University of Central Asia and Afghanistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs host symposium on “Trade and Cooperation between Central Asia and Afghanistan”

Date: 29 November 2012
Other languages: Русский язык |

On 12 November 2012, the University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Institute of Public Policy and Administration, in cooperation with the Afghanistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Institute of Diplomacy and Directorate General for Economic Cooperation hosted a symposium on “Trade Cooperation between Central Asia and Afghanistan”.

The symposium opened with remarks delivered by Mr. Wahidullah Waissi, Director General for Economic Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ms. Shelley Whiting, Deputy Head of Mission, the Embassy of Canada in Afghanistan; Mr. Aly Mawji, Diplomatic Representative, Aga Khan Development Network; and Dr. Bohdan Krawchenko, Director General, UCA.

Mr. Waissi, Director General for Economic Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, emphasized the importance of the symposium, saying: “This conference is the first of its kind and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports this initiative. Discussing trade recommendations within the region allows the Government to develop a strategic and coherent plan to build capacity and increase revenue and trade as the country transitions.”

Afghan media interviewing Mr Wahidullah Waissi, Director General for Economic Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.







The event served as a timely initiative to increase national capacity for effective economic policy development, with a specific emphasis on regional cooperation.

“Afghanistan needs to start looking at Central Asia as a permanent business partner - we need to be proactive in initiating trade agreements and take steps to build a sound economic relationship,” said Mr. Saeed Porto, Afghan Public Policy and Research Organization’s CEO and session moderator.

There were a series of panel discussions on the country’s trade potential with Central Asia: The Current Status of Trade between Afghanistan and Central Asia, Trade Development Strategies to Achieve Economic Growth in Afghanistan; Policy and Capacity Building Recommendations for Central Asia – Afghanistan Economic Relation.

“Central Asia has a wealth of natural resources. Regional trade should be used as an economic growth engine. Developing these relationships is key to promoting economic stability in Afghanistan and will provide a solid foundation for mutually beneficial bilateral relations,” said Dr Bohdan Krawchenko, UCA Director General.

Attended by representatives of various ministries and state committees, business associations, as well as academia, embassies and members of the non-governmental sector, the symposium also provided an opportunity for the Government of Afghanistan to present current government trade activities, future priorities and plans for promoting regional trade.

IPPA Project Coordinator Dr. Roman Mogilevskii, providing an overview of trade in
Central Asia and Afghanistan








Mr. Zhunus K. Yergaliyev, Political Counselor, Embassy of Kazakhstan in Afghanistan
sharing insights on trade with Kazakhstan.







The event received considerable media attention, including a round-table discussion aired on Afghanistan’s leading news channel, Tolo TV. Afghan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UCA researchers were on Dawood Sultanzai’s talk show discussing regional trade between Central Asia and Afghanistan.

The need for increased regional cooperation and dialogue between the Government and the private sector was emphasized. Chief Executive Officer of Hashemi Group, Mr. Faheem Hashemi, noted the significant potential for private sector linkages with both Afghanistan and other Central Asia countries, “Strategic targeting of the Afghan market, increasing infrastructure investment and import regulations are all areas in which the two sectors can work together.”

The training seminar and symposium were organized within the framework of the Regional Cooperation and Confidence Building (RCCB) project designed to strengthen the knowledge of public servants on current developments and dynamics of regional trade and economic cooperation between Central Asia and Afghanistan. The RCCB project is implemented by the University of Central Asia’s Institute for Public Policy and Administration with support from the Government of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and the Aga Khan Foundation, Canada (AKFC).

UCA’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration aims to provide in-depth analyses of economic policies and quality professional development opportunities for civil servants in the region. The Institute has produced and published a series of peer-reviewed original research papers on a broad range of topics dealing with social and economic issues, public administration and public policy as they relate to Central Asia and Afghanistan. Further information can be found at:

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