US, Central Asia Agree On Information Flow, Digital Trade - Statement

US, Central Asia Agree on Information Flow, Digital Trade - Statement

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 31st March, 2021) The United States and five Central Asian countries have agreed to intensify the free flow of information among themselves and broaden cooperation on digital trade, a statement on the initiative said Tuesday.

Senior US, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan officials had a council meeting of the US-Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and agreed to the measures, the statement said, adding that representatives from Afghanistan and Pakistan attended the conference as observers.

"Participants agreed to focus on ensuring the free flow of information across borders with a cohesive legal, regulatory, and policy environment characterized by openness, transparency, competition, and non-discrimination," the statement said.

On the digital trade front, the officials agreed to prioritize broad stakeholder participation and focus on ways the digital economy could broaden the reach of small and medium enterprises into global markets, enhance women's economic empowerment, and support the development of a robust private sector.

According to the US State Department, Washington has provided over $9 billion in direct assistance to support peace and security, democratic reform, and economic growth, as well as meet humanitarian needs, in Central Asia.