The Afghan American Chamber of Commerce in cooperation of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI), Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA), the Afghan Builders Association (ABA) and other organizations organized the 11th Annual U.S - Afghanistan Business Matchmaking Conference (BMC 2015)on December 8 - 10 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C around Some 150 Afghan businesspeople and government officials attended with an expected total turnout of over 300 people.
The event was officially inaugurated by the keynote speeches of AACC Chairman and President and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ACCI Mr. Atiqullah Nasrat. While addressing the conference Mr. Nasrat the CEO of ACCI highlighted the business opportunities of Afghanistan in his remarks and encouraged the US business to invest in Afghanistan. The ACCI delegation was comprised of (the CEO, Deputy CEO, Foreign Trade Promotion Manager and other key staff of ACCI), actively attended 3 days event, panels discussion, networking events and one on one session and represented the ACCI and business the community of Afghanistan. Besides that, high ranking government officials from Afghanistan including H.E the ambassador of Afghanistan in US, the private sector advisor to H.E President of Afghanistan, the Deputy Minister of Mine and other key government officials also attend the event.
This conference has been the longest running venue for Afghan and U.S. businesses to meet and forge business relationships across continents. For the eleventh consecutive year, this conference bring together a large contingent of businesses from Afghanistan and senior Afghan and U.S. officials and key U.S. and ‘western’ businesses active in Afghanistan. Beyond that, it was the opportunity for creative networking among Afghan and U.S. business people and key government officials from both countries and international financial organizations that makes the event so successful. The unique networking format includes ‘one-on-one’ sessions for attendees with speakers and panelists in the afternoons of the Conference.
As this is a difficult period for Afghanistan given the transition from a donor-base, contract economy, to a more market-based situation where private companies become the major wealth generators. Therefore the goal of this chain of event is to facilitate promotion of business-to-business relationships as the cornerstone of investment and trade between the U.S. and Afghanistan, and as a key factor in achieving stability in Afghanistan.
There were great panel discussion covered issues of Transportation, Agriculture, Energy and Power, Mining, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Infrastructure, Financing Afghan Development and a panel on Women in the Afghan Economy. Commercialization of key airbases in Afghanistan was also a key panel for attendees and the Deputy CEO of ACCI Mr. Abdul Qadir Bahman had a chance to speak on behalf of ACCI and Afghanistan business community. A special award given for Progress in Economic Governance and the hard work was done for accession of Afghanistan to WTO. The award was given to Mr. Muzamel Shinwari, the Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), and it was presented to H.E the Ambassador of Afghanistan in the United State on behalf of Mr Shinwari.
To view this event photos, please click here.