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ICAWED Organizes a One Day Conference in Balkh Province

On September 2, 2015, The International Center for Afghan Women’s Economic Development (ICAWED) of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) organized a one-day conference on Women Entrepreneurs and Export at Balkh province. Around 150 participants attended the event including Ms. Shahla Hadid, Head of Department of Women Affairs in Balkh, Mr. Shir Ahmad Sepahiezada, Director of Balk Commerce and Industries, Mr. Nasir Ahmad Qasemi Head of Balkh Chamber of Commerce and Industries, members of the international community and civil society, government officials, non-governmental organizations and women entrepreneurs.

 Women Entrepreneurs and Export Conference aimed on promotion of women led enterprises, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), with a specific focus on women exporter to regional and international markets- both existing and potential/ emerging markets.

 Ms. Zakia Soleiman, Director of ICAWED, opening remarks highlighted the main purpose of the event. "This event is to connect women exporters to regional agencies, policy makers and standardizing their products to meet market demands including capacity building trainings that ICAWED holds in center," she said.

Mr. Shir Mohammad Sepahiezada, and Nasir Ahmmad Qasemi, spoke about the importance of women in business and opportunities to promote business nationally.

Following the speeches, regional representatives from Department of Women Affairs, Export Promotion Agency of Afghanistan, Afghan Women Entrepreneurs, Investment Support Agency (AISA) and Raising Afghan Women Leaders Initiative (RAWLI) took part in a panel discussion on opportunities and challenges for businesswomen and entrepreneurs and export policies and procedures. They responded to queries of participants regarding export of their products in to national and international markets.

Panelist, speakers and participants suggested some recommendations such as promoting women-led businesses, establishing business expo center for women entrepreneurs, & facilitating business women with production equipments and machineries by donor agencies.

The conference was concluded by an extensive presentation by eminent authorities on branding and quality control.