United States, Central Asian countries Hold Third TIFA Council Meeting
Washington, D.C. - Ambassador John K. Veroneau, Deputy United States Trade Representative, hosted the third annual meeting of the United States-Central Asian Council on Trade and Investment (“Council”) today.
Joining him as heads of Central Asian delegations were Gulumon Bobozoda, Minister of Trade and Economic Development of Tajikistan; Hojamyrat Geldamyradov, Minister of Economy and Finance, Turkmenistan; Elyor Ganiev, Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade, Uzbekistan; Zhanar Seidakhmetovana Aitzhanova, Vice Minister of Industry and Trade, Kazakhstan; and Jeenbek Kulubayev, Head of the Economic Cooperation Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kyrgyz Republic. Afghan Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad participated as an observer.
“Our talks were very productive and offered all participants new insights into the process of trade liberalization and economic integration in the region, and its significance for regional development,” said Ambassador Veroneau.
The Council, established pursuant to the U.S. Central Asian Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (“TIFA”), provides a regular forum to address regional trade issues that hamper intra-regional trade and economic development and can act as impediments to investment. Under the terms of the TIFA, the Council facilitates an ongoing dialogue in order to help increase commercial and investment opportunities by identifying and working to remove impediments to trade and investment flows between the United States and Central Asia. Topics covered at this year’s Council meeting included a range of trade and investment issues such as barriers to doing business, trade liberalization and the WTO, and protection of intellectual property rights.
The United States has signed TIFAs with a number of countries in order to enhance trade ties and coordinate regionally and multilaterally through regular senior level discussions on trade and economic issues.
In 2006, U.S. imports from the five Central Asian TIFA partner countries totaled about $1.3 billion and exports totaled about $927 million.