Ashgabat hosted SPECA-2019 Economic Forum “Interconnection: simplification of trade and transport procedures and sustainable development in the SPECA sub-region”. The event is participated by high-ranking representatives of international organizations, SPECA member-states, managers and leading experts of regional and sub-regional structures.
As the Minister of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan Batyr Bazarov notes, so representative body of the economic forum will allow to strengthen regional cooperation in the important spheres, connected with each other, such as trade, investments and transport.
Currently, SPECA serves as a platform for cooperation on the implementation of the SDGs, which can be more effectively achieved through regional partnerships.
– Activation of international links in the transport sector is one of the priority directions of economic development of Turkmenistan. The creation of a modern, integrated, balanced and high-tech transport infrastructure is an objective factor of time, one of the priority goals of sustainable development, Bazarov said.
– Our main goal, which has been repeatedly voiced is to make the SPECA region a reliable transport hub and a center for promoting the development of transport, – the Minister of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan emphasized, adding that the Turkmen leader became one of the founders of transport diplomacy, initiating a substantive multilateral dialogue on this issue within the UN and other international organizations.
All this meets the strategic interests of the international community, helps to strengthen global economic ties, stimulates investment activity, growth of economic and social indicators, both on a national and regional scale.
Director of the UNECE sustainable transport division Yuwei Li also addressed the meeting. He stressed that “today the transport connection for the SPECA countries is the main artery. As in human body, it plays an important role, and allows the whole system to function and develop.”
For this purpose, during the first session, participants from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and other countries proposed to introduce a common electronic database, where the whole documentation, related to cargo transportation will be stored. Such a system, according to experts, will help to increase several times the exports and imports for SPECA countries.
Also, Deputy Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee Sergey Ivanov noted that today in the CIS countries there is a Free Trade Agreement and a draft on free trade in services is currently preparing.
– I believe that this direction would allow to create serious preconditions for the development of the trade segment in the SPECA countries. Cooperation in the transport sector and the development of key mechanisms in the implementation of transit potential in the Eurasian space is considered by our countries as the main components in the creation of new routes, Ivanov said.
During the second session, experts reviewed the fulfilment of measures on simplification of the trade procedures that will increase the competitiveness of SPECA member countries in the international market.
The SPECA-2019 Economic Forum will continue its work on November 21. Upon its completion, it is planned to sign a number of documents.