Central Asian Ministers Agree on Trade, Economic Reforms

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The Finance Ministers of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic,Tajikistan and Turkmenistan met in Tashkent recently, exchanging views on the economic situation in Central Asia, cooperation in topical directions of collaboration, including within the framework of international and regional organizations, and also on joint search for solutions to existing common problems.

This was followed by meetings of the CIS Foreign Ministers the day afterward with Armenia, Belarus, Moldovia and Russia also joining.

The Ministerial meetings focused on developing cooperation in various directions of activities of the organizations, improving the role and place of the CIS in international and regional affairs, developing trade-economic and cultural-humanitarian cooperation, as well as ensuring sustainable development of the CIS member states.

Sixteen draft documents were discussed, outlining a number of trade initiatives including common tax issues, VAT and the development of better integrated customs and cross-border security, and trade systems. The next meeting of CIS Ministers will be held in Moscow in October where updates on proposed trade simplification changes will be voiced.

The CIS has a population of some 282 million people, about two thirds of that of the US, with an estimated 2016 GDP of US$5.43 trillion and an average per capita (PPP) income of US$19,238 – higher than China.

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