Deputy Assistant Administrator Anjali Kaur: “We see the Caspian Region as a source of ideas, culture, and innovation”
Author: Caspian Policy Center
Sep 23, 2022
Anjali Kaur, the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Asia attends the Third Caspian Business Forum in New York on September 19, to discuss opportunities and challenges for enhancing mutually beneficial engagement in business, trade, and investment between the United States and Greater Caspian Region.
Anjali Kaur is an international development professional with comprehensive experience at the field, country, and global levels with evidence-based, integrated global health programs. As a Deputy Assistant Administrator for Asia, USAID, part of her role is overseeing USAID’s wide-ranging development efforts across Central Asia and Caucasus.
At her address during our Business Forum, Deputy Assistant Administrator Kaur discussed the importance of international markets for Central Asian exports, connectivity of Central Asian businesses, the regional and global firms to key growth sectors and introduce digital solutions to improve logistics planning and reduce customs processing.
“For more than 30 years, we have supported the success, independence, and prosperity of our partners in Central Asia and the Caucasus. USAID has provided direct assistance to support peace and security, governance reforms, economic growth, energy diversification, health and education, and humanitarian needs across this dynamic region,” she added.
Deputy Assistant Administrator Kaur has also shared some statistical data related to the region. In Uzbekistan USAID provides technical support to fertilizer producers to increase production, and train farmers on ways to optimize fertilizer use. This assistance is expected to increase annual production by about 10-20%. In the Kyrgyz Republic USAID invests in cold-chain storage facilities to prevent spoilage, thus increasing available produce by as much as 40%.
“We’ll continue to provide food and nutrition assistance. We’re helping vulnerable households grow nutritious food, providing cash in exchange for work so people can earn a livable income; diversifying supply chains, and income streams and supporting efforts that increase the availability of food of both before and after harvest.”- Deputy Assistant Administrator Kaur.
USAID helps identifying new traditional markets, international markets for Central Asian exports, connect Central Asian businesses to regional and global firms, to key growth sectors and introduce digital solutions to improve logistics planning and reduce customs processing. Through USAID’s trade promotions, activities, USAID has supported the Central Asian Trade Forum, one of the region's largest annual connectivity events that promotes regional trade and facilitates participation by US businesses. The forum led to 84.3 million in signed contracts between 2017 and 2021 alone.
Kaur also stressed the Caspian region’s potential to drive the future of clean, renewable energy through increased development of hydropower, wind, and solar: “With our support, Tajikistan has opened its first major solar power plant that provides thousands of Tajiks with clean renewable energy.”- she announced.
In Kazakhstan, USAID’s efforts to establish competitive auctions in energy markets have helped the government to leverage nearly 2 billion USD in private sector investment for renewable energy projects alone. In the Caucasus, USAID is building the regulatory foundation for a liberalized energy market, advancing greater integration between Armenia and Georgia and demonstrating the potential for renewable power generation.
“In this time of profound change and opportunity. The United States has taken truly meaningful steps to expand our strategic partnerships with the Caspian countries. We are proud of the friendships we formed with our Caspian partners, and we know that these diverse countries will grow stronger together by leveraging the extraordinary powers of regional connectivity, and we stand firmly committed to supporting you.” - she concluded.
To read Deputy Assistant Administrator Kaur’s full speech, please click HERE.