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Trade Policy Forum: Central Asia and the Multilateral Trading System

11 - 13 May 2016

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), in partnership with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Government of Turkmenistan,organized a Trade Policy Forum on "Central Asia and the Multilateral Trading System" from 11 to 13 May 2016 in Ashgabat.

The Forum focussed on two themes that are on the top of the trade policy agenda of senior policy makers in Central Asia:

  • Accession to the WTO; and
  • Regional Integration, including Trade Facilitation.

This forum brought together senior representatives of the  of the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) - Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as Iran and Belarus.

The key objective of the Trade Policy Forum was to promote the integration of Central Asia into rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system, pursuant to Point 17.10 of the Sustainable Development Goal. The Forum programme reflects trade policy priorities in Central Asia today, including the institutional framework for regional cooperation; integration into the rules-based Multilateral Trading System through accession negotiations under Article XII of the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the WTO; the implementation of the trade facilitation measures included in the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) through national and regional strategies; and the development of regional supply chains through the removal of barriers to trade within the region while taking advantage of large markets in neighbouring countries.

A meeting of the SPECA Thematic Working Group on Trade, chaired by Mr. Saidrahmon Nazrizoda, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade was held back to back with the Trade Policy Forum on 13 May 2016 in the afternoon.


For more details, please contact Mr. Mario Apostolov.