The First German-Afghan Economic Forum Held

Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries “ACCI” and Deutsch-Afghanische Gesellschaft “DAGeV” organized the First German-Afghan Economic Forum on 9th & 10th February 2017 in Essen Republic of Germany.

The conference was attended by Mr. Khan Jan Alokozai, First Vice-Chairman of ACCI, Mr. Mohammad Dauad Yousufzai, Mr. Khairuddin Mayel, Mr. Ibrahim Zarif, Mr. Nezamuddin Tajzada, ACCI board Members, Mr. Mohammad Zia Azizi I.R Director at ACCI, Mr. Elias Omar, President of DAGeV, Mr. Oliver P. Kuhrt,  Managing Director of trade fair Essen, Mr. Abdul Rahman Ashraf, Former Ambassador of Afghanistan to Germany and prof. Dr. Stefan Heinemann, Vice-Rector of FOM University for Economy  and more than 50 prominent businessmen/women from both Afghanistan and Germany.

On the first day of the event, Afghan delegation led by Mr. Alokozai attended the official reception held by Mr. Thomas Kufen Lord Mayor of Essen and discussed the possible economic cooperation between the two countries. The delegation also attended the special reception of the trade fair organized by Mr. Oliver P. Kuhrt Managing Director of the world leading trade fair “E-World Energy & water” where more than 700 Companies from 29 Countries exhibited their products.

On the second day, The First German-Afghan Economic Forum was officially inaugurated by Khan Jan, Alokozai, First Vice-Chairman of ACCI, Mr. Elias Omar, president of DAGeV, Mr. Oliver P. Kuhrt, Managing Director of trade fair Essen, Mr. Abdul Rahman Ashraf, Former Ambassador of Afghanistan to Germany and prof. Dr. Stefan Heinemann, Vice-Rector of FOM University for Economy and Management followed by presentation, Panel Discussion and Business Matchmaking Sessions.

Mr. Khan Jan Alokozai while thanking the organizer and participants of the event said: “Afghan-Germen business partnerships can be traced to nearly a century ago when Germen engineers and technicians went to Afghanistan to help Amanullah Khan in implementing his plans for modernization of the country. Since then Germany has been one of the major destinations for Afghanistan agriculture products and handicrafts; and the Germen machineries and electronic products are famous for their qualities in Afghan market.”

He also added that “In recent history, and since the beginning of 2002, Germany has made a key contribution to reconstruction in Afghanistan. In addition to the security missions, the bulk of Germen supports are invested into good governance, followed by sustainable economic development, energy, water supply, education, health and cross-sectorial purposes.”

He further added that the German development cooperation primarily focuses on three priority regions: Kabul, Herat and northeastern provinces (Balkh, Samangan, Baghlan, Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan).

Mr. Alokozai reminded that: “ACCI and the private sector of Afghanistan, especially those in northern regions are grateful of the affective contribution of germen projects in business promotion and sustainable economic development initiatives. The GIZ supported ACCI in 2012 to establish a Research Unit where we survey businesses tendencies periodically and business bottlenecks annually. The GIZ still supports us in sustaining the project which has gained ACCI and the private sector an important position in lobbying and advocating business interests at home and abroad.”

He notified: “as a result of ACCI and GIZ partnership a comprehensive study of the almond, wheat, poultry, dairy and vegetable value chains are conducted in northeastern provinces. This has helped each value chain actor groups to share their concerns and achievements and feed policy making agencies with reliable and updated information.”

Why addressing the significant of the conference, Mr. Alokozai said that many efforts has been taken to establish bilateral business relations and exchanged bilateral business information between two countries; but the German private sector investments are still negligible; and that is why we expect that this First Afghan-German Economic Forum will help us to open a new window towards Afghan-German private sector partnerships.

He further added that “Afghanistan offers great investment opportunities especially in extractive industry, energy, agriculture, construction, tourism, hoteling, and health and education sectors.”

While encouraging the German private sector to invest in Afghanistan, Mr. Alokozai emphasized that “The reforms that started after the establishment of the National Unity Government is gradually causing changes; as for the first time in recent years our country's global position has improved six steps in terms of counter corruption efforts. This will no doubt effect positively on business environment and security. Therefore, we expect to see the current outflow of capital reversed, and to witness a sharp increase in foreign direct investments. And then, we hope German companies, who represent the biggest economy of Europe will be among the leading investors in Afghanistan.”