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Private Sector Event
Remarks by Ambassador Said T. Jawad

The Embassy of Afghanistan 12/04/2003

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Jack Kemp, honorable Don Ritter, Mr. Delawari welcome to the Afghan Embassy.

It is my pleasure to host this event in honour of Delawari. Before I give I give the floor to Mr. Jack Kemp to say a few words about the importance of private sector for sustained economic growth in Afghanistan, and than to Mr. Delawari, I would to discus briefly three issues:

First. Our commitment to Free Market Economy:

We are fully committed to an open market economy and see the private sector as the true engine for growth. We have moved aggressively to create the legal and financial framework of an environment conducive to private sector growth. To attract foreign direct investments, we have adopted new liberal investment laws and issued decrees to safeguard property rights and foster free market economy. We have also created a High Commission for Investment to expedite policy decisions on foreign and domestic investments. Afghanistan is open to business, and would like to see a higher degree of investment in the priority areas of road building, transportation, communications, energy generation, mining, building water dams and power generation. We have serious problem with corruption and nepotism.

Second, Today, I presented my credential to President Bush.

I am honored to present Afghanistan in a historic juncture of our history. My mission is to strengthen the cooperation and partnership between US and Afghanistan.

The bedrock of our cooperation is our common interest to secure complete victory over terrorism, as a menace to humanity. To make Afghanistan, the region and the world a safer place. The basis of our partnership is our shared vision of building a constitutional state that guarantees the safety, security and civil liberties of its citizens, promotes prosperity, democracy, women’s rights, rule of law and self sufficiency. We have just achieved yet another milestone toward realizing this vision. The first draft of the constitution, after broad consultation with the Afghan people, has been released.

Third, tomorrow is the anniversary of the Bonn agreement. Two years ego the participants of the Bonn agreement called on satellite phone President Karzai on a cold hut on the mountains of Uruzgon. Although President Karzai was not prepared for a formal speech, he spoke from his heart. He demanded everyone not to refer to me just as a Pashtun leader. I said he was an Afghan, as all people of Afghanistan irrespective of their ethnicity, language and tribe are Afghans.

His most important decision was when he moved to Kandehar and decided to enter Kabul. The elder of Kandehar told him to take a few thousand men with him. He decided to enter Kabul unarmed and alone as a mean of peace. He signaled an end to era of war. The people of Afghanistan embraced this as a clear break with the past. He wanted to convey to the world that from this day on an unarmed man will take charge and that guns will never again rule my country.

Today Afghanistan, from a neglected and isolated state, has emerged as a model of cooperation of civilization.

The reconstruction process is moving ahead with speed – so much so that we have a problem in finding enough skilled laborers. In Kandehar alone there are over 12 thousand Pakistani construction workers.