On October 13, EWI participated in the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) VII Academic Forum held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The Forum, held by the Center for Strategic Studies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, and the OSCE Center in Ashgabat, offered a platform to discuss energy cooperation, connectivity, trade and transit facilitation, communications, and business-to-business dialogue and partnership with speakers from across the region as well as from China, Europe, and the United States. The Forum was opened with remarks from H.E. Adela Raz, Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Cooperation of Afghanistan, H.E. Vapa Hajyev, Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan, and Mrs. Natalya Drozd, Head of the OSCE Center in Ashgabat.
EWI was represented at the Forum by Distinguished Fellow James L. Creighton, who moderated a panel discussing regional transport corridors, and Afghanistan Program Associate Annie Cowan, who spoke regarding trade and transit facilitation, the potential complementary use of regional transport and infrastructure projects, and the implications of increased connectivity for Afghanistan's human and economic development. The outcomes of the discussions will be presented in a policy paper at the RECCA VII Ministerial Meeting in Ashgabat on November 14-15, 2017.