AFGHANISTAN: Afghanistan receives `Country of the Year` award from USTDA
Embassy of Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s successful partnership with the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) was highlighted during an honorary luncheon on february 15, hosted by USTDA on Capitol Hill. Afghan Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad accepted the award on behalf of the government of Afghanistan from USTDA’s Deputy Director Leocadia I. Zak to commemorate Afghanistan’s selection as USTDA’s 2005 Country of the Year. The special presentation took place during a ceremony attended by Congressman Jim Kolbe, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs of the Committee on Appropriations. Other key representatives from the Departments of State and Commerce, the National Security Council, Office of the US Trade Representative, USAID and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation were also present.

“USTDA’s selection of Afghanistan as 2005 Country of the Year is an honor for our country,” Ambassador Jawad stated after speaking about the achievements of Afghanistan. “In today’s divided world, the goodwill and commitment of the Afghan people to partner with the United States is an important asset for regional and global security. We are grateful to USTDA for recognizing this asset and paying close and careful attention to our country.”

Chairman Kolbe who recently returned from a visit to Afghanistan also expressed important comments during the award ceremony. “It is critical for Congress and Afghan leaders to exhibit a commitment to long-term development in Afghanistan. We in Congress are looking forward to continuing assistance to Afghanistan.” Chairman Kolbe also stressed the importance of trade capacity building programs like those of USTDA for Afghanistan while mentioning, “Our nation can look forward to Afghanistan as a viable partner in trade.”

“The economic recovery of Afghanistan and its transition to a democracy over the last four years has been remarkable,” said Deputy Director Zak in making yesterday’s presentation.  “USTDA is proud to have played a role in the country’s continuing development and looks forward to working with our Afghan partners to build on our mutual success.”

For more infomation, please vitis Embassy of Afghanistan’s Website at www.embassyofafghanistan.org