Dushanbe, Tajikistan, October 4, 2021 – Today, the United States 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.
The theme of this year’s forum is “Post-COVID Recovery Through Better Connectivity.” The forum will help link 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 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 in Central Asia. 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 CERT Academy, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, GIZ, Global Cold Chain Alliance, IFC, International Finance Corporation, ITC, IRU, Next Generation Central Asia, KAZFOAM, QazTrade, Women in Logistics and Transport, World Bank Group, as well as media representing Asia Hikes, Discover Kyrgyzstan, Ekolog.uz, Kazakhstan Press Club, Kapital.kz, Kazakh Traveler International, Kazakh Tourism, Profit.kz, Steppe, Travel Tajikistan, Uzbekistan Travel, and WideOyster.
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.
USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. For more information, visit the USAID/Central Asia website and USAID/Central Asia’s Facebook page, and the Central Asia Trade Forum website.