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U.S. Chamber Announces Government Award to Create Business Organization in Afghanistan

Sunday, May 16, 2004 - 8:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Chamber of Commerce announced that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded $5.9 million to the Chamber's Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) to create a business support network in Afghanistan to promote that country's economic and civil development over the next three years.

"This is an extraordinary commitment by the U.S. to help get business moving again in Afghanistan," said Daniel Christman, senior vice president of international affairs. "This award will go a long way toward advancing the economic and political goals in that country."

CIPE, an independent, non-profit affiliate of the Chamber dedicated to advancing democratic development and free-market economic reform, will work with existing Afghan business organizations to establish the Afghan International Chamber of Commerce (AICC) as an umbrella organization for national, regional, and local business and professional associations throughout Afghanistan.

In addition to providing technical assistance for the development of local associations, CIPE and AICC will provide Afghanistan's private sector with a voice in public policy by introducing the fundamentals of advocacy, establish an independent economic think tank to conduct local research and develop practical options for the local economy, and create a central clearinghouse of information and logistical support for domestic and international companies seeking investment opportunities in Afghanistan.

"The Afghan people depend on support from the outside world," continued Christman. "We're giving them the tools they need achieve new successes that will foster stability and sustainability for the future."

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

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