As CAREC countries cope and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to support their efforts to keep trade open and deepen regional cooperation while mitigating risks to improve economic resilience and achieve sustainable growth. The strategy for CAREC trade embodied in the CAREC Integrated Trade Agenda (CITA) 2030, endorsed at the 17th Ministerial Conference in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan in November 2018, aims to help countries expand trade through increased market access, diversify and strengthen trade institutions. CITA 2030 will support CAREC countries’ post-pandemic recovery through its Rolling Strategic Action Plans (RSAPs), consisting of investment projects, policy dialogues, and knowledge products and services.
The CAREC Secretariat (trade sector) is organizing a series of webinars and trade institutional meetings to (i) discuss the progress of CITA 2030 and (ii) deliberate on economic diversification and trade facilitation initiatives to support CAREC members enhance their participation in global value chains and growing digitally-enabled trade. RSAP 2020–2022 will be updated to respond to countries needs and the changing global landscape.
Webinar on Facilitating Diversification—and Economic Recovery—through the Services Sector
2 September 2020, 14:00 – 16:00, Manila Time
The webinar will discuss how the services sector can facilitate economic diversification as well as recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in CAREC countries. The outcomes of the study – Advancing Economic Diversification in Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Countries through the Development of Services will be presented. CAREC trade officials, experts and development partners will deliberate on the formulation of a CAREC Services Sector Reform Agenda, including the creation of an enabling environment and liberalization of key service industries: (i) telecommunication and information; (ii) financial services; (iii) education, research and experimental development; (iv) tourism-related; (v) freight transport and storage; (vi) quality testing and certification; and (vii) other agriculture-related services. Proposals for new investment projects, policy dialogue and knowledge products and services will be discussed for inclusion in the Rolling Strategic Action Plan (RSAP) 2020-2022 of the CAREC Integrated Trade Agenda 2030.
Webinar on E-commerce and Paperless Trade
3 September 2020, 14:00 – 16:00, Manila Time
The webinar will discuss domestic and cross-border e-commerce in the CAREC region. The outcomes of the study, Regulatory Framework For E-commerce Development in CAREC, conducted jointly by CAREC Institute and Asian Development Bank will be presented. Customs challenges in handling e-commerce, IT infrastructure and digital platforms, and experiences from the global initiatives of development partners such as the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) will be considered. CAREC trade officials, experts and development partners will deliberate on the elements of an e-Commerce Development Action Plan, including a potential e-Commerce platform within CAREC. New investment projects, policy dialogues and knowledge products and services may be proposed for the Rolling Strategic Action Plan (RSAP) 2020-2022 of the CAREC Integrated Trade Agenda 2030.
19th CAREC Customs Cooperation Committee Meeting
8 September 2020, 14:00 – 17:00 Manila Time
The 19th Meeting of the CAREC Customs Cooperation Committee will discuss customs issues and challenges, as well as recommendations to continue to facilitate cross-border movement of goods in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic. The outcomes of the Webinar on e-Commerce and Paperless Trade and mechanisms to further strengthen CAREC customs’ e-commerce capacity will be presented. Customs officials, experts and development partners will deliberate on new investment projects, policy dialogues and knowledge products and services for inclusion in the Rolling Strategic Action Plan 2020-2022 of the CAREC Integrated Trade Agenda 2030.
3rd CAREC Regional Trade Group Meeting
10 September 2020, 14:00 – 17:00 Manila Time
The 3rd CAREC Regional Trade Group Meeting will deliberate on economic diversification initiatives through the services sector and e-commerce development and paperless trade. Proposed CAREC Services Sector Reform Agenda and e-Commerce Development Action Plan will be presented. CAREC trade officials, experts and development partners will deliberate on priority interventions for the Rolling Strategic Action Plan (RSAP) 2020-2022 of the CAREC Integrated Trade Agenda 2030. Deliverables for reporting to the 19th Ministerial Conference through the Senior Officials Meeting will be agreed upon.
(Supported under KSTA 9712: Implementing the Integrated Trade Agenda in the CAREC Program, co-funded by the Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund and the PRC Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund.)