IsDB Group Chairman Calls for Greater Regional Cooperation and Integration to Boost Central Asia's Trade and Investment Potential

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 28 April 2023 - The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, organized a roundtable discussion under the theme "Trade Connect Central Asia+ Development Partners". The event was held as a part of the 2nd Tashkent International Investment Forum (TIIF) and brought together high-level officials and experts from Central Asian member countries, as well as representatives from globally renowned organizations such as the World Bank, UNDP, Asian Development Bank (ADB), UNECE, and others.

The roundtable was jointly coordinated by ITFC and the Ministry of Investment, Industry, and Trade of Uzbekistan, and was inaugurated by, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, His Excellency Jamshid Khodjaev, and Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) President and Group Chairman, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser. The event served as an important platform for participants to share their views and discuss ways to enhance trade cooperation and connectivity within the region and beyond.

In his opening remarks at the forum, IsDB Group Chairman, H.E. Dr. Al Jasser, highlighted that Central Asia is a region with enormous potential for economic growth and development, but it remains one of the least integrated regions in the world, with low levels of intra-regional trade and investment.

‘’The Islamic Development Bank Group is committed to supporting the economic development of the Central Asia Region and Azerbaijan. We have been working closely with the governments of the region to identify priority areas for investment and provide financing for key projects’’ said IsDB Group Chairman.

Further, the IsDB Group Chairman discussed the TCCA+ Program, which has been developed by ITFC in consultation with the governments of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The program aims to achieve inclusive economic growth and regional economic cooperation and promote trade among the targeted member countries in Central Asia as well as with Azerbaijan and the rest of the world.

The TCCA+ Program is expected to improve production, facilitate regional trade by reducing the time and costs of border crossings, increase regional business interaction, and enhance regional competitiveness by reforming trade policies and strengthening the efficiency of trade support institutions.

Dr. Al Jasser called on participating organizations to extend their support to the TCCA+ Program, which complements the Central Asia Connectivity Initiative launched by IsDB, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and Multilateral Cooperation Center for Development Finance (MCDF).

He also expressed appreciation to His Excellency President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan for convening the important and successful forum and encouraged the participants to engage actively in the roundtable discussions.

About the Trade Connect Central Asia+ Program

Designed by ITFC and partners, the Trade Connect Central Asia+ program is geared to achieve inclusive economic growth, regional economic cooperation and trade facilitation between the CIS OIC member countries and with the rest of the world.

By leveraging the latent potential in regional markets, the Trade Connect Central Asia+ aims to unlock the latent potential of US$600 million of intra-trade in the targeted region, over the next 5 years, as well as billions of dollars trade and investment opportunities with other OIC regions. With a focus on increasing regional exports and diversifying the export base towards higher value. The program focuses on sectors such as Agri and Agro processed, Petro-chem derivatives, Articles of plastic and metal, Light Industry, and Machineries amongst others.