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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs > Releases > Public Statements on South and Central Asian Policy > 2002

U.S. Government to Provide Internet Center to the Afghan Ministry of Commerce

Sally Hodgson, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Kabul
Agreement signing ceremony
Kabul, Afghanistan
July 13, 2002

[View photos]

The United States Government is providing Afghanistan with an Internet Center that will enable Afghan businessmen and traders to sell their products and services worldwide via e-commerce.

U.S. Ambassador Robert P. Finn and Afghanistan’s Minister of Commerce, Sayed Mustafa Kazemi, signed an agreement July 13 to provide the Ministry with Internet connectivity and 10 computer terminals. The Center is expected to be functioning within one month. The grant for the equipment and Internet service, valued at $50,000, is provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development/Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID/OTI).

After the signing ceremony at the Ministry of Commerce in Kabul, Ambassador Finn told a group of domestic and foreign reporters that the grant was "a little step, but a very important step toward moving the country away from war." He noted that there is widespread interest in Afghanistan on the part of American investors and that he had received a number of inquiries. He said some deals in the telecommunications and hotel industries are nearing completion, and added that a group of experts from the United States is coming here soon to investigate the possibility of developing Afghanistan’s oil and gas reserves. However, he cautioned that improved security is necessary for businesses to flourish.

Afghan Commerce Minister Kazemi thanked the United States for the grant and said the Center would give both Afghan traders and dealers, as well as the Ministry itself, access to the Internet. He said the services of the Center would be expanded throughout the country.

Minister Kazemi said he plans to travel to the United States July 24-25 for a meeting on Afghanistan, sponsored by Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. During the visit, he said he hopes to encourage closer ties between Afghan and U.S. businessmen, and to foster establishment of a sales distribution center in the U.S. for Afghan goods.



Released on July 13, 2002

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