The Embassy of the Netherlands in Afghanistan launched the Orange Business Network, an initiative to support small and medium enterprises in the start-up and scale-up phase on Wednesday.
The event was held at the Dutch Embassy and was hosted by Ambassador Ernst Noorman. Guest of honor Minister of Economy Mustafa Mastoor attended the event as well as representatives of the business community and the diplomatic corps.
Ambassador Noorman said: ‘In front of me, I see the future of Afghanistan. A group of young women and men, who with their businesses will contribute towards shaping a prosperous Afghanistan’. Minister Mastoor added: ‘The enterprises that are part of this network will have important contributions to the Afghan GDP’.
The Netherlands Embassy in Kabul said in a statement that the Orange Business Network is part of a larger commitment of the Netherlands to support Afghan enterprises through private sector development.
In the past eighteen years, there has been much effort to support Afghan companies to enter international markets. However, challenges remain. Difficulties are the constantly evolving international standards, technological challenges, internal bureaucratic limitations, and unfortunately also the still the on-going conflict and insecure political situation said in the statement.
According to the statement, Netherlands stands ready to help the Afghan enterprises to acquire the adequate tools to deal with or overcome these challenges in order to grow and be able to deliver their products to both the local and international markets.
The members of the network are enterprises active in agriculture, construction, IT, renewable energy, food industry, poultry and dairy products. Sectors that are very substantial in the Netherlands as well, which itself is one of the twenty largest economies in the world and the second-largest exporter of agricultural products in the world.