6/11/2008 - The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Central Asian countries are to work together on a regional initiative to boost the business climate, drawing on OECD countries’ experience in policy reforms aimed at spurring investment and competitiveness.
Ministers of Economy and senior officials from 7 Central Asian countries including Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan met in Berlin on 4-5 November for a Regional Conference hosted by the OECD and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Countries from the region recognised the need to actively improve the business climate, especially in the context of the current financial crisis. The meeting ended with the endorsement of a concluding statement forming the basis for co-operation to improve investment and competitiveness in the region.
Central Asian economies have enjoyed strong growth in recent years, but foreign direct investment remains low. “Today, with the financial crisis at the door step of Central Asia, the question is not just to increase investment but to maintain existing ones”, said Fadi Farra, Head of the OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Programme.
“The Central Asian nations should continue striving to improve the national and regional climate for investment and business activity in order to make the region more attractive to foreign investors”, said State Secretary Jochen Homann from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.
The regional initiative will be implemented in partnership with other international stakeholders including the European Commission. Expert working groups will focus on policy priority areas – at both the regional and national level – and will provide a platform to exchange good practice and develop advice on how to address common challenges in the region.
Central Asian Ministers agreed to design and implement a set of policy reforms to improve the business climate.