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A meeting of the TIFA Council was held in Samarkand

On March 17, 2023, a meeting of the Council of the Framework Agreement on Trade and Investment between the governments of the United States and the Central Asian countries (TIFA) was held in Samarkand. The event was organized with the assistance of the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) and the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) of the Department of Commerce. The event was attended by delegations of relevant ministries and departments of Uzbekistan, the USA, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Pakistan.

Speaking with a welcoming speech, Minister of Investment, Industry and Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan Laziz Kudratov noted the irreversibility and effectiveness of the reforms carried out in Uzbekistan to improve the investment climate, integration into the world economy, protection of investors' rights and private property, the fight against corruption, and the development of a free civil society.

The great opportunities for cooperation between the Central Asian countries in trade, economic, investment, transport and other spheres were emphasized.

In this context, it has been proposed to take a number of measures to use untapped potential and resources for joint implementation, including the unification of legislation on e–commerce in Central Asian countries and the creation of a single independent arbitration system, the creation of a regional platform for suppliers of goods and services with a single payment system, the creation of data centers and a database of exporters and importers for forecasting and risk-management, ensuring sanitary and epidemiological well-being.

Initiatives were announced to introduce electronic certification systems for agricultural products, customs measures and procedures based on CLDP recommendations, harmonization of phytosanitary requirements, exchange of best practices, and economic empowerment of women in the region.

In turn, Deputy Assistant US Trade Representative for South and Central Asia Brendan Lynch highly appreciated the dynamics and content of reforms in Uzbekistan, the significant improvement of trade and economic cooperation between the Central Asian countries on the principles of complementarity and stressed the US commitment to further strengthen economic partnership and provide trade, investment and advisory assistance to the countries of the region.

During the meeting, the heads of delegations made speeches, discussed the recommendations of working groups on digital trade, sanitary/phytosanitary measures, intellectual property rights, customs issues, economic empowerment of women, as well as a number of bilateral meetings.

Following the meeting, a joint statement was adopted, which reflected the common vision of the participants on further strengthening trade, economic and investment cooperation and measures for the practical implementation of the discussed projects and initiatives.