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Minister of Commerce & Industries Makes First Official Visit to the U.S.

Dr. Mir Muhammad Amin Farhang, Afghanistan’s new Minister of Commerce and Industries traveled to Washington, DC, Des Moines, Los Angeles and New York during the first week of November to meet with senior U.S. officials and hundreds of representatives of U.S. and Afghan-American companies.

Minister Farhang began his trip on October 30 in Washington, DC as the keynote speaker of the second U.S. – Afghan Business Matchmaking Conference hosted by the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce. Minister Farhang delivered remarks on a changing environment in Afghanistan to over 200 business and government leaders at the Four Seasons Hotel. He was joined at the conference by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez and U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Nicholas Burns, and President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation Robert Mosbacher. In partnership with Secretary Gutierrez, a three-point plan was outlined in order to identify more practical means of enhancing commercial cooperation, such as developing the capacity to exploit Afghanistan’s licit agricultural resources for export, securing additional capital for small and medium sized Afghan companies, and enhancing export potential in Afghanistan’s key domestic industries of rugs, dried fruits & nuts and the mining sector.

During other meetings the concept of Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) for Afghanistan was highlighted, citing the importance of such initiatives for job creation and enhanced economic development across Afghanistan. Under the ROZ program, domestically produced Afghan goods from designated areas will be granted duty-free access to U.S. markets. “We welcome the creation of ROZs across Afghanistan and look forward to increased interaction with the U.S. government on this matter in the coming months,” stated Minister Farhang.

Immediately following the Washington visit, Minister Farhang accompanied staff of the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) on a three-city U.S. investment promotion road show from November 1 to 6 where he briefed business leaders in Des Moines, Los Angeles, and New York on the latest developments and reforms within the Ministry of Commerce & Industries.

“We are undergoing serious reforms within the Ministry of Commerce and Industries to ensure an accountable and able staff to meet the growing needs of both domestic and foreign businesses in Afghanistan,” said Minister Farhang. “We encourage U.S. companies to visit and seek opportunities for investing in our country.”

In Des Moines, Minister Farhang met with Senator Charles Grassley to discuss local environmentally-friendly technologies, and viable agribusiness links between Iowan industries and Afghanistan. In Los Angeles and New York the Minister spoke to audiences representing the IT, Telecommunications, and Construction and Finance sectors.

The week long visit concluded with an increased awareness of Afghanistan’s investment- friendly business climate amongst U.S. businesses, while creating local economic linkages between Iowa, California, New York and Afghanistan.

For further information on investment opportunities in Afghanistan, please visit or the AISA website

For background on the Ministry of Commerce & Industries please visit:

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