International experts and policy makers will come together at a three-day conference in Samarkand next November, to review research and discuss the future of agricultural trade among countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia.
Entitled “Regional and International Cooperation in Central Asia and South Caucasus: Recent Developments in Agricultural Trade,” the conference is being organized by the Liebniz Institute of Agricultural Development and Trade Economics in Transition Economies (IAMO), with financial support from FAO and the German Academic Exchange Service, in close cooperation with the Samarkand Agricultural Institute.
The conference will provide a platform for knowledge exchange by inviting researchers and policy makers from countries of the two subregions. Participants will exchange knowledge and research findings on regional and international agricultural trade cooperation in the concerned countries.
Papers submitted in advance – on regional economic cooperation and integration, strengthening sustainable economic development in the region, and related topics – will be presented and discussed. Field visits to both household producers and large-scale commercial export farms will be conducted, along with a guided tour of Samarkand focused on the role of the Great Silk Road in trade and regional cooperation.
“Close trade relations in the Caucasus and Central Asia have existed historically,” said FAO trade economist Ekaterina Krivonos, “but trade policies have seen a shift over the past 2-3 years that need to be addressed to facilitate intra-regional and international trade of agricultural commodities in the region.”
The exchange of food products across in the region has come under new pressure with currency fluctuations, challenges with aligning trade rules in the Eurasian Economic Union countries’ commitments in the World Trade Organization, and trade tensions between Russian Federation and western countries, Krivonos continued. The conference hopes to address regional economic cooperation and integration by finding ways to confront the fluctuating nature of the agricultural market and the political atmosphere of the Caucasus and Central Asia.