The Days of SPECA have started in the capital under the chairing of Turkmenistan in the UN Special Programme for Economies of Central Asia. High-level round-table meeting on trade policy initiated by our country and sessions of working groups for sustainable transport and trade were the main events of the day.
Forum “Realization of the WHO Agreement on facilitation of trade procedures in SPECA region: Central Asia in multilateral trade system” in the Yildyz Hotel has gathered representatives of participating states of the Programme from Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Special attention has been paid to current issues of cooperation in trade sphere, which is one of the leading forms of international economic relations, during exchange of the opinions at the round-table session organized by the UN European Economic Commission in cooperation with the World Trade Organization and the Government of our country.
The main purpose of the meeting is a search of the bases for partnership in practical implementation of measures aimed at facilitation of trade procedures. This objectives in in line with common concept of the Days of SPECA in Ashgabat, which lies in support of the initiative for reduction of barriers in trade and transport in the region with application of standards, rules and recommendations of the UN, enforcement of regional market, transboundary supply chains and integration with the economies of Europe and Asia for attraction of investments, technologies and innovations.
It was mentioned in the speeches that the forum reflects priorities of the SPECA countries in trade and economy as regional economic integration is thought to be the key factor for dynamic growth of the countries recently. It leads to creation of bigger markets.
At the same time, special emphasis has been laid on the importance of regional trade agreements, which include investments, facilitation of trade procedures, competitive policy, state purchases, social progress and other subjects of non-tariff barriers in trade. The measures provided in this field will lead to creation of regional market without bureaucratic obstacles for movement of commodities.
Representatives of Turkmenistan noted in their speeches that trade sphere occupies one of the key positions in economic strategy of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and reflects tendencies of internal development, efficiency of staged transit to market relations, vectors of interstate cooperation most clearly.
Growing trade indicators indicate the improvement of wellbeing and life quality of the population while foreign trade dynamics demonstrates the expansion of geography of supply of Turkmen production to foreign markets.
In this context, the state render comprehensive support to private sector, which serves as strong impulse for development of trade sphere of the country. Equipment and facility base of the branch has been strengthened, infrastructure has been modernized, new working places have been opened and consumer market is saturated by the reforms carried out this field.
Advantages of the membership in the WTO including for facilitation of trade procedures in Central Asia as well as regional integration have also been the main subjects of discussion.
As is known, the WTO, which has been established in 1995 for liberalization of international trade and regulation of the relation between member states in this sphere, is responsible for development and implementation of new agreements as well as implements monitoring of compliance with provision of agreements signed by many countries and ratified by their parliaments.
Introducing practical measures in this direction in Turkmenistan, the spokesmen noted that ‘open doors’ policy, favourable investment climate support an improvement of beneficial partnership with foreign business circles.
Today, our country, which is actively involved in the process of economic globalization, declared of itself as of equal player and partner, in addition, as of a partner, which presents guarantees on three main terms required by the world community – reliability, transparency and security. Development of beneficial cooperation with all interested states is aimed at strengthening of economic potential of the country and improvement of wellbeing of the population.
In this regard, the Head of Turkmenistan outlined the study of subjects related to joining of the World Trade Organization by the country for effective integration to the world economic system, enhancement of competiveness of production, establishment of market relations on legal base in accordance with international level among the utmost objectives.
Results of activity in this sphere are to provide the growth of economic status of Turkmenistan in the world arena, to support the flow of foreign investments for realization of big projects.
It was mentioned in the speeches that development of international contacts in trade sphere provides realization of versatile potential of our state. Desire of foreign companies to invest to national economy indicates high trust in our country as a reliable and responsible partner that has authority and big capabilities.
Special attention has been paid to taking of the complex of measures for realization of the WTO Agreement on facilitation of trade and encouragement procedures based on the rules of multilateral trade system during the discussion of the strengthening of cooperation between the member states of the SPECA Programme.
In the end of ‘round table’ meeting, the heads of the delegations expressed sincere gratitude to the President of Turkmenistan for high-level organization of the forum and highlighted that constructive cooperation of the member states of the SPECA is aimed at consolidation of the efforts for achievement of common goals.
The 24th session of the SPECA Work Group for sustainable transport, transit and connectivity, the review of transport projects, activities and initiatives in the SPECA countries have become one of the main subjects of which.
It was highlighted at the meeting that today, each of the countries realize big projects for establishment of the infrastructure of sea, motor, railway and air transportation. activation of existing transcontinental routes and formation of new international transport corridors crossing Central Asia are to provide the conditions for further dynamic social and economic development of the member states of the SPECA, to increase their investment attractiveness as well as to expand regional and interregional trade and economic relations.
Highlighting practical importance of the forum, its members gave high appraisal to input of Turkmenistan in strengthening of beneficial international partnership in transport and communication sector.
Issues related to joining and realization of international conventions and agreements have been reviewed during the meeting. In this context, the participants of the 24th session of the Work Group have confirmed the importance of the UN legal documents and transport sphere and noted the necessity to activate the efforts for ratification of conventions as soon as possible.
At the same time, the focus was made on study of the opportunities of joining of the member states of the Programme to the Convention on facilitation of border crossing by passengers, baggage and cargos transported by international railways and Intergovernmental Agreement on international motor transportation by the network of Asian motor roads.
Establishment and operation of national coordination mechanisms for facilitation of transportation were among the reviewed subjects. In this context, the secretariats of the UN EEC and ESCAP presented information about the activities under the Vienna Action Programme for the countries that have no access to sea and about development of the main principles of establishment and strengthening of National Coordination Mechanism.
In addition, the willingness to encourage the member states of the Programme for mobilization of the Government and private sector for financing of the operations and activities of National Coordination Mechanism has been expressed. The participants have also noted the necessity of relative seminars for development of common position of various interested parties on the reduction of barriers for transboundary and transit transportation.
During the exchange of visions of the subjects of the agenda of the session, the governments of the member states of the SPECA were suggested to take an active part in the work of ITC WP.5 on development of coordinated model of quantification of transport expenses for developing countries, which have no access to sea.
The SPECA Work Group on sustainable transport, transit and connectivity to continue its work on the next day.
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