The United States and Afghanistan share the conviction that along with democracy, a free and robust economy is vital to an enduring, sustainable peace.”
For Immediate Release
Monday, June 14, 2004
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Government affirmed its long-term commitment to Afghanistan with the announcement of new public/private-sector initiatives designed to encourage international investment and the full participation of women in the growing economy.
“The United States and Afghanistan share the conviction that along with democracy, a free and robust economy is vital to an enduring, sustainable peace,” Andrew S. Natsios, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), said at a luncheon honoring His Excellency Hamid Karzai, President of the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan.
Ms. Karen Hughes, member of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council and former Counselor to The President, announced the new $5 million Women’s Private Sector Initiative on behalf of USAID.
Also announced was a three-year, $5.9 million project run by the Center for International Private Enterprises to promote private sector development in Afghanistan. This will include the creation of the Afghan International Chamber of Commerce and the support of other private sector business associations.
“The initiative, designed to support the direct participation of Afghan women in the free market, reflects the long-term commitment of the U.S.-Afghan partnership to the full participation of the women of Afghanistan in all sectors of society,” Natsios said.
Before the year is out, USAID will also initiate a $5 million, two-year parliamentary strengthening program to support the new Afghan legislature; provide nearly $70 million to support the Afghan elections; fund a Women’s Teacher Training Institute in Kabul to address the dire need for literacy instruction across Afghanistan, and begin work on the construction of three industrial parks to promote foreign and domestic investment.
“All of our programs in Afghanistan – whether in health, education, infrastructure, or supporting democracy – lay the groundwork for a country that is open for business and ready to participate in the global marketplace,” Administrator Natsios said.
In addition to Mr. Natsios, U.S. government officials addressing the audience of distinguished business leaders were United States Secretary of Commerce, Donald E. Evans and Undersecretary of State, Dr. Paula Dobriansky.
The luncheon, hosted by USAID, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was held today at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.
Last updated: January 27, 2015