DUSHANBE, May 17, Asia-Plus -- The 8 th Regional Forum of countries of South Caucasus and Central Asia opened in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on May 16.    

According to information from the Industries Ministry, the forum aims to consider issues related to latest methods of optimization and strategies of control over exports.   Participants at the forum are also discussing issues of establishment and expansion of cooperation with international finance institutions 

First Deputy Economy and Trade Minister, Mahmadsharif Haqdodov, and Deputy Justice Minister, Rustam Mengliyev, are representing Tajikistan at this two-day conference.  

The forum in Tbilisi has brought together specialists from Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Sweden, Tajikistan and the United States.  

According to figures provided by the State Committee for Statistics, Tajikistan has had economic and trade relations with 67 countries, including 10 CIS states, in January-April this year.  An external trade turnover of Tajikistan over the same four-month period has amounted to US$933.8 million, which is 141.9 percent of the level of January-April 2005.  The trade balance was negative and amounted to US$72.6 million.