The “Trans-Caspian East-West Trade & Transit Corridor” Forum
June 26-27, 2017
Background: The Trans-Caspian East-West Trade and Transit Corridor brings together the Central Asia, Caspian and Black Sea strategic regions to form a viable trade and transit corridor between Europe and East & South-East Asia. Connecting trade, people and economies, the modern trans-Caspian corridor has extensive and integrated network of infrastructure, special economic zones, harmonized customs, cross-border procedures and more along this route.
The United States played an important role in the development of this corridor and its cooperation with our countries has evolved into resilient strategic partnerships. Joint initiatives and projects such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and Southern Gas Corridor have greatly contributed to the increased business between the region and the United States. Moreover, currently underway regional infrastructure projects such as С5+1 Transport Corridor Development, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and the multiple Port developments valued over $50 billion have been providing additional business opportunities including increased trade, investments and development of strategic infrastructure for facilitating commercially viable transit that the United States and its companies can benefit from.
Today, ambitious regional infrastructure projects will ensure swift and efficient shipments of all types of goods. These projects will connect Asian and European transport networks, significantly shorten delivery time and save transportation costs for delivering goods from Asian to European markets. Expanding regional transport grids along the Trans-Caspian corridor opens new opportunities for transcontinental shipments, and innovative services. Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Turkmenistan form a market of around 150 million consumers. These countries are willing to offer customized and integrated solutions to companies with highly sophisticated supply chains.
Project description: Forum was a practical manifestation of joint willingness of the Trans-Caspian countries to make this corridor a viable option for East-West trade and transit shipments. Regional governments introduced infrastructure, business, investment, trade and transit opportunities to business leaders, policy-makers and expert community across a variety of multinational industries. The Forum presented a suitable platform for public and private senior executives from regional countries and businesses.
The diplomatic missions of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Turkmenistan held the “2nd Trans-Caspian East-West Trade and Transit Corridor” forum in Washington D.C on June 26-27, 2017. The Forum took place at the George Washington University followed up by a policy discussion at the US Congress and round-table at the World Bank.
On the first day, June 26, the Forum was co-hosted by the Central Asia Program at George Washington University and the Caspian Policy Center and was open to the wider public including academic, think tank, policy, business community, government officials and policy-makers from six organizing countries along with the United States. The Caspian Policy Center also provided informational and analytical support to the Forum.
On June 27, the morning session was held at the United States Congress and was open to the public, specifically to Congressional staff along with academic, think tank, policy, business community, government officials and policy-makers.
On the second half of June 27, an event was organized at the World Bank for businesses, think tanks and government officials to discuss practical issues of cooperation along the Trans-Caspian corridor.