Ashgabat- The RECCA VII Academic Forum was held on October 13, 2017 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The opening session included statements by H.E. Vapa Hajyev, Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan, H.E. Adela Raz, Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Cooperation of Afghanistan and Mrs. Natalya Drozd, Head of the OSCE Center in Ashgabat.
The Forum continued during the day with four panel discussions on energy cooperation, connectivity, trade and transit facilitation, communications as well as business-to-business dialogue and partnership with speakers from across the region.
The panelists discussed major opportunities for enhancing the regional economic cooperation as well as impediments to unlocking the full potential for regional cooperation and economic integration across South, Southwest, and Central Asia. They also discussed the role that regional countries and the existing regional platforms can play in further promoting regional economic cooperation in the wider region.
Speakers highlighted, among other issues, the importance of addressing the investment deficit for infrastructure development; the need for effective implementation of the commitments and decisions made during the previous RECCA meetings including the transit trade agreements as well as the significance of bringing greater synergy among various regional frameworks and transport corridors in the wider region.
The outcomes of the Academic Forum will be presented to the upcoming RECCA Ministerial Meeting to be held from 14-15 November 2017 in Ashgabat.
The RECCA VII Academic Forum was co-organized by the Center for Strategic Studies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the OSCE Center in Ashgabat.