Tashkent – USAID is supporting private-sector led economic growth in Afghanistan by hosting a week-long workshop “Facilitating Trade, Promoting Economic Growth,” to promote trade between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. The workshop participants learned about gaining market access by leveraging World Trade Organization (WTO) membership; the importance of transparent government procurement processes for foreign direct investment; ways to speed up shipments and reduce costs for regional cross-border trade; and how to promote cross-border trade.
Presentations and panel discussions were led by representatives from the European Union, WTO, the International Trade Centre (ITC), and the International Road Transport Union (IRU). Participants included over 30 Afghan government officials, 65 Afghan private sector companies, and prominent members of the Uzbek Customs Committee and the Uzbekistan Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade. In addition, the Governments of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan sponsored a Business Forum to discuss key sectors relevant to each country; hosted a Business to Business networking event, an Afghan-Uzbek Trade Fair, a Public Private Dialogue, and an Economic and Trade Commission Joint session.
“Expanded trade and regional connectivity between Central and South Asia will bring economic benefits to all, through access to new markets and new trade routes,” U.S. Ambassador Daniel Rosenblum noted.