Central Asian cooperation forum seeks lessons from South and South-East Asian integration
2012 SPECA Economic Forum
Government leaders and researchers from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, together with intergovernmental organizations and financial institutions working in Central Asia gather in Bangkok on 27 and 28 November for the 2012 SPECA (United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia) Economic Forum.
Under the theme “Strengthening Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration in Central Asia by Sharing the Asian Experience”, the 2012 SPECA Economic Forum aims to learn from the successes and challenges of regional economic integration in similar blocs. These include in particular the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Greater Mekong Subregion, a development project of the Asian Development Bank.
The event, convened by UNECE and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), will discuss ways to harness regional integration to drive the post-2015 global development agenda in Central Asia.
SPECA addresses key economic and environmental cooperation issues among its members, directly influencing sustainable development, stability and security in the region. Following the June 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), SPECA is facilitating stronger regional cooperation aimed at balancing the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development as pledged by world leaders at the Conference.
SPECA Project Working Group on Trade to discuss challenges to the development of regional trade and investment
On the eve of the Forum, on 26 November, the seventh session of the SPECA Project Working Group on Trade will be dedicated to “Capacity-Building for Evidence-based Trade and Investment Policymaking”. The meeting will focus on the “Challenges to the development of regional trade and investment” in SPECA countries, and review the progress being made in implementing the Baku Ministerial Declaration on Aid for Trade.
Presentations of concepts and methodologies for trade facilitation and paperless trade implementation will also be made. The meeting will be the first to be co-chaired by Turkmenistan, together with Tajikistan, thus marking an enhancement of Turkmenistan’s contribution to regional trade development and policy cooperation.
Review of work in Afghanistan
As part of the Programme’s role in supporting the reconstruction and stabilization efforts in Afghanistan, the Forum will be preceded by a side event on 26 November entitled “Review of Work in the SPECA Framework in Support of Implementation of the Decisions of the Fifth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan”.
SPECA Governing Council meets for 7th session
The Forum will be followed by the 7th session of the SPECA Governing Council, the top policymaking body of the Programme. The Governing Council will review the work programme, set priorities for future work and elect the next Chair (country).
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