Since July 2005 the UK has played an important role in promoting regional economic co-operation between Afghanistan and its neighbours. Under the G8 presidency the UK was instrumental in initiating the first Regional Economic Co-operation Conference (RECC) in Kabul in December 2005 aimed at developing economic ties and trade between Afghanistan and its neighbours. The event represented an important milestone in Afghanistan’s progress towards greater regional economic integration. I had the pleasure of co-chairing proceedings alongside the then Afghan Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. The UK was also a full participant in the second RECC hosted by India in November 2006 where I again represented the UK.
In April 2007 Afghanistan will assume its full membership of the South Asia Association for Regional Co-operation. The UK is committed to ensuring the progress Afghanistan has made in improving its regional economic integration continues into the future.