Marketing Country Report (Afghanistan)



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Please type the plan double-spaced. The first stage in developing an international business plan is to undertake a preliminary country analysis. Presented below are four separate sections to be completed for collection and analysis of market data and preparation of the plan: (1) Analysis: Cultural Environment; (2) Analysis: Economic; (3) Analysis: Market and Competitors; and (4) International Business Plan. The headings in each section are general and intended to provide direction to areas to explore for relevant data. Some topic headings are unimportant for some countries, so skip them. In the material that follows, “product” can refer to products or services.



The data obtained for this section provides vital information to guide the development of the business plan and to support managers in understanding the specific cultural dimensions of the country. Such information is useful to ensure the firm is effective in both developing the plan and interacting with the target market. Hence the information developed for this section serves a dual purpose both in the early stages of developing the plan and in executing the plan through interactions with country nationals. The information in this section constitutes more than simple facts. Managers responsible for developing and executing the plan should attempt to interpret how the information developed in this section affect the firm’s product, its adaptation (if needed) for the target market, and how to offer the product in the target market.


For example, an interesting fact about China is the influence of Confucianism, but the researcher must attempt to understand how such constructs influence various aspects of market behavior.


Executive Summary (Summary of the key points from the entire section, listing the most important items that the busy executive should be aware of; about 1/2 to 1 pages long)



Include a short profile of the company, the product to be exported, and the country with which the researcher wishes to trade.

History (brief discussion of the country’s relevant history)
Geographical Setting (especially location, topography, and climate)
Social Institutions

Family (nature and the role the family; nature of male/female roles)

Education (literacy rates; role and quality of education, at all levels)

Political System (especially type of political system and structure; political parties;

government stability; how this is evolving)

Legal System (code, common, socialist, or Islamic; intellectual property law; quality of the legal and regulatory environment for facilitating business)

Social Organizations

Group Behavior (is a country relatively individualistic or collectivist in its orientation?) Social Classes (including the role of social classes, if any, in organization of society) Race, Ethnicity, and Subcultures

Business Customs and Practices (very important; elaborate this!)


Religion and Other Belief Systems

Role of Religion in Society and Business (this may or may not be relevant, depending on country; usually a factor in Israel; Middle East; and South Asia)

Living Conditions

Diet and Nutrition, including typical meals and popular foods

Housing, including typical housing (apartments, homes, or other) Clothing, including types of clothing worn at work and for leisure Recreation, Sports, and Other Leisure Activities, if relevant Social Security or other Pension Systems

Health Care, including the type of health care system, quality of health care

Other Entitlements, if relevant




This section generally includes two broad categories: general economic data that serve as a basis to evaluate the economic soundness of the country; and information on business infrastructure, including distribution channels and media. As noted above, the headings in each section are general and intended to provide direction to areas to explore for relevant data.


Executive Summary (Summary of the key points from the entire section, listing the most important items that the busy executive should be aware of; about 1/2 to 1 pages long)



Total Population, as well as growth rates, number of live births, and birthrates

Population Distribution (including age, sex, migration rates and patterns, ethnic

groups, groups; geographic areas subdivided as urban, suburban, and rural, densities of these)

Economic Statistics and Activity

Gross national product (GNP or GDP) Growth Rate

Personal Income Per Capita Average Family Income Distribution of Wealth

Income Classes (including lower, middle, upper, and proportion of the population in each)

Primary Indigenous Natural Resources
Surface Transportation (modes, availability, usage rates)
f.Ports (main ports, quality of infrastructure, available services)
Communication Systems (types, availability, usage rates)
Working Conditions

Employer-Employee Relationships Worker Wages and Benefits White Color Salaries and Benefits

Labor Force (including size and unemployment rates)
Principal Industries
Inward Foreign Direct Investment (including type and amounts of key investment


International Trade Statistics

Major Exports (including product categories, dollar value per year, and trends)

Major Imports (including product categories, dollar value per year, and trends)

Balance-of-Payments Situation (e.g., surplus or deficit?)

Currency (including recent and historical exchange rates, and forecasts if available) Trade Barriers (tariffs, non-tariff barriers, quotas, import taxes, and embargoes, if any. Also include here any relevant information on trade barriers and regulations specific to the industry and product)

Inflation Rates (recent and historical)
Technology and Science

Level of Technology (computers, machinery, tools, and especially as this relates to the industry involved)

Percentage of GNP Invested in Research and Development

Technological Skills of the Labor Force and General Population (especially, as relevant to the industry)

Channels of Distribution (macro analysis, emphasizing the general level and quality

of distribution channels; later the researcher will report on the nature of channels specific to their industry and choose the most appropriate channel as part of the distribution strategy)


Retailers (relevant only if your product is primarily a retail good. Include the number of retailers, retailers per capita, the typical size of retail outlets, and the role of chain stores, department stores, and specialty shops)

Wholesale Intermediaries (number and size, usual markup and method of

the operation, method of payment)

Import and Export Agents

Warehousing (availability, quality, problem areas)

Penetration of Urban and Rural Markets

Media (macro analysis, emphasizing the general media available in the country; later, you will report on the media-specific to your company, and select specific media as part of your recommended marketing strategy).

Availability of Media

Cost of Media (report on the media most relevant to your industry, including television, radio, print, Internet, transit, cinema, outdoor, others)

Advertising Agencies (availability, major ad agencies, typical capabilities)



At this stage of the international business plan, the analysis becomes more specific to the product and its relationship to the target market. This information gathered in this section relates, particularly to the product and brand. In this section, the researcher analyzes the nature of the market, customers, marketing requirements, and the competitive environment.


Executive Summary (Summary of the key points from the entire section, listing the most important items that the busy executive should be aware of; about 1/2 to 1 pages long)


The Market

Description of the market(s)

Geographical region(s)

Transportation and communication available in the region(s)

Consumer Buying Habits (where, how, and why do consumers buy)

Distribution of the Product

Retail or Wholesale Outlets through Which Product Is Normally Sold Product

Advertising and promotion

Advertising Media Usually Used to Reach the Target Market(S)

Sales Promotions Customarily Used (sampling, coupons, and other promotion)

Government Participation in the Marketplace

Agencies that Can Help

Regulations (regarding the product)



The information gathered above is the basis for developing an opinion about the potential of the target market. In this section, explain the opportunities, problems, and threats identified in the previous sections to generate a viable business opportunity. This opinion reflects the researchers’ judgment.



Sources of Information for the entire document (REQUIRED) (Do not forget to track references. Do not plagiarize! It is okay to use someone else’s work as long as they are as a direct quotation. Put all cited references in the Reference section here.)

Source: Adapted from Cateora, Philip, Mary Gilly, and John Graham (2010),

International Marketing, 15th ed. New York: Irwin McGraw-Hill

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