PMCG’s Mikheil Janelidze Speaks at CARTIF Regional Workshop in Istanbul


On June 19-20, Mikheil Janelidze, trade policy sector lead at PMCG, delivered a presentation and led a discussion at the Regional Workshop on Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Trade & Investment Facilitation (CARTIF) in Istanbul.

Organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the workshop brought together CAREC officials from national ministries of economy, research center and think tank representatives, export/import firms, development partners, experts, and ADB staff.

Specifically, the CARTIF concept was outlined, along with its workplan and methodology, and CAREC countries’ feedback thereon was gathered. In addition, detailed discussions were held on the proposed priority CARTIF chapters, while development partners gave their opinions on regional trade agreements.

In the course of the workshop, Janelidze presented the institutional structure of CARTIF, while he also moderated an open discussion on CAREC countries’ perspectives.

Strengthening FTA Knowledge and Capacities Among CAREC Countries

Janelidze’s participation in the workshop came as part of the “Strengthening Knowledge and Capacities for the Design and Implementation of Free Trade Agreements Involving CAREC Countries” in which PMCG is involved.

The project has set out to bolster the 11 CAREC nations’ ability to devise, negotiate, enact, and monitor free trade agreements (FTAs), taking a pragmatic approach, complementing intra-regional knowledge with international best practices.

In particular, here PMCG has conducted FTA knowledge and capacity needs assessments, prepared FTA guidelines, drafted country-specific action plans, and delivered various knowledge-sharing and capacity-building events.

CAREC Program – Instrumental in Promoting Trade and Investment    

Broadly speaking, the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program has played a key role in boosting and enabling trade and investment among its member nations.

Following various successful initiatives such as the establishment of the Customs Cooperation Committee (CCC), the CAREC Integrated Trade Agenda (CITA) 2030 was launched at a ministerial conference in 2018. Crucially, this set out a long-term strategy designed to deepen CAREC states’ integration into the world economy.

Under the CITA 2030, the ADB is helping to forge a regional partnership uniting CAREC countries that promotes cross-border trade and encourages investment.

CARTIF – Strong Framework Enabling Economic Diversification

In this regard, and as explained in depth by Janelidze, the CAREC Trade and Investment Facilitation Partnership (CARTIF) is creating a robust framework for members to enhance economic diversification by increasing market access as well as the ease of doing business.

In the same session (CARTIF implementation arrangements) in which Janelidze gave his presentation, Dr Jan Bohanes (Advisory Centre on WTO Law) addressed dispute settlement mechanisms under CARTIF.

Other distinguished speakers at the workshop included Richard Pomfret (Professor of Economics at the University of Adelaide), who outlined the rationale and concept of CARTIF, and Pramila Crivelli (economist at the Regional Cooperation and Integration Division of the Economic Research and Development Impact Department at the ADB).

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