The Second Afghan-Turkish International Exhibition was held for two days, from 2-4 April 2012 in City Star Exhibition Hall, in Kabul. Hundreds of different Afghan and Turkish products were displayed in this joint ACCI and Afghan-Turk Industrial & Business Association (ATSAID) initiative. There were 15 Turkish and 35 Afghan booths, exhibiting different products including dried fruit, PVC, foodstuffs, carpet, furniture, cloths, machineries and electronics.
Mr. Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal Minister of Economy, Mr. Basat Öztürk, Turkish Ambassador to Afghanistan, Mr. Sham L. Batija Senior Economic Advisor to the President, Mr. Khan Jan Alkozay, deputy chairman of ACCI, Mr. Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, CEO of ACCI, Mr. Murat Akyuz, Secretary General of ATSIAD and some 150 other Afghan and Turkish business people participated in the opening ceremony of the exhibition.
Some of the mentioned dignitaries spoke on the importance of the exhibition and the highlighted the positive impacts of bilateral economic relations between Afghanistan and Turkey.
Speaking in the opening ceremony, Mr. Haqjo praised the role of Turkey in global and regional economic cooperation. “Turkey can bridge Afghanistan to Europe,” said Mr. Haqjo. “It is also a good model for Afghanistan to follow and we need to learn the way Turkish people modernized their country.”
According to Mr. Haqjo, Turkish aids and projects in Afghanistan were significant during the last ten years and the country played a major role in post-Taliban reconstruction efforts. “More than $1.00 worth projects and aid programs were implemented by Turkey, during the last decade,” said Mr. Haqjo, adding, “Bilateral trades were also growing, but in a cooperatively slow pace.”
The current annual trade between Afghanistan and Turkey is around $300,000,000.00, which is “small and not enough,” according to Mr. Hqjo.
Minister Arghandiwal appreciated the organizers of the Exhibition for their efforts to improve mutual trade relations between the two nations. He called on Afghan investors and manufacturers to improve the standards of their products to compete with the imported products and help Afghan Economy to grow.
Ambassador Basat Öztürk underlined the importance of mutual relationship between the two nations which “goes back over thousands of years.” He assured that his country will continue its support to Afghan people beyond 2014.
The Ambassador pledged that his government will encourage Turkish investors to increase their investment in Afghanistan, especially in the sectors that Afghanistan has a competitive advantage, including the promotion of dried and fresh fruit products and introduction of modern packaging methods, in order to increase the marketability of existing Afghan products in global markets.
ACCI is mandated to help develop domestic products and pave the ground for foreign direct investments, and as well as to improve business relations between Afghanistan and its global partners. Therefore every year we organize a number of exhibitions in Afghanistan and abroad.
Last year we held the First Afghan–Turkish joint exhibition which was limited to construction materials and home appliances.
We believe such exhibitions help boost the existing trade relations and increase the exchange of knowledge and expertise between the private sectors of the two nations. In future ACCI is committed to organize more business fairs inside and outside the country.