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Afghanistan Highlighted at OPIC Middle East Investment Conference in Jordan


The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) held its first international investment conference in the Middle East from May 5-7, 2008 at the Kempinski Ishtar Hotel in the Dead Sea, Jordan. Titled “Access to Opportunity in the Middle East,” the conference aimed to bring together investors and businesspeople from across the Middle East, Afghanistan and the U.S. to discuss issues of importance to the region as well as to network amongst one another and meet the key players in the investment scene of the region. Khaleda Atta, Afghanistan’s Commercial Attaché to the U.S., and Murtaza Bahrami, Trade & Investment Officer, attended the event to facilitate dialogue on Afghanistan and share information on investment opportunities amongst attendees.

The conference, which was opened by the president of OPIC, Robert Mosbacher, and the Prime Minister of Jordan, Nader Dahabi, brought together over 200 members of the business communities and government officials of the Middle East, Afghanistan and the U.S. The main themes addressed in panel discussions included “Challenge and Opportunity: An Investment Overview of the Middle East,” “Access to Capital: From Microfinancing to SMEs,” “Access to Capital: Private Equity,” “Infrastructure,” “Energy,” “Tourism and Franchising,” “Information Technology,” and “Housing, Construction and Financing.” Two panelists covering Afghanistan in the discussions included Mustafa Kazem, Managing Director of the Afghan Growth Fund and Robert Lee, Managing Principal of General Systems International representing the up-and-coming Marriott Hotel in Kabul.

The conference resulted in great dialogue amongst attendees and a renewed spirit for U.S. companies seeking to invest across the Middle East.

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