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U.S., Afghanistan Agree on Memorandum of Understanding to Improve Afghan Women’s Economic Empowerment

June 16, 2013


Washington, D.C. - Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Central and South Asia Mara Burr, Afghanistan’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr. Anwar-ul-Haq Ahady and Deputy Minister Mozaml Shinwari participated in the signing of the United States-Afghanistan Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Joint Efforts to Enable the Economic Empowerment of Women and Promote Women’s Entrepreneurship in Kabul, Afghanistan. The MOU will provide a bilateral framework to aid and empower women in Afghanistan, and will help ensure that women business owners and entrepreneurs have the same opportunities as their male counterparts. 

“The United States supports Afghanistan’s economic development and wants to see it become a strong, stable and thriving center of trade and investment in South Asia,” said Deputy Assistant USTR Mara Burr, “but this can only happen when Afghanistan is able to take advantage of all of its resources and the creative input and entrepreneurism of its entire population.” 

The MOU seeks to provide a basis for addressing barriers to women’s entrepreneurship, while creating initiatives to help women start, run, and grow their own businesses. Both governments are committed to providing strong support to policies and programs aimed at providing women with access to markets, as well as information about laws and regulations for running a business, including international trade rules, requirements, and preference programs. Both governments intend to solicit input from women entrepreneurs and women’s business associations on specific problems they encounter and on how the United States and Afghanistan can best work together to address and eliminate those problems. 

The MOU was concluded under the United States-Afghanistan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council. The United States-Afghanistan TIFA, signed in 2004, has been the primary forum for bilateral trade and investment discussions between the two governments.

To view a copy of the U.S.- Afghanistan Memorandum of Understanding on joint efforts to empower women, click here