This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 4/17/2016
Afghanistan has long been a trade hub connecting Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.  A landlocked country bordering Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, China and Pakistan, it is considered a “land bridge” connecting trading partners and offering a point of access to an expanded regional market of more than two billion people.  In addition, this sector represents a vital support industry to other sectors which will not be able to achieve growth without an upgraded transportation and logistics industry.
 
Inadequate transportation infrastructure is a major obstacle to increased commerce.  Road construction is a focus of the reconstruction effort. Major highway projects have been ongoing since 2002, including a nearly complete 2,400 km ring road circling the country and 700 km of links with neighboring countries.  The Salang Tunnel, situated within Parwan Province, is considered among the most important stretches of road in all of Afghanistan.  The 2.6km long tunnel has served as the major conduit for traffic traveling from Kabul to the Northern provinces and beyond to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan since its construction in 1964.  The reopening of the Salang Tunnel in 2002 was a major step forward in opening road links with northern Afghanistan. Bridges connect Afghanistan to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, and a rail line runs from the Uzbek border through Naziabad to Mazar-e-Sharif, which is about 75 km.  The Asian Development Bank is funding a $2.86 million 18 month feasibility study to expand the existing rail line. This study will analyze rail connectivity to Turkmenistan and Tajikistan (Aqina-MeS-Avaych/Sherkhan Bandar).  The rail construction is estimated to cost $250-$350 million. The Khaf to Herat rail project includes 76 km of rail in Iran and 120km from the border to Herat.  The phase from Iran to Rozanak, which consists of 62km in Afghanistan, is 70 percent complete.  The remaining phase (Rozanak to Herat) is on hold due to lack of funding by Afghanistan.
 
The market for logistics and transportation services offers first mover advantage to prospective investors with little competition and steady demand.  Early investors have reported modest start-up costs, relatively low overhead and high profit margins.
 
Opportunities exist in areas such as:
  • Cold cargo and perishables storage
  • Overland transportation
  • Truck maintenance
  • Customs facilitation
  • Air freight and cargo services
  • Package and document delivery
  • Procurement and supply
  • Warehousing

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Afghanistan Distribution and Logistics Trade Development and Promotion