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The first meeting of the Economic Forum of the Commonwealth of Independent States

On September 9 this year, the first meeting of the Economic Forum of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) took place via videoconferencing. Heads of economic and trade departments of the Commonwealth states attended the event organized at the initiative of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade S. Umurzakov represented the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The agenda included a wide range of commercial, economic, investment and industrial cooperation issues. The attendees repeatedly noted the important role of the Commonwealth in strengthening of multilateral partnerships and promotion of joint initiatives. They also expressed their willingness to consider the Forum as an effective platform to develop economic priorities for the CIS, which is especially important during the transformation of the global economy against coronavirus pandemic, as well as addressing of issues of sustainable development and response to current global and regional challenges.

The event provided a constructive exchange of views on cooperation to mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic and stimulate economic activity in the Commonwealth States.

Here, the attendees considered prospects of intercountry cooperation on the development of joint anti-crisis programs aimed at the development of investment cooperation, mutual commerce, as well as restoration of transport and communication relations.

They noted that the experience gained during the pandemic in transferring a significant part of business life, operation of the most important state and educational services to the online mode revealed significant potential for the development of information and communication technologies and the need for accelerated digitalization of the further operation of the economy and society.

Consequently, they proposed to develop and accept a joint program of cooperation for the Commonwealth states in the digital economy and e-commerce in the CIS space, which would fundamentally improve the practical interaction between the participating countries in commerce, finances, investments, transportation, customs regulation, migration, and food security.

The attendees paid special attention to the relevance of strengthening of the industrial cooperation in priority areas such as the engineering industry, power economy, electrical engineering, textile and pharmaceutical industries, agriculture.

They also considered possible built up of cooperation in the transport and communication area, as well as in the implementation of regional projects here to use the transit potential of the CIS space more effectively and provide a positive impact on the social and economic development of the Commonwealth member states.

Moreover, the attendees emphasized the importance of the development of infrastructure and the strengthening of relations between the regions of the Commonwealth member states. Here, they considered the initiative to create the CIS Infrastructure Development Fund to finance mutually beneficial projects.

Also, in order to activate commercial, economic, investment and industrial relations between the CIS countries, Uzbekistan provided an initiative to regularly arrange Weeks of Business Initiatives, which would provide the Commonwealth member states to solve issues of economic cooperation on a multilateral basis.

After the meeting, the attendees expressed their willingness to practically cooperate under the discussed areas to ensure the progressive development of multifaceted commercial, economic and humanitarian cooperation for the long run within the CIS.