2021 CAMCA Online Forum

e-CAMCA Forum

Jun 21-25, 2021

The 2021 e-CAMCA Forum was held over June 21-25, 2021 and brought together speakers and participants from 15 countries to discuss economic prospects of the CAMCA region.

Key Events

Main events included a welcoming address by Dr. Svante Cornell, Director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC), keynote interviews and online panel discussions, as well as the release of numerous commentaries and updates.


Keynote Interviews

The 2021 e-CAMCA Forum featured keynote interviews with Sergei Guriev, Professor of Economics at the Instituts d'√©tudes politiques in Paris (Sciences Po) interviewed by Rakhim Oshakbayev, Director, Center of Applied Research TALAP; Carlos Gutierrez, Chairman & CEO at EmPath and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce interviewed by Samiullah Mahdi, award-winning journalist and lecturer at Kabul University; Saad Mohseni, Chairman and CEO, MOBY Group interviewed by Ali Aslan, international TV presenter & journalist; and Douglas Becker, Founder & Chairman, CINTANA Education interviewed by Dr. Mamuka Tsereteli, Senior Fellow, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, AFPC.


Panel Discussions

Live virtual panel sessions addressed the following topics: "New Regionalism in Central Asia and Its Challenges" moderated by Dr. S. Frederick Starr, Chairman, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, AFPC; "U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan: What Does it Mean for Political and Economic Alignments in the Region?" moderated by Michael Doran, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute; "Impediments to Foreign Investments in CAMCA: Real or Imaginary?" moderated by Gaukhar Nurgalieva, Senior Advisor, FMA; "Will a New Entrepreneurial Class Drive CAMCA Economies?" moderated by Zabihullah Ziarmal, Director General, Afghanistan National Standard Authority and Chairman of the World Trade Centre Kabul Afghanistan; and "Can Education Systems of CAMCA Countries Adjust to New Labor Market Demands?" moderated by Yernar Zharkeshov, Principal and Head of Eurasia, Whiteshield Partners.



Speakers included distinguished professionals from a variety of sectors: Dennis de Tray, Board Member and Adviser to the President, Nazarbayev University; Dr. Subir Lall, Deputy Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF; Dr. Eldor Aripov, Director, Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan; Dr. Taleh Ziyadov, Director General, Baku International Sea Trade Port, Azerbaijan; Aziza Umarova, Co-Founder of SmartGov Consulting, CAMCA Network Member, Uzbekistan; Dr. Omar Sharifi, Country Director, American Institute of Afghanistan Studies, and Assistant Professor of Social Sciences in the American University of Afghanistan, CAMCA Network Member; Ikram Sehgal, Chairman, Pathfinder Group and Chairman, Karachi Council on Foreign Relations; Ambassador Gautam Mukhopadhaya, Senior Visiting Fellow, Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi; former Ambassador of India to Afghanistan (2010-2013); Alex Vatanka, Director of Iran Program and Senior Fellow, Frontier Europe Initiative, Middle East Institute; Iskander Akylbayev, Executive Director, Kazakhstan Council on International Relations, CAMCA Network Member; Dulguun Baasandavaa, Deputy Chairman, National Development Agency of Mongolia, CAMCA Network Member; Yusif Abdullayev, Acting President, Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation; Baurzhan Kankin, Chairman, Social Entrepreneurship Corporation Shymkent; Valeri Chekheria, Serial entrepreneur and hotelier, Founder and CEO of Hospitality Projects, and Adviser to the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia; Abdullo Kurbanov, Co-founder and CEO, Alif Bank, CAMCA Network Member, Tajikistan; Khulan Davaadorj, Founder, Director and Chief Technologist, LHAMOUR LLC, CAMCA Network Member, Mongolia; Aziz Soltobaev, Founder, KG Labs Public Foundation, CAMCA Network Member, Kyrgyzstan; Abdulahad Badghisi, General Manager, Samarkand Bukhara Silk Carpet JV; Dr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, University of Central Asia; Fariz Ismailzade, Executive Vice Rector, ADA University, Azerbaijan; Hikmat Abdurahmanov, Co-founder and CEO, TEAM University, Co-founder, HMPARTNERS, CAMCA Network Member, Uzbekistan; Talant Sultanov, Co-founder and the Chair, Kyrgyz Chapter of the Internet Society, CAMCA Network Member, Kyrgyzstan; Dr. Irakli Laitadze, Chief Financial Officer, GMT Mtatsminda, and Lecturer, Ilya State University in Tbilisi, CAMCA Network Member, Georgia.


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