The Economic Cooperation Department-RECCA Secretariat had the opportunity to participate at the Grape and Honey Festival co-organized by the Herat Chamber of Commerce and Industries and the Directorate of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock in Herat. The event was attended by high-level officials including the Minister of Agriculture, members of the parliament and provincial council, Governor of Herat, private sector representatives as well as representatives from the diplomatic community. The event also included an exhibition of agricultural products from Herat and other major provinces such as Kandahar, Helmand, Nangarhar and Balkh.
A side meeting was also hosted by Mr. Saad Khatibi, Chairman of the Herat Chamber of Commerce and Industries where the participants from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries and private sector representatives discussed the business and investment opportunities in Herat as well as the challenges that the private sector faces in gaining access to regional and international markets.
The need for operationalization of cargo flights between Herat and major cities in the wider RECCA region was emphasized upon during the meeting. Mr. Hassan Soroosh, Director General for Economic Cooperation, MoFA, briefed the participants about the ongoing activities with respect to private sector development and participation at both national and regional levels including under RECCA and HoA-IP. He highlighted the ongoing efforts to operationalize the Lapis Lazuli Route. He also explained about the new initiatives under RECCA including the establishment of a RECCA Chamber of Commerce and Industries.