TRANSIT FORUM with the Embassies of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Turkey
Thursday, 28 April, 2016, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Central Asia, Caspian, South Caucasus and Black Sea regions together form a strategically important transit corridor between China and Europe. Connecting trade, people and economies, the modern trans-Caspian trade and transit routes from China to Europe, envisages an extensive and integrated network of infrastructure, special economic zones, harmonized customs, and cross-border procedures along this route.
Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Turkey combined represent a market of more than 110 million consumers. These countries are able to offer customized and integrated solutions to companies with highly sophisticated supply chains.
On Thursday, April 28, 2016, the Embassies of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Turkey to the U.S.A., are organizing the “Trans-Caspian East-West Trade and Transit Corridor” Forum in Washington, D.C., in partnership with the World Bank Group, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Council for International Understanding, Boeing Company, U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce, AmCham Azerbaijan, America-Georgia Business Council, U.S.-Kazakhstan Business Association, AmCham Kazakhstan, AmCham Georgia, and Turkish-American Business Association/AmCham Turkey.
This special all-day forum, hosted by the Central Asia and Caucasus Institute at SAIS-Johns Hopkins University, will introduce projects and investments along the modern Silk Road to U.S. business leaders across a variety of multinational industries.
Speakers at this special forum include: Ambassador Elin Suleymanov, Azerbaijan; Ambassador Archil Gegeshidze, Georgia; Ambassador Kairat Umarov, Kazakhstan; Ambassador Serdar Kılıç, Turkey; Mr. Gary Litman, VP, US Chamber of Commerce; S. Frederick Starr, Chairman, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, JHU-SAIS; Dr. Taleh Ziyadov, Director-General, Baku International Sea and Trade Port; Mr. Rauf Valiyev, Chairman, Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping; Mr. Mamuka Bakhtadze, CEO, Georgian Railways; Ms. Ketevan Salukvadze, Head of Transport Policy Dept., Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development; Mr. Askar Mamin, President, Kazakhstan Railways; Mr. Sanzhar Yelubayev, President of KTZ Express; Mr. Osman Nuri Beyhan, Deputy Director General for EU and International Affairs, Ministry of Customs and Trade; and others TBA.
Schedule, Thursday, 28 April 2016:
8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Continental breakfast
9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Welcome by the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, the US
Dept of State, Ambassadors of Azerbaijan, Georgia,
Kazakhstan, and Turkey, and representatives from the US
Chamber of Commerce
10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Panel #1: "Trans-South Caucasus Customs and Trade
Facilitation: What Needs to Be Done?"
Moderator: S. Frederick Starr
11:00 - 11:25 a.m. Q & A
11:25 - 11:40 a.m. Break (refreshments)
11:40 - 12:40 p.m. Panel #2: "'From Sea to Sea' Integrated Regional Transit
and Logistics Infrastructure."
12:40 - 1:00 p.m. Q & A
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Lunch served in the auditorium
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Panel #3 "Commercial and Investment Opportunities:
Financing, Logistics, and Supply Chain."
Moderator: Jorg Frieden, Executive Director, The World
3:00 - 3:25 p.m. Q & A
3:25 - 4:00 p.m. Closing remarks
By Vladimir Socor
ISDP Policy Brief no. 191
December 22, 2015
The year now ending marked a milestone in Kazakhstan’s rapprochement with the European Union. On December 21, 2015 in Astana, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and Kazakhstan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yerlan Idrissov, signed the EU-Kazakhstan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. This new-generation Agreement replaces and upgrades an earlier, less ambitious document. Kazakhstan is the first Central Asian country to achieve this status vis-a-vis the European Union. This status puts Kazakhstan ahead of Russia in terms of official relations with the EU; moreover, the Kazakhstan-EU relationship is trouble-free.
By Michael Emerson
ISDP Policy Brief no. 190
December 21, 2015
On December 21, 2015, the European Union and the Republic of Kazakhstan signed the new Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in the Kazakh capital, Astana. The new agreement replaced the original one that has been in force since 1999 and it is considered as a significant step for both sides to advance relations and strengthen political and economic cooperation. This development took place in a year when Kazakhstan joined to the World Trade Organization (WTO). In fact, the two agreements are deeply inter-locked: the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement was signed only on condition and after Kazakhstan's accession on WTO. However, Kazakhstan is also a full member of the Eurasian Economic Union, which complicates its relationship with the European Union.
By Johan Engvall and Svante E. Cornell
ISDP Policy Brief no. 189, December 17, 2015
In the past two years, Kazakhstan has joined the World Trade Organization, obtained a seat at the Asia-Europe Meeting, signed an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union, announced it would host the EXPO-2017 in Astana, and launched a bid for a rotating seat at the United Nations Security Council. This extraordinary high frequency of international engagements is remarkable, but it represents a difference in degree and not nature in Kazakhstan’s diplomatic history. Indeed, since the fall of the Soviet Union Kazakhstan has developed a record of being the most proactive and innovative former Soviet republic in the sphere of international cooperation.
by S. Frederick Starr and Svante E. Cornell
In 2015, the EU revised its Strategy for Central Asia, and finalized an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Kazakhstan. These welcome steps will not turn the EU into a regional powerhouse overnight, but provide the EU with a platform to play a constructive role in Central Asia. The EU can achieve that if it avoids focusing on issues where it has little hope of direct influence, such as regional security affairs and domestic governance. Instead, to gain such a role eventually, the EU should focus on revitalizing the promise of its visionary initiative of the 1990s – the Transport Corridor linking Europe to Asia via the Caucasus and Central Asia – which it allowed to slip, handing the initiative to other powers, primarily China.