The previous fair, which had 220 exhibitors, was attended by 70 international business representatives and had over 120,000 visitors.
The AgFair provides an excellent opportunity for international business to: 1) Discover new investment opportunities in Afghanistan, 2)Participate in business-to-business meetings, roundtable and business networking sessions with firms involved in the export, transport, processing, and packaging of fresh and dried fruit and vegetables, cashmere and other products , and 3) Gain market share in the expanding Afghan retail market.
There will be opportunities for U.S. participants in the following subsectors (but not limited to): Agro-business products and technology, Machinery and Equipment, Seeds and Inputs, Livestock health, Irrigation Technology, Agricultural technology, Cold-chain management, Pesticides, Cultivation Techniques.
Visit the official website http://www.agfair.af/ for more information about the 2010 Kabul AgFair and contact Noor Alam at the Afghanistan Investment and Reconstruction Task Force at (202) 482 - 1421 or reach her by e-mail at Noor.Alam@trade.gov for more information on the USAID business mission. In Kabul, you may also get in touch with: Wazma Ayoubi, Phone: 93 (0) 794 10 04 29, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Sophie Barry, Phone: 93 (0) 793 41 08 11, Email: email@example.com.
ITA Visit to the AmericasMart July 2010 Market
July 14-15, 2010
On July 14 - 15, Noor Alam and Mary Lynn Landgraf of the Office of Textiles and Apparel visited the Atlanta’s AmericasMart July 2010 market. At the market, they gave an update on the Department of Commerce-led “Sheep to Shop” initiative to the Oriental Rug Importer’s Association members and board, and the AmericasMart executive staff. They also met and interviewed U.S. rug importers about the current status and interest of Afghan rugs in the U.S. market today.
New Iran Sanctions May Impact Afghan Trade
July 1, 2010
On July 1, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA). CISADA, among other things, imposes economic sanctions relating to Iran that go into effect September 29, 2010.
With certain exceptions, CISADA prohibits the importation of goods or services of Iranian origin directly or indirectly into the United States. No exception to this prohibition may be made for the commercial importation of an Iranian-origin good described in section 560.534(a) of the Iranian Transactions Regulations (31 C.F.R. part 560), such as carpets and certain foodstuffs (e.g. dried fruits and nuts).
The CISADA provisions will affect U.S. persons and non-U.S. persons (individuals and entities) who currently rely on the Iranian Transactions Regulations, 31 Code of Federal Regulations part 560 (ITR), to import into the United States carpets and certain foodstuffs (e.g., dried fruits and nuts) from Afghanistan that have been transshipped through Iran. Afghan-origin carpets and certain foodstuffs that are transshipped through Iran enter Iranian commerce and become goods of Iranian-origin, which U.S. persons and non-U.S. persons will be prohibited from importing into the United States after September 29, 2010.
Steps a U.S. person, company or financial institution may wish to take:
Learn about current Iran sanctions here.
Review the provisions of CISADA here.
Visit the website of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions, here.
2010 Afghanistan Country Commercial Guide Now Available
June 18, 2010
Every year, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul puts together an overview of the economic, legal, political, and financial systems in Afghanistan, with a view toward providing useful information for U.S. businesses interested in investment in or trade with this country. This report is now available in its most recent issue online, free-of-charge for your convenience. Read more
The 2010 Afghanistan Investment Climate Statement
May 28, 2010
The U.S. Department of State has recently released the 2010 Afghanistan Investment Climate Statement. Investment Climate Statements provide a thorough description of the overseas environments in which U.S. investors must operate.
The statements cover general characteristics, such as openness to foreign investment and treatment of foreign investors, as well as details about procedures for licensing and similar administrative matters. View report
New Survey Released on the Afghan Business Environment
May 6, 2010
A recent survey of the Afghan business community highlights Afghan businesses’ desire to engage policymakers in Afghanistan on the country’s most pressing business development challenges: security, government corruption and lack of electricity. Read more View Report
Afghan Marble Sector Featured in International Media
April 20, 2010
International attention to the sector continues to grow, with a recent Reuters article featuring an analysis of the sector drawbacks and opportunities. Read more
AACC–NDU: Opportunities in Afghanistan Construction, Infrastructure, and Logistics
Washington, D.C. Conference, April 15, 2010
The Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) sponsored an event on April 15, 2010 on Construction, Infrastructure and Logistics in Afghanistan. In order to help achieve construction and logistical objectives in Afghanistan, the AACC in collaboration with the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., hosted this one-day conference to inform industry about the opportunities and other aspects of doing business in Afghanistan.
The Conference presented a chance to harness professional engineers, architects and construction professionals of the Afghan community in the United States as well as non-Afghan American firms and partner those companies and professionals with Afghan and U.S. companies doing business in Afghanistan.
For more information, please contact AACC at 703-442-5005 or click here.
Second Afghanistan International Marble Conference Hosted in Heart
April 12-16, 2010
On April 12-16, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and USAID/Afghanistan Small and Medium Enterprise Development (ASMED) hosted the Afghan International Marble Conference II in Herat.
International investors, Afghan quarry and processing operators, industry experts, local and international business and government leaders identified investment and partnership opportunities and learned about important trends in Afghanistan’s fastest-growing marble sector.
The conference brought together resources on the latest technology, equipment and training innovations, as well as available financing and investment support. Participants learned the latest on improvements in the regulatory environment, and had the opportunity to meet key producers and potential joint-venture partners.
For more information, contact Ariana Monti at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 482-3754.