LEVEL OF EFFORT: 30 Total LOE Days
PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: December 15, 2020 to February 28, 2021
BASE OF OPERATIONS: Kabul, Afghanistan
Afghanistan Value Chains – High Value Crops (AVC-HVC) is a market-oriented project that operates throughout the country, with regional offices in Kabul, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad, and Kandahar. AVC-HVC promotes sustainable agriculture-led economic growth, in line with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock’s National Comprehensive Agricultural Development Priority Program. Afghanistan’s high value crops sector contributes significantly to the country’s economic growth and employment.
Building on past U.S. Government investments in agriculture, AVC-HVC represents USAID’s shift towards private-sector engagement and agriculture-led economic growth by building the capacity of enterprises operating in the high value crops space to penetrate and sustain a position in high-end markets, meeting the quality and food safety requirements of end costumers and influencing systemic change in the value chains.
Recently, AVC-HVC has been tasked with supporting the efforts of the Afghan government to negotiate better terms of trade with Pakistan, including exports to and through Pakistan. The two countries have an existing transit trade agreement, the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA), signed in 2010 but there have been significant barriers to full implementation. As the current APTTA will expire in February 2021, negotiations for renewal of the agreement have gained momentum and the project has a need for expert support.
OBJECTIVES AND TASKS
The Trade Economist will provide technical support to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Industries and Commerce (MoIC) in the negotiation of a revised APTTA, as well as a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Pakistan by undertaking rapid economic analyses of the impact of reducing or eliminating tariffs on key Afghan industries and on the agricultural value chains. These analyses will inform the Afghan government during the negotiation process.
- In collaboration with project staff, analyze the list of items being considered for inclusion in the PTA and segregate them in sensitive and non-sensitive categories
- Conduct a rapid review of available production and trade data, and propose a suitable methodology for the analysis of the impact of the reduction or elimination of tariffs on each of the goods in the sensitive item list
- Conduct the analysis for each of the sensitive items
- Provide policy recommendations regarding the convenience of including each of the sensitive items in the PTA. In those cases, in which the item is recommended for inclusion, propose an appropriate tariff level, ensuring minimum negative impacts on domestic producer welfare
- Draft report and/or presentation of findings for each sensitive item/product for non-technical audiences, not to exceed five (5) pages. Estimated number of sensitive items, and therefore the number of analysis pieces is between 6 and 10.
- Between 6 and 10 analysis pieces for each sensitive item/product for non-technical audiences.
- Degree in economics, or agricultural economics
- Post-graduate qualifications, or extensive experience in quantitative analysis and familiarity with partial equilibrium and gravity models
- Familiarity with sources of secondary trade data
- Flexible and adaptable personality with an innovative nature, able to devise ways to operate with significant data constraints and produce defendable conclusions
- Able and willing to work under pressure and deliver results that will influence trade policy in great scale
- Able and willing to travel to Afghanistan, and possibly Pakistan
- Cultural sensitivity
The Trade Economist will report to the project Chief of Party.