Legal Market Overview
The market in Afghanistan remains affected by terrorism, corruption and currency devaluation, often preventing foreign companies from a market entry. Nevertheless, the country’s economy is projected to improve slightly going into 2020: the World Bank expects a GDP growth of 3.2% and 3.5% in 2021, respectively. As the local economy relies heavily on agriculture, favourable weather conditions and a quick recovery from the 2018 drought are the main factors contributing to this positive forecast. In addition, the energy and mining sectors are thriving and attracting some foreign investment, especially in the form of public-private partnerships.
After two delays linked to technical and management problems, presidential elections were held on 28 September 2019 despite Taliban threats to target polling stations. Unsurprisingly, voter turnout hit a historical low and several civilians were reported injured or dead as a result of Taliban violence. At the time of writing, the results of the presidential election are yet to be announced. Business in Afghanistan, especially with relation to foreign investment, is expected to experience a significant upturn once the political future of the country is clear.
The legal market consists of predominantly local firms as well as a few leading players with a strong international outreach such as Rosenstock Legal Services and Kakar Advocates LLC, the latter of which operates a strategic alliance with DLA Piper.