On 9 October 2018, a consultation meeting was held in Ashgabat with the participation of focal points of the Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program.

The meeting, organized by the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan, was attended by national CAREC coordinators and representatives of multilateral partner organizations: the Asian Development Bank, the CAREC Institute, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Islamic Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations Development Program.

The results of the work on the CAREC Integrated Trade Agenda until 2030, as well as interaction prospects and preparations for the 17th Ministerial Conference to be held in Ashgabat in November this year, were discussed.

During the meeting, it was noted that Turkmenistan, which chairs the CAREC Program this year, pays great attention to the issues of enhancing economic cooperation in Central Asia. The participants were familiarized in detail with the results achieved in diversifying and modernizing the national economic complex, according to which today our country is one of the fastest growing economies in Central Asia.

During the plenary sessions, issues included in the Integrated Trade Program were discussed, including a three-year rolling strategic action plan for its implementation for 2018-2020, which will be presented at the 17th Ministerial Conference of CAREC among the key results of the work done. The national coordinators were thoroughly acquainted with the draft terms of reference for promoting cooperation in the cluster of macroeconomic and financial stability.

The new CAREC strategy also includes the need to achieve consensus among stakeholders, integrate and synchronize priorities within a single platform. In this context, the meeting participants were familiarized with the work currently being carried out to establish the Regional Trade Group.

During the final session, the Turkmen side provided an update on the preparations for the 17th Ministerial Conference of CAREC, and the Secretariat presented the provisional agenda for the upcoming forum. The subject of a special discussion of the participants was the draft Joint Ministerial Statement. Following the meeting, prospects for cooperation between the CAREC Program member countries were identified.

Tomorrow the consultation meeting will continue.