ASHGABAT (TCA) — Policymakers, diplomats and experts from the research institutes and economic sectors representing the countries of Central, South and Southwest Asia on October 13 participated in an OSCE-supported academic forum held as part of the Seventh Regional Economic Co-operation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA VII), the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat reported.
The forum discussed opportunities and new tools to further enhance regional economic cooperation in Central, South and Southwest Asia. The event was organized by the Centre for Strategic Studies of Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry in partnership with the Institute of International Relations of Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry and the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat.
The speakers focused on enhancing regional cooperation in the field of energy, assessing regional and inter-regional connectivity and the potential for regional trade and transit facilitation. The forum participants exchanged views on how regional economic initiatives and projects can contribute to regional security and stability and explored new areas for economic cooperation and integration in the region with a focus on the role of Afghanistan.
“The OSCE has been making continuous efforts to assist Afghanistan through various activities and the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat supported today’s event within the framework of its extra-budgetary project aimed at facilitating dialogue on regional infrastructure among stakeholders of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process,” said Natalya Drozd, Head of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat.
“Today’s forum offered an excellent opportunity for enhancing dialogue on strengthening economic cooperation on Afghanistan among different international, regional and national stakeholders,” she added.
It is expected that key outcomes of the academic forum will contribute to the main forum and working group sessions of RECCA VII, which are planned to be held in November in Ashgabat.
Since 2005, the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) has served as a leading platform for cross-border economic dialogue, trust building, and action in Central, South and Southwest Asia.