At a recent OECD Working Group Meeting convened in Dubai as part of the first peer-review project on economic reforms in Afghanistan funded by the EU, private sector development and the associated reform priorities in Afghanistan were discussed with high-level representatives from Afghanistan, OECD, EU, World Bank and the International Trade Center.
The meeting was opened by H.E. Mustafa Mastoor, Minister of Economy of Afghanistan, H.E. Pierre Mayaudon, Ambassador of the European Union to Afghanistan and Mr. William Tompson, Head of Eurasia Division, OECD. In the second session chaired by Mr. Ajmal Ahmadi, Economic Advisor to the President and Mr. Shafiq Ahmad Qarizada, Senior Advisor to the Chief Executive, speakers from Afghanistan presented the priorities and the ongoing work in areas such as finance and banking, agriculture, trade and SMEs, infrastructure and land as well the legal framework as defined by the Executive Committee on Private Sector Development of Afghanistan (PRISEC).
Mr. Hassan Soroosh, Acting Director General of Economic Cooperation, MoFA, delivered remarks on the private sector development and participation in the context of regional cooperation in the wider Central, South and South West Asia. He stated that the role of private sector remains pivotal in the next stage of development in this wider region. He added that “the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) has increasingly invested in the role of the private sector in furthering the regional economic cooperation agenda and Business-to-Business (B2B) partnership has long been an important component of RECCA’s agenda.” He briefed the participants about the recent steps taken under RECCA towards private sector development and participation including the development of new projects and activities such as the establishment of a RECCA Chamber of Commerce and Industries, the inclusion of women’s economic empowerment into RECCA’s agenda as well as the ongoing preparations for investment road shows in support of priority projects under RECCA.
In the third session of the working group meeting, the OECD participants presented a number of case studies in areas such as institutional and regulatory framework for SME policy making, service delivery channels for SMEs, access to finance for SMEs and internationalization of SMEs.