Taliban hosts US private sector delegation, national investors in Kabul

A delegation from the private sector in the United States, accompanied by Afghan investors from the United Arab Emirates, held a meeting in Kabul with Taliban officials with the primary agenda to explore avenues for promoting investment in Afghanistan through the private sector.

During the event titled “Afghanistan Trade and Economic Relations 2023” held on Wednesday, the delegation delved into various critical topics, including the state of Afghanistan’s banking system, potential areas for investment, the status of Afghanistan’s frozen assets, and other pertinent matters.

Jeffery Grieco, leading the delegation, emphasized the substantial effort that went into organizing this mission, highlighting the support from the US government, particularly the State Department, which supplied a letter underscoring the mission’s significance.

According to him, this visit marked the first visit by a private sector delegation from the United States to engage in talks with Taliban since August 2021.

Grieco acknowledged the challenging two years that both Afghans within the country and those in the United States, Europe, and the global diaspora have endured.

He noted that the upcoming year would present its own set of difficulties, as international donors reduce funding for Afghanistan across various critical sectors, including humanitarian aid and food security. Part of their mission involved addressing this crucial funding gap, he said.

Grieco expressed a strong belief in the potential of the private sector to play a transformative role and provide support during Afghanistan’s challenging times.

“It is the belief of our board of directors and I think all of the chambers would agree that the private sector can be a powerful agent of change and an agent of support when a country like Afghanistan is suffering,” he said.

Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s deputy chief minister, assured the attendees of the Taliban’s continued support for investors. He disclosed the establishment of a committee of ministries dedicated to facilitating investors, both domestic and foreign, by streamlining processes and providing necessary support.

Other investors participating in the meeting voiced their need for increased support from the Taliban administration to kickstart or expand their investments in Afghanistan.