LONDON: British Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BACCI) chairman Dr Mohammad Hotak and country director for Afghanistan Dr Ziaurrahman Zia gifted SAARC Development Fund Partnership (SDF) CEO Dr Sunil Motiwal with Afghan saffron and an Afghan kilim on the occassion of SDF Conclave 2018 in New Delhi.
The gift represented Afghanistan’s two extremely important products and exports items.
The Afghan rugs and saffron are also two important products that form part of BACCI’s trade and export strategy for Afghanistan, and its initiative Buy From Afghanistan.
The Afghan Saffron has been rated as the best in the world by International Taste and Quality Institute from among 300 Saffron samples from across the globe.
Saffron is an important agricultural product with huge export potential and can play a major role in creating jobs for the country where millions of people, around 76% of the population depend on agriculture for their income.
Similarly Afghanistan’s carpets and kilims have won numerous international Best Rug awards in Germany, United States and India.
The Afghan rugs which are handcrafted by weavers using centuries old artisan techniques, make the rug a piece of art, an important interior design item and a socially responsible purchase that empowers people, families and communities.
The SDF conference was attended by prominent business leaders, financiers, bankers, government officials and civil society activists from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Addressing the delegates in a keynote speech, Dr Hotak highlighted human resources as the key asset of SAARC region and lack of connectivity as the biggest liability.
In his speech Dr Hotak said “In the last two days we had the opportunity to perform a situational analysis of where the SAARC region stands. We learnt that people are the biggest asset of the region and lack of connectivity a major liability.”
He added “The solution is pretty simple now since we know where SAARC stands. Our solution must be focused on better utilisation of our human resources and increasing connectivity for intra-regional trade, investment and economic exchange. As political disagreements in the region hinder physical connectivity, technology must be the tool of choice to increase virtual connectivity”
In line with the themes of the conference to alleviate poverty, ensure human development, education and health, Dr Hotak proposed to focus on promoting entrepreneurship and gender mainstreaming as the key solution.