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Digital Trade Working Group

Background Information 

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) has been tasked by the U.S. Department of State in coordination with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to provide technical assistance to facilitate trade and economic connectivity in and among the countries of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan), and between Central Asia and other countries and regions of the world. CLDP’s work furthers the goals of the U.S. – Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and the C5+1. To carry out its task, CLDP supports expert level regional working groups established under the TIFA on key trade issues, namely, Customs, Sanitary/Phytosanitary Measures, Women’s Economic Empowerment, Intellectual Property Rights, and Digital Trade. 

Digital Trade Working Group 

The Working Group was agreed at the TIFA Council in March 2021 and officially launched in November 2021. The goal of the Digital Trade Working Group is to work with stakeholders to develop an open, inclusive, and secure digital infrastructure that will serve as a foundation for regional development and economic growth. The Working Group seeks to fulfill this goal by promoting international best practices, removing digital trade barriers, and fostering the necessary legal and regulatory environment that will allow digital trade to develop and thrive across the region.  

The Working Group participants include government officials, domestic and international private sector, and civil society. Digital trade is a broad topic area, and the Working Group participants determine the focus of the work in the group. Possible areas of focus include electronic payments, signatures, and transactions; promoting policies that facilitate effective cross-border data flows; taxes; cybersecurity; data protection; and consumer protection.  

From January - April 2022, CLDP facilitated a series virtual and in-person Digital Trade Roundtables with stakeholders in each country to identify specific country-level digital trade priorities, challenges, and needs – in preparation for the first regional Digital Trade Working Group meeting in September 2022.  

Past Meetings: 

Nur-Sultan Regional Digital Trade Working Group Meeting 
March 14-15, 2022
Bishkek Regional Digital Trade Working Group Meeting  March 17-18, 2022
Tashkent Regional Digital Trade Working Group Meeting  April 18-19, 2022
Dushanbe Regional Digital Trade Working Group Meeting  April 25-26, 2022
Almaty  Regional Digital Trade Working Group Meeting  April 29, 2022

 

Upcoming Meetings: 

Virtual Regional Digital Trade Working Group Meeting 
July 27, 2022
Istanbul Regional Digital Trade Working Group Meeting  Sept 5-8, 2022
Virtual Regional Digital Trade Working Group Meeting  Sept 28, 2022
Virtual Regional Digital Trade Working Group Meeting  Oct 26, 2022
In-Person Regional Digital Trade Working Group Meeting  Nov 28, 2022
Areas of Expertise
Countries and Regions