By Akbar Mammadov
The Ministers of Economy of the Turkic Council have agreed to establish Joint Action Plan curb challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision to this effect was made during the video-conference held between the ministers and Heads of Customs Administrations of the Turkic Council Member and Observer States, the council announced on its website on May 6.
During the meeting, the ministers discussed measures to mitigate the negative effects of the coronavirus on the economies of member countries, and to strengthen trade relations during and after the pandemic.
After the ministers gave detailed information regarding the economic challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the measures taken at national level to overcome the difficulties in domestic and foreign trade, they agreed to establish a joint Action Plan under the coordination of the Turkic Council Secretariat with the relevant authorities of the Member and Observer States responsible for economy, trade and customs issues, the council said.
The heads of the relevant state bodies also discussed the measures to ensure food security, finalizing a common list of essential goods among the Turkic Council countries, accelerating customs clearance procedures of these essential goods, including pharmaceutical and medical supplies, and humanitarian aid by setting an electronic pre-notification system, and developing mechanisms to reduce import taxes.
The Turkic Council noted that within this framework, parties exchanged views on the establishment of a “green corridor” and launch of “green lane” system at border crossing points to facilitate the delivery of essential products.
"The Ministers supported the decisions taken at the meeting of Ministers of Health of the Turkic Council held on April 28, 2020, regarding the establishment of a “Supply Chain Group” and stressed that this initiative would support joint production of medicines, medical supplies, etc. that the Member States are in need", the council added.
Furthermore, the sides also fully supported new cooperation projects, such as the establishment of industrial zones, techno parks and trade houses proposed by the Secretariat.
"At the meeting, promoting the use of national currencies in trade between member states and determining a common strategy to facilitate trade that would simplify customs procedures, encourage multimodal transport in the Middle Corridor and ensure the effective use of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway were given a particular emphasis", the council said.
In addition, the parties agreed on the proposal of Hungary to establish a joint action plan to evaluate investment opportunities in Europe through establishing partnerships among companies of the Turkic Council Member States.
"The Ministers emphasized that the decisions of the meeting with a view to maintain and further increase current level of economic and trade relations and to alleviate the socio-economic impact of the pandemic in the Turkic Council countries should be reflected in the “Turkic Vision 2025” that is currently being prepared by the Secretariat", the council noted.
It should be noted that the Turkic Council that consists of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, first discussed the COVID-19 crisis on April 10, in a meeting chaired by Azerbaijan.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz