Afghanistan's economic development is critical to sustaining the achievements made since the defeat of the Taliban and is important in the fight against terrorism, warlordism and narcotics. Understanding this importance, Afghanistan and the United States have entered into a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. The private sector needs to serve as the engine for growth in creating jobs, expanding trade, and supporting sustainable development. A central figure in the strategic U.S.-Afghan relationship, H.E. Hedayat Amin Arsala, Senior Advisor to the President and Minister of Commerce, will speak on the strong bond between the two nations and the importance of strengthening bilateral economic ties by improving the capacity of Afghanistan's private sector, eliminating trade barriers, promoting regional economic cooperation, addressing the illicit opium trade, and working through the new U.S.-Afghan Council on Trade and Investment to achieve these shared goals. Afghanistan's Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Said Tayeb Jawad, and Dr. Omar Zakhilwal, the President and CEO of the Afghan Investment Support Agency, will also participate.

Date/Time: Monday, December 5, 2005 – 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Location: 5TH floor Conference Room (Ronald Reagan Building: One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW ("Federal Triangle" stop on Blue/Orange Line.) Public parking is available in the Reagan Building; however, we recommend coming by metro or cab. A map to the Wilson Center can be found at ****Special Note: A photo I.D. is required for entry.