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  • Mr. Azizullah Stanikzai, Deputy General Director of Trade and Investment in the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, engaging in a discussion during UCA's symposium on "Trade and Cooperation between Central Asia and Afghanistan". Mr. Stanikzai also participated in UCA's 10-day trade policy and negotiations training programme in Issyk-kul, Kyrgyz Republic, held in August 2012.
    Aziz Jan / UCA
UCA and Afghanistan organise Symposium on “Trade and Cooperation between Central Asia and Afghanistan”

Kabul, Afghanistan, 12 November 2012 – The University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Institute of Public Policy and Administration (IPPA), in cooperation with the Afghanistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Institute of Diplomacy and Directorate General for Economic Cooperation, organised a symposium on “Trade Cooperation between Central Asia and Afghanistan” on 12 November 2012.

The symposium opened with remarks delivered by Mr. Wahidullah Waissi, Director General for Economic Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ms. Shelley Whiting, Deputy Head of Mission, the Embassy of Canada in Afghanistan; Mr. Aly Mawji, Diplomatic Representative, Aga Khan Development Network; and Dr. Bohdan Krawchenko, Director General, UCA.

“UCA is delighted to work with the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Institute of Diplomacy and Directorate General for Economic Cooperation the issue of expansion of trade between Afghanistan and Central Asia is important for regional stability,” said Dr Krawchenko.

Representatives of ministries and state committees, business associations as well as independent experts and members of the non-governmental sector participated in sessions covering: Trade Development Strategy to Achieve Economic Growth in Afghanistan; Promoting Trade between Afghanistan and Central Asia; Recommendations for Central Asia – Afghanistan Economic Relations; and Capacity Building in Trade Issues.

Mr Wahidullah Waissi, Director General for Economic Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized the significance of this collaboration: “Central Asian countries and Afghanistan is at heart, one of the most immensely rich and diverse regions in the world. Our enhanced regional cooperation provides an opportunity to connect land locked energy rich Central Asia with warm water ports in Gulf countries and energy deficient South Asia. It is timely to build on and enhance our synergies," he said.

The Symposium follows IPPA’s recent 10-day training held in Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan, on trade policy and negotiations for 60 civil servants from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan. Led by top trade negotiations experts from Carleton University, Canada, the training covered topics ranging from trade economics, policy analysis and strategic options, trade barriers and tariff regimes, to international finance and international trade negotiation. Topics for the symposium were informed by issues identified by participants in the training including the importance of infrastructure development, small and medium enterprises, capacity building, integrating Afghanistan into the world economy and developing a tariff regime.

The training seminar and symposium were organized within the framework of a Regional Cooperation and Confidence Building (RCCB) project designed to strengthen the knowledge of public servants on current developments and dynamics of regional trade and economic cooperation between Central Asia and Afghanistan. The RCCB project is implemented by the University of Central Asia’s Institute for Public Policy and Administration with support from the Government of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and the Aga Khan Foundation, Canada (AKFC).

UCA’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration aims to provide in-depth analyses of economic policies and quality professional development opportunities for civil servants in the region. The Institute has produced and published a series of peer-reviewed original research papers on a broad range of topics dealing with social and economic issues, public administration and public policy as they relate to Central Asia and Afghanistan. Further information can be found at:

For further information please contact:
Nisar Keshvani
University of Central Asia
138 Toktogul Street, 720001 Bishkek
Kyrgyz Republic
Mobile: +996 (0) 770 822 851

Ahmad Muslim
Aga Khan Foundation (Afghanistan)
P.O Box 5753, House No. 41, Street No. 2, Qala-e-Fatullah, Kabul, Afghanistan
Mobile: +93 (0)798589868/0786600882

Spozhmai Salma
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Afganistan
Charahi Malik Asghar, Kabul, Afganistan
Mobile: +93 (0) 700 241 774


The University of Central Asia (UCA) was founded in 2000. The Presidents of Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Kazakhstan, and His Highness the Aga Khan, signed the International Treaty and Charter establishing this secular and private University; ratified by the respective parliaments, and registered with the United Nations. UCA brings with it the commitment and partnership of the broader Aga Khan Development Network. For more information, please visit the UCA website at

The Aga Khan Development Network . His Highness the Aga Khan is founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a group of private, non-denominational development agencies working to empower communities and individuals to improve their quality of life, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East. The Network’s nine development agencies focus on social, cultural and economic development for all citizens, regardless of gender, origin or religion. The AKDN’s underlying ethic is compassion for the vulnerable in society. Its annual budget for non-profit development is US$625 million. For more information, please visit the AKDN website at