On November 16, Mr. Mikheil Janelidze, Senior Consultant in Foreign Trade Policy at PMCG, virtually opened the Central Asia Trade Forum (CATF) promoting regional trade and connectivity. The annual event, which is being held for the tenth time, runs until November 20 and is organized by USAID.
In general, the CATF aims to increase the competitiveness of priority industries and to enhance trade within Central Asia, between Central and South Asia as well as between Central Asia and other foreign markets. This year, the forum, comprising live interactive panel sessions and webinars, is focused on exploring new trends and market reactions in Central Asia during the post-COVID-19 economic recovery.
Opening the event, Mr. Janelidze highlighted the recent developments in Central Asian countries in terms of trade as well as regional integration, stating: “it is great to see that the governments in Central Asia are making important steps towards global and regional integration. This is well-reflected in their active cooperation with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and regional partnerships such as the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program (CAREC), the C5+1 talks with the United States, and dialogue with Japan. Moving towards the creation of an open, transparent and seamless Central Asian market will make the region more attractive to foreign businesses, capital and technology, allowing for greater diversification of economic sectors and raising the competitiveness of the whole region.” He also shared the Georgian experience in this context.
Mr. Janelidze opened the forum that brought together 100 speakers, including global experts, innovators and dynamic businesspeople, and 4000 registered participants representing 39 countries, along with Mr. William Moser, the US Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Mr. William Tompson, the Head of the Eurasia Division in the OECD, Mr. Azamat Askaruly, Vice-Minister of Trade and Integration of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and Mr. Laziz Kudratov, the First Deputy Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
“We are glad to participate in the CATF, a forum that includes global society, government leaders, international field experts, and representatives of business organizations, to discuss and explore ways to develop regional trade connectivity. PMCG has once again been given a chance to participate in the CATF, which has more than ever proven itself as a significant actor in the development of Central Asian countries’ economies. Considering the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the well-being of the region, the forum discussions are highly relevant and effective,” said Mr. Aleksi Aleksishvili, Chairman and CEO at PMCG.
This event is being hosted by the USAID-funded 5-year program “Competitive Trade and Jobs (CTJ) in Central Asia,” in the implementation of which PMCG is engaged.
Follow the link to join the forum, which is available across multiple online platforms, including Zoom, Facebook Live and YouTube: https://catradeforum.org/