Senior officials of the governments of the United States, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan today convened the 15th U.S. - Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council meeting.

The delegations were led by U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister Serik Zhumangarin, Kyrgyz Republic’s Deputy Minister of Economy and Commerce Nazarbek Malaev, Tajikistan’s Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade Akhliddin Nuriddinzoda, Turkmenistan’s Minister of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations Begench Gochmollaev, and Uzbekistan’s Deputy Prime-Minister Jamshid Khodjaev. Officials from the government of Pakistan attended as observers.

During the TIFA Council meeting, senior officials exchanged views on their respective government’s priorities for increasing and diversifying trade and investment opportunities between the United States and Central Asia. The parties also noted the challenges of developing new trade routes to improve supply chain resilience and economic diversification but emphasized that this provides an opportunity to use new economic and technical tools to improve trade and integration.

The participants also discussed the implementation of certain policy reforms intended to facilitate trade and create a predictable business environment. All parties acknowledged that providing regulatory transparency and consistent stakeholder consultation during the development of regulations is instrumental in attracting foreign direct investment and spurring equitable growth. They also emphasized their interest in prioritizing the implementation of high-standard measures to promote trade in quality goods and services and enhance Central Asian competitiveness in the global economy.

The delegations affirmed the importance of the TIFA Working Groups in making tangible progress in enhancing both the opportunity and capacity for trade, including through the harmonization of customs and border procedures; adoption of science-based food safety and plant and animal health measures and processes; development of open, inclusive, and secure digital infrastructure and government interfaces; strengthening of intellectual property protection and enforcement; and facilitation of a public-private dialogue to spur women’s economic inclusion.

The United States also emphasized the importance of Central Asian partners’ ongoing efforts to increase alignment between domestic labor laws and international labor standards and ensure workers can exercise their internationally recognized labor rights.

The Council agreed to work to enhance coordination between the Working Groups’ meetings through various mechanisms, including through intersessional meetings of the TIFA Council, to measure progress on priority issues and ensure that trade between the United States and Central Asia reaches its full potential. All governments have expressed their commitment to achieving sustainable progress on trade.