Second Central Asia Trade Policy Forum: Economic Integration Through WTO Accession and Membership

The Forum—with the theme “Economic Integration Through WTO Accession and Membership” — was organized by the World Trade Organization (WTO), the ADB under the CAREC Program, the International Trade Centre, and the Government of Kazakhstan in Almaty on 3-5 June 2024. WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala underscored the importance of strengthening institutions and re-globalizing Central Asia amid heightened uncertainty and volatility. She focused her intervention on WTO accession, trade facilitation, and the “future of trade.” CWRC Regional Head Lyaziza Sabyrova expressed continuing support for remaining CAREC members’ accession to WTO and underscored the need to reinvigorate regional cooperation while ensuring adherence to multilateralism. The Forum brought together senior government officials responsible for WTO-related issues from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan as well as from development partners. Implemented as part of the CAREC Integrated Trade Agenda 2030, the Forum also covered trade and climate nexus (including proposals for COP29 trade day in Baku) and trade facilitation, particularly along the Middle Corridor (CAREC Corridor 2).

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