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President Karzai Meets with Private Sector Leaders


On September 26, President Karzai met with a group of high-level US business executives to discuss economic development in Afghanistan. The executives included CEOs or high-level representatives from Dole Food Company, Inc., Black & Veatch Corporation, Autodesk, Inc., Triple Creek Guest Ranch, Heidrick and Struggles, Chrysalis Ventures, and Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. The meeting was facilitated by the White House-led Businesses Building Bridges (BBB) initiative, which was first launched last January by President Karzai and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the London Conference to highlight the importance of the private sector in Afghanistan’s reconstruction.  High-level U.S. business leaders were later selected to offer strategic vision and guidance to Afghan leaders on how to activate private sector growth in their country.

The BBB leaders will develop a set of recommendations for the Afghan government and the Afghan private sector on ways to improve attracting and enhancing the private sector. During the discussions, President Karzai encouraged these corporations to pursue a relationship with the Afghan business community. Special emphasis was placed on agriculture, specifically Dole’s potential contribution to Afghanistan through assistance with the processing and export of high-value products such as pomegranates, melons, raisins, grapes and figs. In the near future, the BBB delegation will travel to Kabul to follow up on issues discussed during the meeting.

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