Embassy News

First Afghan British Business Forum

Summary: The First Afghan British Business Forum created a platform for Afghan-led businesses to connect, to expand and to strengthen their business networks in London.

The Embassy hosted an unprecedented Business Forum on the 15th February, where more than 100 businessmen and -women participated. In continuation to last year’s Afghanistan-UK Business Conference, the embassy aimed to similarly create a platform for Afghan-driven businesses to connect, to expand and to strengthen their business network in London.

A wide array of businesses, of all sizes, across a number of different sectors, participated in the Forum to discuss opportunities and challenges regarding import/export, franchising, digital marketing, UK legal requirements and entrepreneurship. The participants welcomed the initiative, supporting the Embassy’s idea of establishing an Afghan British Business Council to bring together companies, organisations and individuals with a stake in helping Afghanistan succeed. Indeed, such a council would be able to advocate for Afghan interests and to promote regular exchange of information through conferences, seminars, networking events, publications and other avenues to promote business and investment.

The Embassy will continue to work with Her Majesty’s Government to expand trade and commerce to encourage investment in Afghanistan.

A big thank you to DLA Piper Global Law Firm, Ismail Miakhail, Geety Dost and Matiullah Sami, as well as our panellists and speakers, for your commitment to the Forum. We look forward to continued and active engagement with our diaspora.
The Afghan British Business Forum
 is a continuum of the First Afghanistan-UK Business Conference in September 2018, as the feedback received highlighted the need for more networking opportunities within the Afghan diaspora
Delivering the opening-remarks of the Forum, Ambassador Jawad said “our objective is to provide an intra-Afghan networking opportunity in order to create more synergy, to learn from each other’s expertise and experiences, and to identify new business opportunities.”
 “Afghan diaspora communities, such as yours, continue to play an important role in the economic development of #Afghanistan by promoting trade and foreign direct investment and by transferring new knowledge and skills” – Ambassador Jawad, Opening Remarks, Afghan British Business Forum
“While we are working to remove obstacles and to create opportunities for the #Afghan diaspora to engage in economic development in #Afghanistan, our aim is also to build a solid relationship with the Afghan-British diaspora to enable you to further succeed” – 
Ambassador Jawad, Opening Remarks, Afghan British Business Forum
Dr. Sharon Fitzgerald delivered the opening remarks on behalf of DLA Piper Global Law Firm.
Speaking on the topic “Starting a Business”, Hamid Kabir shared his experiences as the former CEO of Ariana Group and as the current CEO of NewBlock Properties LTD, which is a UK real-estate development and consultancy firm with a portfolio of over £20 million.
Speaking on the topic “Legal Requirements”, Pasoon Sadozai shared his legal expertise as the Managing Director of PSA McKenzie Solicitors in London and as the former Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in Afghanistan.
Speaking on the topic “Import/Export”, Wais Qais shared his experience as the Founder and the CEO of Afghan Knowledge Solutions (AKS) – a development consultancy company which works closely with donor agencies and international partner to support Afghan communities and businesses.
Dr. Waheed Arian shared his experiences as a CEO and Founder of Arian Global, emphasising the importance of innovation to successfully build communities, to form new partnerships, and to simultaneously achieve success in business.
Individual roundtable discussions were held for the attendees of the Forum, giving them a chance to communicate their individual thoughts and perspectives on issues related to starting a new business, social media, marketing, import/export and franchising.
The concluding panel of the Forum was moderated by Ambassador Jawad and consisted of experts within social media, franchising, entrepreneurship and import/export, sharing their insights from the roundtable discussions.
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