On Monday, May 11, 2020, Harakat’s CEO, Mr. Noor Alam Hakimyar, hosted the second joint meeting with Afghanistan’s six business chambers. The attendees were Mr. Sayed Zaman Hashimi, CEO of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI), Mr. Rahimullah Samandar, CEO of Afghanistan Chamber of Industries and Mines (ACIM), Mr. Hassan Sepahi, Chairman of the Afghanistan Shopkeepers Chamber (ASC), Ms. Parwarish Oryakhail, Deputy CEO of Afghanistan Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI), Mr. Obaidullah Yousufzai, CEO of Agriculture Chamber of Commerce (ACC), and Mr. Abdul Qadir Bahman, CEO of International Chamber of Commerce - Afghanistan (ICC-Afg)
This month’s meeting began with participants briefly following up on the previous month’s action items, which were to develop a joint policy paper about COVID-19 impacts on Afghanistan’s private sector and to re-activate Inter-Ministerial Private Sector Executive Committee (PriSEC). The new discussion items included, creation of an awareness campaign to raise the voice of business owners that are affected by COVID-19, and to build a federation to act as the main hub for private sector entities to elevate their concerns with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA).
There was a consensus amongst respected chambers that a brief and precise action plan should be included in the policy paper before it is shared with GIRoA. Most of the attendees emphasized that it is the right time to share the COVID-19 policy paper with the GIRoA, given the dire situation at hand. The participants reaffirmed their commitment to ardently strive to retain the PriSEC, and they will advocate bringing other committees, which have been created in different ministries, under the PriSEC.
Also, representatives of the chambers promised that they will specify certain points and will jointly work to create the awareness campaign. Meanwhile, Harakat promised that it will provide technical support in this regard to all the chambers at any given time. Moreover, most of the participants concurred the creation of a federation to represent all the chambers, to raise the chambers’ problems and concerns, and to advocate on behalf of chambers to strengthen the private sector and investments in Afghanistan.