IOS Partners & IOSsoft to implement Afghanistan National Single Window & Trade PortalIOS Partners and its affiliate, IOSsoft, have recently been awarded a US$1.2 million contract from the World Bank to assist the Afghan Customs Department in the implementation of the Afghanistan National Single Window (ANSW) and Afghanistan Trade Information Portal (ATIP).

Afghanistan faces some of the highest transportation costs in the world, which reduce the competitiveness of its exports by increasing the price of its goods. Afghani cargo must be transported across considerable distances to its closest international trade ports in Pakistan (Karachi and Gwadar) and Iran (Bandar Abbas), which, in addition to the low efficiency of existing transport services and networks in the country, significantly increases the cost and time taken to access international markets. As a result, Afghanistan only ranks 175 out of the 190 countries assessed under the Trading Across Borders sub-category in the World Bank’s 2018 Doing Business Index.

To help minimize these trade related costs and facilitate a more trade-friendly environment, the IOS Partners and IOSsoft team of experts will help develop a national blueprint for the establishment of ANSW and ATIP. “The scope of the assignment is to strengthen ANSW’s main business functions and underlying processes, as well as develop governance, operational, and ICT architectural models”, says IOSsoft’s Managing Director and the team’s IT expert, Pedro Souss. “In addition to this, we will do the ground work for the establishment of ATIP, which will be a key reference site for trade-related legal, regulatory, and financial requirements.” Business process streamlining and the design of an implementation and capacity building strategy for the ANSW will be performed at the later stages of this mission.

Since the Afghan Customs Department and the World Bank have already begun working on these activities, the IOS Partners and IOSsoft team will adopt a collaborative approach focusing on engaging with existing stakeholders and incorporating their contributions in the delivery of these services. IOS Partners’ assignment in Afghanistan is its third Single Window project of 2018, joining projects in Peru and Trinidad & Tobago, a clear development of the company’s rising expertise and reputation in this field.