USAID leads Fifth Annual Central Asia Trade Forum

On October 28 and 29, USAID’s Regional Economic Cooperation Project (REC) in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft Für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) along with the support of numerous export-promotion agencies from Kazakhstan convened an international event entitled New Realities and Priorities for Trade Development in Central Asia.  More than 500 participants representing Central and South Asian governmental institutions, private businesses, agricultural firms and farmers, individual entrepreneurs, trade promotion agencies, industry experts and international organizations gathered in Almaty to take part in the region’s largest event for exporters.

The strategic objective of this event was to facilitate export partnership opportunities and encourage cross-border trade among Central Asian and South Asian entrepreneurs. Export value chain development was discussed covering transport and logistics, certification and standardization, export-promotion strategies in spheres of horticulture, pharmaceuticals, trade finance, custom tariffs, and empowerment of women-entrepreneurs. The delegation from Uzbekistan actively participated at the event as keynote speakers and moderators.  They were represented by senior government officials from six areas including the State Committee on Privatization, Demonopolization and Competition, State Customs Committee, Standardization and Certification “Uzstandard” Agency, the National Pharmaceutical Agency “Uzpharmsanoat” and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

A trade exhibition was showcased by eight private businesses covering varied Uzbek textiles, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, traditional craftsmen and ceramics. In terms of concrete results, a letter of intent was signed between an Uzbek private company and a private Afghan company to supply mung and kidney beans valued at approximately $20 million. In the transportation and logistics realm, two Uzbek companies and one Kazakh company signed a memorandum of cooperation to work on cross-border trade logistics.

people at a table
Uzbekistan participants of the Fifth Central Asian Trade Forum, Almaty, October 28-29, 2015. (Photo credit courtesy of USAID, Almaty)