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U.S. and Afghanistan Hold TIFA Council Meeting

July 13, 2007



Washington, DC – On July 11, 2007, during the second
meeting of the
U.S. – Afghanistan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement
Council, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Minister of Commerce and

Industry Dr. M. Amin Farhang and Assistant U.S. Trade Representative
for South
Asia Douglas A. Hartwick discussed ways to deepen the
U.S.–Afghanistan economic
relationship and to expand bilateral trade
and investment ties. Minister Farhang
also met with U.S. Trade
Representative Susan Schwab and Deputy U.S. Trade
Representative Karan

"We were pleased to host this second meeting of the
TIFA Council and believe that Afghanistan's integration into
the global
trade community is essential for the prosperity of the Afghan people

and for enhancing bilateral trade,” said Deputy U.S. Trade
Representative Karan
Bhatia.  “We will continue to support the
Afghans in this vital


The TIFA Council meeting included a discussion of the U.S.
Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) proposal announced by President Bush
during his visit to the region in March 2006.   This initiative, which
requires Congressional legislation, would allow duty-free entry into the
United States for certain
products produced in designated areas of Afghanistan and the border regions of
Pakistan.  The
U.S. and Afghan delegations
also reviewed progress in Afghanistan's accession to the World Trade
Organization, assistance in utilizing the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences
(GSP), and investment needs in Afghanistan's energy, mining and
agriculture sectors.  The two delegations also held discussions with
representatives of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce.

On July 10, Minister Farhang and U.S. Secretary of
Commerce Gutierrez signed a Joint Statement outlining a common agenda for future
commercial cooperation focusing on capacity building, business promotion, and
facilitating linkages between Afghan and U.S. businesses.


has opened its
economy to private sector-led development and has attracted
in infrastructure, transport, telecommunications, agriculture, and

consumer goods.  Afghanistan's world exports are $566
million and imports are $4.4 billion (2006).  The top investor
are Turkey,
Pakistan, US,
China, UAE,
Iran with total
investment of $2.4
billion since 2003.  Major exports include
carpets, fruits, and nuts. 
U.S. exports to
totaled $417 million last