Caspian Week a Strategic Partner of HORASIS' Second Extraordinary Meeting

On 18th of March, 2021 HORASIS: the Global Visions Community presented its second Extraordinary Meeting, co-chaired by Murat Seitnepesov, Chairman of Caspian Week which was also a Strategic Partner of the event. You can find more on our key sessions: The Rise of Central Asia, GSPDX and Amplifying Trust

We had three very interesting sessions, on three current issues that are shaping the world: the rise of Central Asia, preventing the next pandemic (GSPDX) and amplifying trust.

During our first session, The Rise of Central Asia (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w3NKAMbCCI), we explored the great developments on the legal, economic, and political fronts that are happening in selected countries in Central Asia and their implication in terms of investment attractiveness. - As pointed out by Stiphan Beher (Former Adviser to President of Kyrgyzstan) "instability of the countries as well as their governance" is probably the key factor limiting the potential of the region, so governments should do their best to provide transparency and secure civil rights. Kyrgyzstan is one of those countries moving towards more transparency, but it is not the only country moving through reforms. Uzbekistan is yet another example, as it just went through the liberalization of the foreign market exchange and sweeping tax reforms, as explained by Roza Gazizova (Managing Director, Sogdiana Advisory, Uzbekistan). If we look at all these countries, obviously there is a lot of attention towards the medical area, Mr. Beher points out; but agriculture in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan are also sectors that should be kept in mind. Mrs. Gazizova mentions Uzbekistan as being incredibly attractive in natural resources and human capital. Electronic, financial, agricultural, and manufacturing sectors are key investment priorities.

Matthew Bryza, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, USA draws attention to how countries of Central Asia and Afghanistan are now interconnected with each other, was in line, showing that apart from the energy industry, there are large investment projects in the financial, electronic sectors as well as on the digital Silk Road, which is going to connect big data centres in South East Europe with Central Asia via sea and land cables.

That is why, international organizations in the region are also playing their part. AIFC, based in Kazakhstan works to transform the private sector and attract investors led by James Martin, who showed how

Kazakhstan was attracting investments, by connecting economic zones that it has already established: it is about collaboration, not competition.

We then left the great development of Central Asia, to delve into a very relevant topic, which is the Global System for Preparedness for Disease X (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EULbBOIoO-o).

The idea behind this project is to find a way to identify the next unknown disease before risks become dramatic. The task is multifaceted as it covers technological, political and operational aspects. Every panelist we had the pleasure to host, has shown significant interest in the project and eagerness to see it come true.

Murat Seitnepesov (Chairman, Caspian Week, Switzerland) that there is no system for detecting the emergency and preventing new pathogens on early stage. Lack of early detection of pandemics means lack of preparedness to face it, which in turn could save lives and money. José Ramón Calvo (President, Institute of Multidisciplinary Research, Spain) raised a relevant issue: how can people detect the virus or microorganism that hasn't appeared yet? The solution is to look for early signs with a global initiative that will include international and regional organizations and private businesses with the common idea to create a global system for systematization of accumulated fragmented knowledge thanks to digital technologies, data science and mathematics. Ernesto Kahan (Academic Director, Galilee International Management Institute, Israel) adds that we must put the Global System for Preparedness of Disease X into the framework of a larger set of measures that we undertake to prevent pandemics. But once identified, the task is not over, the investigation starts. The results can reveal "the candidates for an unknown pathogen, which is a potential Disease X".

Matthew Burrows (Atlantic Council, Director, Foresight, Strategy and Risks Initiative) underlines that we are missing a key element here on governance side. "What we need are states that would back it, and also civil society and movements to push the idea, otherwise it would be problematic. It is an initiative that will require fundraising support, to accelerate and foster the development of the project

It is therefore necessary to create an international coalition to put thoughts and knowledge together which later will be coordinated by International Centre for Preparedness for Disease X.

After this relevant discussion, we entered the Closing Plenary and Call to Action: Amplifying Trust (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31wB-vJwnXg).

Frank-Jürgen Richter (Chairman, Horasis, Switzerland) summarized that "Debates during the meeting has shown how we might overcome the disruption by developing unity, inspiration and creativity. And ultimately how we can amplify trust." Lynn C. Fritz (Proprietor, Lynmar Estate, USA) suggests that the private sector should pave the way: entrepreneurs must find a new approach towards external parties. It is up to the business leaders to rebuild trust on different levels; understanding, sympathy and win-win propositions will help to build trust and mutual associations. Murat Seitnepesov (Chairman, Caspian Week, Switzerland) agreed that trust remains the key element and it will help us to improve the state of the world at large. However he insisted that, although Covid-19 disrupted our usual lifestyle and businesses, we did not lose trust in each other. What we probably lost is the trust in institutions, international organizations and governments due to the lack of coordination and inability to act properly in time that we experienced. "If the institutions regain the trust back, it will be easier to do the same at the business and private level." Successfully fighting consequences of Covid-19 can bring back trust to organizations. Vinod Sekhar (Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer, Petra Group, Malaysia) went one step further: "We as businessmen have the opportunity to not only regain trust that is lost, but also to change the nature which we used to know." People need to think about how their actions can help rebalance inequality, not only about profit.

Mrs. Fritz adds along the same line: the reactions and relations between some countries we saw during the pandemic were caused by fear, it was a survival. Now we are starting to see more cooperation.

For additional information please contact us by Email info@caspianweek.org or by phone: +41 22 508 77 80.

Greater Caspian Association

Best regards,
Caspian Week Team