CAREC Governments and Private Sector Discussion on Promoting Trade and Investment

16 Aug 2023

A breakout session was held during the Seventh CAREC Think Tank Development Forum in Urumqi, People’s Republic of China (PRC), to discuss the role of governments and the private sector in promoting trade and investment in the CAREC region. The meeting was attended by representatives of governments from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and more than twenty private enterprises.

Mr. Kabir Jurazoda, Director of the CAREC Institute, opened the session by emphasizing the importance of trade and investment in stimulating growth and development in the CAREC region. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted trade and made it difficult for businesses to invest in the region. Businesses have faced challenges in the region such as border closures, travel restrictions and inflation. The Director stressed that a joint effort between the government and the private sector is needed to unlock the full potential of trade and investment in the region. Both stakeholders play different but complementary roles in creating an environment conducive to green growth, innovation and equitable development.

Private sector representatives shared their experience of doing business in the CAREC region. Companies talked about cross-border trade challenges such as lack of infrastructure, inefficient border crossings and long waiting times at customs. They expressed willingness to increase trade between CAREC countries and maintain strong trade relations with other businesses from CAREC region. The private sector representatives also emphasized the need for national governments to improve the business environment in their countries.

Government representatives responded positively to questions and suggestions from the private sector. They reaffirmed their governments’ commitments to support trade and investment in the region and work closer with the private sector to address the existing challenges.

The participants made the following suggestions based on their discussion:

• To improve the business environment in the region, including reducing red tape, improving infrastructure and facilitating transit through border crossings.

• To strengthen cooperation between governments and the private sector to promote trade and investment.

• Solve issues faced by businesses in the region, such as high transport costs, inefficient border crossings and long waiting times at customs.

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