The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the eleventh annual Central Asia Trade Forum, an international event promoting regional trade and connectivity across Central Asia and beyond focused on post-COVID recovery and resilience in the region. This five-day virtual event includes over 80 distinguished speakers from around the world including Central Asia and the United States and 3,500 participants representing 42 countries.
This year’s forum, Post-COVID Recovery Through Better Connectivity, links business and industry leaders, government officials, policy makers, and subject matter experts across the region and beyond to discuss post-COVID trends in trade, reviving trade and tourism amid COVID-19, and sustainable water solutions and renewable energy investment opportunities in Central Asia, among other exciting topics.
In her opening remarks, the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan Deputy Chief of Mission, Judy Kuo, noted, “When the first Central Asia Trade Forum was organized in Bishkek in 2011, it was born from the belief that cooperation, idea-sharing, and international trade are key foundations for growth and prosperity. We are happy to see that the presidents of the region’s nations at recent meetings have endorsed the view that mutually beneficial regional cooperation is the best way to overcome today’s challenges.”
This forum also coincides with 30 years of cooperation between the United States and the five countries of Central Asia. Over the past three decades, the United States has provided over $9 billion in direct assistance to support peace and security, democratic reform, economic growth, and humanitarian needs. Through bilateral relationships and regional strategies for cooperation and collaboration, these efforts have helped regional economies become more competitive, spurred diversified economic growth, and enhanced prosperity across the region.
USAID’s Competitiveness, Trade and Jobs activity is organizing the Central Asia Trade Forum in partnership with Turkmen Logistics Association, GIZ, Global Cold Chain Alliance, World Bank Group, IFC, International Finance Corporation, Women in Logistics and Transport, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, IRU, ITC, CERT Academy, QazTrade, KAZFOAM, Next Generation Central Asia, as well as media representing Asia Hikes, Ashgabat.In, Kazakhstan Press Club, WideOyster, Steppe, Discover Kyrgyzstan, Kazakh Tourism, Travel Tajikistan, Uzbekistan Travel, Ekolog.uz, Kapital.kz, Profit.kz and Kazakh Traveler International.
Over the past decade, through the Forum, USAID has advocated for greater regional cooperation and collaboration to stimulate and accelerate sustainable economic growth in the region. It has brought together more than 10,000 participants from more than 30 countries to identify ongoing challenges limiting trade and prosperity, to exchange ideas and solutions, to build relationships, and to conduct business.