ALMATY (TCA) — More than 500 government and business leaders from 18 countries in Central Asia, South Asia, and Europe are participating in the seventh annual Central Asia Trade Forum, which is taking place on October 18 and 19 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. This year, the event focuses on the theme of Future Growth: Trade, Transport & Horticulture. Attendees discuss how enterprises throughout Central Asia can better compete in the global economy and provide jobs for the region’s growing workforce, the USAID said in a press release.
“The Central Asia Trade Forum brings buyers, sellers, and traders together and gives them a platform to establish business connections that help young businesses grow and established businesses expand,” said George A. Krol, U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan.
This year’s forum has practical goals: to increase exports of fruits and vegetables from Central Asian countries and to overcome the transportation and logistics challenges that impede trade within the region and hinder economic growth. A concurrent trade exhibition highlights technology, equipment, and service providers who have the capacity to lower production and transport costs in the region.
One unique aspect of the forum is that, in addition to the opportunities for public-private dialogue on important regional and international trade policies and trends, event organizers are also providing practical training sessions on quality and food safety standards.
The United States is the primary sponsor of the forum through the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Competitiveness, Trade, and Jobs Activity in Central Asia. This project organizes trainings and supports public and private sector collaboration across Central Asia to facilitate exports and create jobs in the agriculture, transport, and logistics services. By helping firms to become more regionally competitive and by addressing impediments to cross-border trade, the United States is helping to develop a more diverse and competitive private sector and generate more export-driven growth.
Other partners supporting the Forum include the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan; the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) Trade Facilitation in Central Asia Program; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Crown Agents; GLOBALG.A.P.; Cert Academy; the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); KAZLOGISTICS; and the Global Cold Chain Alliance.