Friday, 28 April 2017
The Balkh International Business Exhibition kicked off in the city of Mazar-e Sharif in northern Afghanistan
More than 100 female and male exhibitors from different sectors and provinces participate in the four-day event, where they can promote their products and create business networks. 35 of them received financial support from the Afghan-German Cooperation’s program for sustainable economic development and employment promotion (SEDEP). This year’s exhibition focuses on women-owned enterprises. Many female owners of small and medium-sized companies display their products in trade booths to attract customers and investors. “The business environment in Afghanistan is not always women-friendly which makes it difficult for us to get access to the market. The exhibition provides me and other businesswomen with the opportunity to introduce and to sell our products and to form business networks. This makes it a lot easier for us to access the market. Of course, the event also increases our products’ reputation and popularity,” said Farzana, one of the female entrepreneurs participating in the event. The exhibition also aims at strengthening business linkages and cooperation between provincial and regional entrepreneurs in Afghanistan’s Northern provinces. To that end, the German program for sustainable economic development and employment promotion (SEDEP) supported the 35 input suppliers, farmers, processors, and traders from Balkh, Takhar, Samangan, Baghlan, and Badakhshan. The Balkh trade fair is open to all visitors and lasts four days. The project Sustainable Economic Development and Employment Promotion (SEDEP) is financed by the German government and supports various activities to strengthen businesses and create jobs in Afghanistan in the following five value chains: nuts, dairy, poultry, wheat and vegetables. Apart from training and infrastructure development initiatives, the project also helps to establish dialogues between public and private sector actors. Farmers and government can address concerns and draft policy recommendations to improve economic opportunities.
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