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Senator helps sponsor conference on business in Afghanistan

by Matt Kelley

Radio Iowa

11.01.2006

Diplomats lay the ground work, but Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the real roots of peace and prosperity lie in personal relationships. Grassley says that's why his office is helping sponsor a conference next week in Des Moines which aims to get Iowa entrepreneurs involved in forming business partnerships in Afghanistan.

Grassley says "I'm backing it because, obviously, economic development is very important for Afghanistan, for their long-term survivability, their economic as well as their political stability. There's a lot of entrepreneurship in Iowa that can be beneficial for businesses in Afghanistan."

Grassley says the Afghan Investment Support Agency is running the conference to bring awareness to Iowa businesses about development in Afghanistan and to promote partnerships between Iowa and Afghan businesses. Grassley says "There can be a lot of effort made by Iowa businesses to export to Afghanistan and just that combination makes it a no-brainer." He says the conference will provide unique networking opportunities for Iowa and Afghanistan-based business people.

Grassley says the conference is the first of what may be a series of meetings in Iowa and elsewhere that are designed to generate such partnerships. He says the meetings aim to bring awareness to North American business communities the most recent economic, legal and institutional developments in Afghanistan.

Grassley says "We have Afghanistan in an unstable position, particularly so much of their economy dependent upon production of illegal drugs and we can help them along with their economic development." He says "Trade and these personal contacts are quite frankly more beneficial to world peace than a lot of things the diplomats do. Diplomats set an environment for peace, but business relationships and personal relationships probably do more to break down barriers to international misunderstandings than anything else."

The conference, called "Investing in Afghanistan: The Heart of Asia" is scheduled for Wednesday, November 1st, from 10:30 A.M. until noon at the Greater Des Moines Partnership, 700 Locust Street, in Des Moines.

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