Afghan Third Regional Exhibition Held in Parallel to RECCA V in Dushanbe

The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce & Industries (ACCI) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Republic of Tajikistan (CCIRT) held the third regional exhibition from 26-28 March 2012 in Dushanbe. The trade fair was organized in parallel to the Fifth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference of Afghanistan (RECCA V).

During the exhibition 65 companies from six countries presented their products and services to visitors. Among them were 37 Afghan businesses, which showcased carpets, dried fruits, spices, marble, as well as services in IT, advertisement and printing. Furthermore, companies from India, China, Turkey, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan participated in the trade fair. As one of the main organizers, the ACCI was responsible for the management and preparation of the exhibition. In his opening speech the Chairman of ACCI, Hasin Fahim, stated that trade between Afghanistan and neighboring countries constantly increased in the last ten years. He called for better conditions in cross-border trade between the countries in Central, Middle and South Asia.

The exhibition was inaugurated by the presidents of Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan. The President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, asked the political leadership of its neighboring countries to set better conditions for investment and trade and promote visa facilitation for traders. The President of Republic of Tajikistan, Emamali Rahman, supported this idea and stated that economic cooperation is the key to end terrorism in the region. Equally, the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, said that trans-border cooperation would not only transform the economic landscape of the Central, Middle and South Asian region, but would also be an effective bulwark against extremism and militancy. In their opening remarks the Presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan thanked the Afghan and Tajik Chambers of Commerce for organizing the trade fair in Dushanbe in 2012. Hamid Karzai mentioned in his speech that the exhibition gives the idea of regional economic cooperation a face at RECCA V.

After the inauguration of the exhibition the Afghan Minister for Commerce and Industries, Anwarul Haq Ahadi, and the Chairman of ACCI, Hasin Fahim, lead a discussion on economic cooperation with Afghanistan. The Minister stated in his speech that Afghanistan provides enormous economic opportunities for foreign investors. In order to enhance regional trade he asked his Tajik counterparts to remove obstacles for traders from Afghanistan. Hasin Fahim highlighted that the joint exhibition in Dushanbe facilitated cross-border trade between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Since the first exhibition in 2009 the trade volume has increased by 50 percent. He believes that this success story has to be written further in the next year. The exhibition is a key project to bring producers and traders from the regional market in Dushanbe together.

From March 26-28 the Republic of Tajikistan hosted the Fifth Regional Conference on Afghanistan in Dushanbe. The Dushanbe conference considered various proposals and projects aimed to boost regional cooperation with participation of Afghanistan. High-ranking delegations from about 70 countries of the world as well as international and regional organizations attended the Dushanbe conference.

RECCA is a forum dedicated to advance Afghan stabilization and regional economic integration in Central, Middle and South Asian. RECCA V in Dushanbe is a follow-up to the November 2010 Istanbul, 2009 Islamabad, 2006 New Delhi and 2005 Kabul conferences.

ACCI cordially appreciates the cooperation with CCIRT in organizing the exhibition and thanks Kamair Company, Khurshid TV and Pixel Production for the financial supports.