Senior officials of the governments of the United States, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan held the Council Meeting of the US-Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), says the press release of Office of the US Trade Representative.
The meeting discussed the trade and investment environment in Central Asia and the United States. Afghanistan and Pakistan participated as observers.
Under the TIFA, the member countries launched the Intellectual Property (IP) Working Group, which will facilitate development of robust IP protection and enforcement policies to promote economic growth, creativity, and the health and safety of all countries in the region.
Other Working Groups met on customs, standards, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, on women’s economic empowerment.
The next meeting of the U.S. – Central Asia TIFA Council will take place in Washington, DC 2019.
U.S.-Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement was signed by the USA and all five Central Asian nations – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan – in 2004 in Washington.
TIFA provide strategic frameworks and principles for dialogue on trade and investment issues between the United States and the other parties.
By the Agreement, the parties reaffirmed their desire to create favorable conditions for the development of cooperation on a long-term basis and to diversify foreign trade. On the basis of TIFA, the United States-Central Asian Council on Trade and Investment was established, consisting of representatives of the member countries of the Agreement.
The Council meets at least once a year. The objectives of this structure include monitoring of trade and investment relations between the countries, identifying opportunities for expanding trade and investment, holding consultations, seeking advice of the private sector, where appropriate on matters relation to the work of the Council.