November 16, 2020 – Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the tenth annual Central Asia Trade Forum, an international event promoting regional trade and connectivity across Central Asia and beyond. This year’s five-day virtual event includes 100 speakers and 4,000 registered participants representing 39 countries including the USA, Afghanistan, Georgia, Germany, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, UK, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, among others.
This year’s theme Central Asia – Growth and Prosperity explores new trends and market reactions in Central Asia during the post COVID-19 economic recovery. The virtual event is available across multiple online platforms, including Zoom, Facebook Live and YouTube, bringing together global and local experts, innovators and dynamic business people to build connections that are vital to boosting Central Asian trade.
Participants can connect to online live sessions and join the discussion about how regional supply chains are adapting to COVID-19, the recovery of tourism in Central Asia, developments toward a regional electricity market, regional e-commerce challenges and opportunities, building public-private dialogue, regional women’s entrepreneurship, and more.
In addition, the forum offers business-to-business negotiation opportunities for more than 20 horticulture producers from Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan with potential partners through the World of Trade retail forum.
Opening the event, U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan William H. Moser stated, “Ten years ago, this Trade Forum was born from the belief that increased trade cooperation can bring about a more stable, prosperous, and interconnected Central Asia.” He added, “Trade has never been a zero-sum game. By working together everyone can benefit from fair and transparent trade cooperation.”
Joining the forum from Washington, D.C., Javier Piedra, Acting Assistant Administrator for the USAID Asia Bureau added, “USAID is proud to continue supporting this important event, and we remain committed to bolstering trade across the region, including Afghanistan, facilitating new commercial linkages, and enhancing economic cooperation between Central Asia and the United States.”
Over the last decade, the Central Asia Trade Forum has brought together more than 5,000 government officials, business people and thought leaders from over 30 countries to learn about new trends, exchange ideas, build relationships, and conduct business. Trade among the nations of Central Asia has more than doubled during the past decade to around $6 billion dollars annually.
USAID’s Competitiveness, Trade, and Jobs activity is organizing the Forum in partnership with the Adventure Travel Trade Association, American Chamber of Commerce in Uzbekistan, CERT Academy, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Global Cold Chain Alliance, Indy Guide, Kazlogistics, Lonely Planet, OECD, the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Wideoyster, Women in Logistics and Transport and the World Travel Market.