US Policymakers and Central Asian Business Leaders Gather in Almaty for the CIPE B5+1 Forum

Cooperation and trade with Central Asia still holds much unrealized potential. The region is developing fast and offers opportunities for companies and agencies, both international and local. As the global geopolitical landscape changes and supply chains are disrupted, the importance of Central Asia as a business and transit hub, through initiatives such as the Trans-Caspian Corridor, is growing. 

There are therefore great incentives for the five countries of the region – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan – to find ways to function as a single integrated market, in order to capitalize on opportunities for foreign and local companies, and attract more international investment and business. 

For this reason the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) is inviting policymakers from Central Asia, the United States and other countries to its B5+1 Forum this week. On 14 and 15 March in Kazakhstan’s business capital of Almaty, leading minds from the public sector will discuss Central Asia’s economic integration, international trade and investment, alongside dozens of high-profile private companies. 

An event on 14 March entitled “Looking within Central Asia” will introduce the objectives and expected outcomes of the B5+1 format. Presentations by representatives of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of National Economy, the Caspian Policy Center, the US Department of State and Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Economy and Commerce will give business-focused perspectives on improving economic integration and the investment climate. 

The discussion on 15 March will center on the theme of “Central Asia’s place in the world economy”. Talks from representatives of the US-Kazakhstan Business Council, the American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will give an international perspective on promoting trade and investment flows in Central Asia.

The B5+1 Forum forms part of CIPE’s program “Improving the Business Environment in Central Asia” (IBECA). CIPE themselves are affiliated to the US Chamber of Commerce – the catalyst behind the B7 and B20 platforms – and receive funding from the US Department of State. 

The establishment of B5+1 is closely aligned with commitments outlined in a document called the New York Declaration to strengthen the republics’ economic relations, and improve the business environment for regional economic integration and investments. The upcoming Forum aims to deliver on two key commitments in the declaration.

 

The Times of Central Asia will be in attendance at the B5+1 Forum on 14-15 March, and will be publishing insight and analysis from the event.

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