A Belgian Catalogues Exhibition was held on Wednesday, 01 June 2001 at Exhibition Hall of ACCI. The exhibition included catalogues from 120 prominent Belgian companies representing different sectors including construction, agriculture, mining, health services, transportation and energy.
The exhibition was opened by Mr. Lastschenko, the Ambassador of Kingdom of Belgium, Mr. Mohammad Qurban Haqjo CEO of ACCI, Mr. Azarakhsh Hafezi, Board of Director member and a few other ACCI members, famous Afghan businessmen and journalists also participated in the opening ceremony.
Dozens of traders and business people visited the one-day exhibition in seeking for potential business partners and new opportunities.
Mr. Haqjo, appreciated the Belgian people for their contribution to the reconstruction and security efforts in Afghanistan and said that Afghan private sector expects international community to continue their supports after 2014, when the security responsibilities are planned to be handed over to the Afghan forces.
He also urged the Afghan government to improve the business and investment environment, control the corruption and bring necessary legal and reforms.
Mr. Haqjo encouraged Belgian companies to invest in Afghanistan and insisted that there are great investment opportunities in Afghan Agriculture, Mining, Health, Transport and Energy sectors.
Ambassador Lastschenko pledged that his country will continue its support for reconstruction of Afghanistan. According to Mr. Lastschenko, the international community shall support Afghanistan in improving good governance, strengthening the private sector and eradicating poverty.
“Belgium, like other European countries believes in developing a constant economic system in Afghanistan,” said the Ambassador, “however, Afghans should also seek reliable partners for developing of their economy.”
Mr. Abid Hussain, Belgian commercial attaché for Afghanistan and Pakistan who was the main organizer of the exhibition presented some information on Belgian economy and its capacities for trade and investment.
According to Mr. Abid Hussain, Belgian people make 0.2 percent of the world population while the country’s export makes 4% of the total world exports.
Mr. Azarakhsh Hafizi, member of ACCI Board of Directors and the head of ACCI International Relations Committee talked on the importance of the bilateral businesses between Afghanistan and Belgium and spoke about the background of trade relations between the two nations which goes back to 1950s.
Mr. Hafizi remembered the first business between Afghanistan and Belgium by Afghan Jewish minorities who were living in Afghanistan many decades ago. They were exporting precious and per-precious stones to Belgium and importing money exchange services (current system in Afghanistan). After that, a businessman named “Agha Bay” was exporting wool and leather of sheep to Belgium and importing wool manufacturing technology to Afghanistan.