HIGH LEVEL SEMINAR ON REGIONAL COOPERATION IN TRADE IN CENTRAL ASIA

On 3 July 2015, a high level seminar on regional cooperation in the field of trade in Central Asia was organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in order to further develop support for trade in this region. Deputy Ministers and Representatives from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan attended this high level meeting.

Mr. Andrey Vasilyev, Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in his opening remarks, thanked all representatives of SPECA countries, international organizations and development partners for their readiness to new ideas with the purpose to further strengthening regional cooperation in trade in Central Asia. Mr. Vasilyev while pointing to the endowments of Central Asia stated that; “there are serious economic, political, environmental, and social risks in Central Asia and in order to overcome these risks, the region must cultivate a sense of regionalism”.

Representatives of the mentioned States discussed how the national trade development programmers in their countries can help in the implementation of sustainable development, as well as the implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action for countries without access to the sea, and the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation.

Mr. Azizullah Omar, on behalf of Afghanistan, while giving an overview about Afghanistan said; “although Afghanistan is facing a difficult period of economic and political transition; this country has made significant developmental gains over the past decade. He further added that improving trade policy, facilitating trade and transit, investing in infrastructure and connectivity, creating the right regional business environment and strengthening regional economic institutions are the main priorities for Afghanistan.

Mr. Petko Draganov, Head of the United Nations Regional Center for Central Asia, Ashgabat in his presentation stated that “Afghanistan is imposing security challenges to the Central Asia; therefore Afghanistan should be involved in Economic Development projects, to which Mr. Azizullah Omar in his concluding remarks responded that, Terrorism is an international threat and its Afghanistan that is currently the front line of combating terrorism in order to defend its Central Asian Neighbors. And in this regards Afghanistan has given more scarifies than any other nations in the World.