News | June 07, 2017

Afghanistan Reconnected: International Symposium on Renewed Opportunities Under China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Beijing, China — The EastWest Institute (EWI), the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (CAITEC), the National Institute of Strategic Communication at Peking University (NISC), and the Centre for China & Globalization (CCG) will co-host the international symposium “’Afghanistan Reconnected’: Renewed Opportunities Under China’s Belt and Road Initiative” in collaboration with the Embassy of Afghanistan to China, Kabul University and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) from June 15-16, 2017. 

The symposium will focus on ways to unlock both Afghanistan’s and the region’s economic potential during a time of transition, and on fresh opportunities provided by China’s Belt and Road Initiative. In light of a declining security situation, these discussions will be a timely reminder of the importance of stabilizing Afghanistan and utilizing its strategic location as a pivot towards greater economic cooperation. Senior political and business leaders from Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, and Pakistan will work in multiple panels towards producing a set of feasible recommendations concerning trade & transit, investment & infrastructure, energy, and regional dynamics. 

The opening event will offer keynote addresses from EWI’s CEO Amb. Cameron Munter; Mr. Mou Xiongbing, Director of International Economic Cooperation Office, Academy of Macroeconomic Research, National Development and Reform Commission; and Ambassador of Afghanistan to China, H.E. Mr. Janan Mosazai.

The Beijing symposium is set to be the final stage of EWI’s multi-year “Afghanistan Reconnected Process.” Sponsored by the government of Germany and private donors, the Process addresses regional economic security issues in Afghanistan and its neighborhood. The focus is promoting the win-win potential of enhanced regional economic and political cooperation in order to not only foster development but also security and stability in Afghanistan and greater Central Asia. EWI established a network of senior experts from governments, parliaments, and the private sector, mainly from Afghanistan, Iran, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, China, the U.A.E., the U.S., and Europe, as well as from multiple regional and international organizations. Through a series of high-level consultations, this network identified major obstacles to regional trade and transit. A set of practical recommendations on how to overcome these obstacles have been presented to the governments of Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Iran.