Afghan Minister of Commerce visits Washington, D.C.

Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington D.C.

Washington, D.C. (April 7, 2012) - Minister Ahady visited Washington D.C from April 2-4 to discuss Afghanistan’s trade, transit and investment prospectives with his counter parts in the US Government and other key individuals as well as private sector representatives.

During his visit, Minister Ahady met with officials from the US Department of Commerce, Ambassador Marc Grossman, the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Ron Kirk of United States Trade Representative (USTR) and officials from the World Bank. He also met with a number of US private sector companies and provided them with information on Afghanistan’s trade and investment opportunities. US Department of Commerce is providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan, in particular with drafting consumer protection and competition promotion laws. A group of senior directors from the Ministry of Commerce were invited by the US Department of Commerce to participate in a two week high level workshop on fair competition and consumer protection.

The embassy of Afghanistan hosted a media breakfast where the Minister briefed the Washington based journalists about the challenges and achievements of trade and investment in Afghanistan. Minister Ahady talked about uncertainty of some in the Afghan business community in terms of security after 2014 who are probably hedging their bets with alternative plans. He encouraged the foreign investors that there are still enormous opportunities for investment in Afghanistan. “The Afghan Government fully supports the substantive content and aspirational goals of this long-term and reform-oriented effort toward private sector-led regional economic integration” Minister said.

Minister Ahady participated in a panel discussion hosted by Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. In his remarks he highlighted some of key outcomes of the Fifth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan held last week in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. “My Government is making efforts through various initiatives to engage the private sector in ongoing efforts to transform Afghanistan into a regional trade and transit hub that would benefit both its citizens and the peoples of Central, South, and South-West Asia”.