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United States, Central Asian countries Hold Third TIFA Council Meeting

July 17, 2007



Washington, D.C. - Ambassador John K. Veroneau, Deputy
United States Trade Representative, hosted the third annual meeting of the
United States-Central Asian Council on Trade and Investment (“Council”)

Joining him as heads of Central Asian delegations were
Gulumon Bobozoda, Minister of Trade and Economic Development of Tajikistan;
Hojamyrat Geldamyradov, Minister of Economy and Finance, Turkmenistan; Elyor
Ganiev, Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade,
Uzbekistan; Zhanar Seidakhmetovana Aitzhanova, Vice Minister of Industry and
Trade, Kazakhstan; and Jeenbek Kulubayev, Head of the Economic Cooperation
Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kyrgyz Republic.  Afghan
Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad participated as an observer.

“Our talks were very productive and offered all
participants new insights into the process of trade liberalization and economic
integration in the region, and its significance for regional development,” said
Ambassador Veroneau.

The Council, established pursuant to the U.S. Central
Asian Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (“TIFA”), provides a regular
forum to address regional trade issues that hamper intra-regional trade and
economic development and can act as impediments to investment.  Under the
terms of the TIFA, the Council facilitates an ongoing dialogue in order to help
increase commercial and investment opportunities by identifying and working to
remove impediments to trade and investment flows between the United States and Central
Asia.  Topics covered at this year’s Council meeting included a
range of trade and investment issues such as barriers to doing business, trade
liberalization and the WTO, and protection of intellectual property

The United States has signed TIFAs with a
number of countries in order to enhance trade ties and coordinate regionally and
multilaterally through regular senior level discussions on trade and economic

In 2006, U.S. imports from the five Central
Asian TIFA partner countries totaled about $1.3 billion and exports totaled
about $927 million.