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The American Chamber of Commerce in Afghanistan hosted a Gala Dinner at the JW Marriott in Dubai in conjunction with the Afghanistan Spotlight: Emerging Opportunity in the New Afghanistan, cohosted with the Commercial section of the US Embassy in Kabul.
The dinner was sponsored by AZ Corporation which operates the Aria Water Plant. A long-time supplier of water to the military, the bottling company is now developing a market in the Afghan private sector for its products. “The future of Afghanistan is also AZ Corp’s business and as an Afghan owned and operated institution we are proud to be a part of helping Afghanistan to develop its economy,” said Col Keith A Seiwell, AZ Corp’s CEO.
Three dinner speakers exemplified the distinctive diversity of major business interests in Afghanistan.
Fathi Taher, Chairman of TaherInvest, described the soon-to-be-completed 5-star hotel and residence block in Kabul that will be operated by Rotana Hotels. The multi-story hotel includes suites, ballrooms, gymnasiums, and swimming pools.
John Villar, Founding Partner, Strategic Development Advisors, traced the history, geology, and spectacular promise of oil and gas deposits in Afghanistan and the region, noting that Afghanistan’s portion of profits is at least a few billion US dollars.
Finally, in a ‘surprise’ appearance, Shakir Fattah, owner of JCSM Sports Management and Promotions, announced an Afghan football tournament to be played in Dubai during the Afghan New Year. Afghan teams from around the world have been recruited to spur the growth in professional sports in Afghanistan.
“This has been an auspicious occasion for us,” said Elspeth Smith, Executive Director of the AmCham/Af. “I think it exemplifies the caliber of business opportunities in Afghanistan and the vibrancy of the American Chamber to help promote and support that growth.”
Many AmCham/Af members were in attendance, including Board members Marion Day, Najibullah Khusbin, and Mowdood Popal as well as Founding Board members, Majdood Popal, Tom Rosenstock, and Masuda Sultan.