By Sanjana Dubey, Office of Public and Media Affairs
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative (DAUSTR) for South and Central Asian Affairs Mara Burr and Director for Central Asia Laurie Curry participated in an Energy, Trade and Development Forum as part of the 2013 Turkic American Convention (TAC) at the J.W. Marriott Hotel.
The Convention hosted seven Central Asian nations, including Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
DAUSTR Mara Burr spoke during the Uzbekistan session of the Convention, which focused on U.S.-Uzbekistan relations, including the country’s energy resources and policies, trade activities, investment opportunities, development issues, Uzbekistan’s foreign policy vis-à-vis energy and trade.
DAUSTR Mara Burr spoke on the U.S.-Uzbekistan relationship as part of a
distinguished panel at the Turkic American Convention.
DAUSTR Burr emphasized trade linkages between Central Asia and South Asia, and addressed why the World Trade Organization is an attractive institution for Central Asian countries like Uzbekistan. She stated that “Uzbekistan historically has been a center of trade between Central and South Asia going back to the early days of the Silk Road, and this history demonstrates that Central Asia is a place where trade and investment under the right conditions can flourish.” The Counselor on Trade and Economic Affairs at the Embassy of Uzbekistan, Laziz Kudratov, and the Director of the Joint Contingency Acquisition Support Office at the Defense Logistics Agency, Rear Admiral Ron MacLaren also spoke at the session. Ambassador John Herbst, the Director for the Center of Complex Operations at the National Defense University, acted as moderator.
At the session on Turkmenistan, Director Curry spoke on bilateral U.S-Turkmenistan economic relations, Turkmenistan’s efforts to integrate into the global economic community, and its emerging role in regional agreements such as the U.S.- Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. She emphasized that “the United States and Turkmenistan have a strong and growing relationship, through which we hope to encourage more cooperation and coordination on trade and investment issues in Central Asia with Turkmenistan playing a leading role.” The Ambassador of Turkmenistan to the United States, H.E. Meret Orazov, and the Assistant U.S. Secretary of State to South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert Blake, also spoke at the session on Turkmenistan. Najiya Badykova, the President of Antares Strategy, acted as the moderator.
The sessions of the TAC were held all day and demonstrated private sector and policy makers’ interest in trade, development and energy issues in the strategic region of Central Asia.