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Press Releases 2010

Visit to U.S. Gives Tajik Entrepreneurs a New Perspective on Business

January 6, 2010
Community Connections is one of the many assistance projects implemented in Tajikistan by the USAID.

The participants of the USAID funded Community Connections program answering questions from local media on their visit to the U.S., American Councils, Dushanbe, January 6, 2010.

Dushanbe, Tajikistan: Tajik businessmen gathered in Dushanbe today to discuss the impact that their participation in a recent professional exchange program to the United States will have on their work in Tajikistan. The exchange was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID's) Community Connections program, which sent ten participants for three-week internships in Portland, Oregon, USA. Participants lived with American families, met with their U.S. counterparts, and exchanged ideas on a wide range of issues related to business development in order to help them accelerate private sector development in their own communities.

In Portland, Tajik businessmen representing the agricultural sector met with small and medium U.S. businesses and the institutions that support them. While with their US colleagues, they discussed the importance of strengthening public-private dialogue to accelerate private sector development. They also saw examples of U.S. production chains, marketing methods, and met with family owned businesses. "The experience was truly amazing. We sat through a number of useful lectures and visited various businesses. I myself have many ideas and plans to implement in the marketing field" said Khurshed Valiev, a new Community Connections alumnus.

The professional component of the program was enhanced by a rich cultural experience. Participants lived with American families and enjoyed cultural weekends that included visits to the Oregon coast, theatres, and city sightseeing in Portland. They also visited a farmers market, where they enjoyed music, food, and the best of Oregon's agricultural produce. One of the highlights of the cultural experience for many Tajik entrepreneurs was their participation in various volunteer activities. "Our group participated in food packing for homeless people at the Food Bank organization. I felt good helping others; we should definitely volunteer in our communities too" said Farzona Tilavova.

The USAID Community Connections Program offers community-based, three- to five-week practical training in the United States for business and professional organization leaders from Tajikistan. Community Connections is one of the many assistance projects implemented in Tajikistan by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on behalf of the American people. Since 1993, the American people, through USAID, have provided about $300 million in assistance programs that support the economic growth, democratic institutions, health care, and education systems of Tajikistan.