In the last week of January 2011, DECP met with an eleven fold delegation of high-ranking executives and staff of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI). The three day meeting was held at the ITC/ILO training centre in Turin and was very informative to both sides. ACCI presented itself as a very energetic, professional business-organization, with 37.000 voluntary members and with provincial chambers around the country.
The major problem ACCI and its members are facing is the poor state in which government in Afghanistan is, practically unable to uphold the rule of law and prone to corruption. ACCI was eager to cooperate with DECP and presented a longlist of assistance needed by ACCI on behalf of itself - like capacity building of its own staff - and on behalf of members, e.g. modern packaging skills to improve the export of fruits.
DECP will make a plan for the kind of assistance it can provide itself alongside ILO and ITC/ILO and has promised to guide other items on the list to organizations like PUM and CBI Rotterdam. These organisations will probably be able to help out on such other items.
Special guests during the meeting were Mr. Ehsan Turabaz, President of the Netherlands -Afghanistan Business Council and Honorary Consul General of Afghanistan in Rotterdam and Amsterdam and Mr. Ahmad Popal, who proved a great help in overcoming any language barrier. Both guests are Dutch of Afghan origin and their presence for sure helped to create a very open and very friendly atmosphere right from the start of the meeting.