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Embassy Hosts “Afghanistan Business Dialogue”
Embassy of Afghanistan

10/05/2004

Washington, D.C. - As part of its continued efforts to promote investment in Afghanistan and to provide investors with access to capital, the Embassy of Afghanistan hosted the first seminar of “Afghanistan Business Dialogue” at the Embassy on October 5, 2004. More than 50 participants representing various US and Afghan-American firms attended the seminar. The Dialogue will include at least one event each month, focusing on areas and topics of interest to companies that want to invest and do business in Afghanistan.

Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad spoke about the important role of the private sector in the longer-term development of Afghanistan. He said, “The Afghan government believes that the private sector is the engine for growth in Afghanistan. Reform efforts are focusing on removing obstacles to private sector development. The government’s goal is for Afghanistan to become a service center and hub for trade and transit for the region.” Ambassador Jawad appreciated the assistance of the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) which was one of the first bilateral investment agencies to offer services in project finance and political risk insurance to potential investors to do business in Afghanistan.

The Dialogue was co-hosted by the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) and the Afghanistan International Chamber of Commerce (AICC). Mr. Atiq Panjshiri, the AACC President, briefly remarked about the investment opportunities in Afghanistan and encouraged the US companies to reap the numerous profits of being a “first mover” in Afghanistan’s emerging markets. He noted that “now is the time to invest in Afghanistan and make many profits before it is too late.” Mr. Panjshiri appreciated the initiative taken by the Embassy of Afghanistan to host the “Afghanistan Business Dialogue” with the support of the OPIC to facilitate business and investment in the country.

Senior officials of OPIC attended the Dialogue and gave presentations informing the participants of the OPIC finance and insurance programs available to the US companies. Mr. Abed Tarbush, Manager of Investment Development, expressed the full commitment of OPIC to helping US companies invest in Afghanistan and provided general information on the OPIC programs. Ms. Suzanne Etcheverry, Senior Insurance Officer, spoke about OPIC’s insurance program, while Ms. Mary Bequai, Senior Finance Officer, discussed OPIC’s project finance program. The seminar concluded with an informative Q&A session between speakers and the participants.

Contact:
M. Ashraf Haidari
(202) 483-6410, (Ex-811)
Haidari@embassyofafghanistan.org

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