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Ministerial Meeting Held in Almaty During TIFA

18 October 2012

http://www.turkishweekly.net/ of 10/18/2012 - A ministerial meeting within the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) is taking place in Almaty on Thursday, the Kazakh Ministry of Economic Integration press service reported.

'Discussion of trade bodies, investment activities, transit in Central Asia and Afghanistan and TIFA working group issues as well as Kazakhstan's joining the WTO is planned within the meeting', the report says.

The Kazakh delegation is headed by the Minister of Economic Integration Zhanar Aitzhanova, the American delegation is chaired by US Trade Representative for South and Central Asia Michael Delaney, Turkmen Republic by the Economy and Development Minister Bashimmurad Khodjamammedov and Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan are represented by their deputy ministers of economy and trade. The head of Uzbek delegation is the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade Akmal Kamalov.

Bilateral meetings between the US and Central Asia delegations took place in advance of the meeting. A decision on the creation of a working group on trade and investments for further strengthening trade and economic cooperation was made during the meeting of Minister Zhanar Aitzhanova with the US delegation.

Moreover, the American delegation supported Kazakhstan's joining the WTO and gave assurances that the negotiations will be completed by the end of the year.

The Trade Investment Framework Agreement was signed in 2004 in Washington between the USA and Central Asia states.

TIFA provides a forum to enhance the trade and investment relationships between the US and five Central Asian nations: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The agreement is designed to build trade and investment ties both with the United States and across the region.

The main goals of TIFA are the development of trade-investment policy at bilateral and regional levels and the broadening of member states private sector participation in the development of trade-investment cooperation and action plans for the settlement of practical issues, such as acceleration the passage of goods through the customs border, valuation of goods, removal of trade barriers, tariff policy issues and the protection of intellectual property.