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US-Afghan accord on women entrepreneurs celebrated

US-Afghan accord on women entrepreneurs celebrated

Jun 16, 2013 - 20:10

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industries on Sunday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to memorialise the US-Afghan commitment to empower womeninfo-icon entrepreneurs in Afghanistaninfo-icon.

Signed by the United States on May 20, 2013, the agreement aims to address barriers to women’s entrepreneurship and develop initiatives that increase the ability of women to start, run and grow businesses.

The parties acknowledged a joint interest in ensuring the economic empowerment of women in Afghanistan as a way to strengthen their bilateral trade and investment relationship.

A statement issued from the US Embassy in Kabul said Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative Mara Burr celebrated the signing with Afghan Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industries Mozammil Shinwari, the US Embassy in Kabul’s Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs Dr. Ken Yamashita, women leaders, and government officials. 

The United States-Afghanistan Council on Trade and Investment (the “TIFA Council”), co-chaired by the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan, agreed to pursue the MOU at the Seventh TIFA Council Meeting on February 27, 2013. 

Addressing the audience after the signing, Ms. Burr said, “I am thankful to be part of this historic ceremony and to play a small part in helping women gain important opportunities so that one day they can achieve their full potential, and in doing so, enable Afghanistan to achieve its full potential.”

Mara Burr has been the Deputy Assistant Trade Representative for South and Central Asian Affairs since 2010.  Ms. Burr works with Members of Congress and staff to brief them on trade and investment matters in this region. 

She also is responsible for relations with US state government officials, including assisting in briefings on trade and investment issues for trade delegations and addressing trade and investment concerns for South and Central Asia. 

Burr leads USTR’s efforts on a number of Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFA) sub-committees, including those on women’s economic empowerment, transparency and public participation, and outreach on trade and investment policy issues.



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