The USAID-funded forum reflects growth in Central Asia's openness to regional and international trade, according to the organisers.
China's economic investment in Central Asian threatens Russia's interests and influence in the region, analysts say.
Russia's coercive economic policies have led to a massive shortage of sugar in Kazakhstan, threatening the livelihoods of local businesses and harming the nation's citizens.
Jobs are giving previously unemployed young Kazakhs an outlet for their energies and a source of income.
The joint project, launched by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Azerbaijan, has set up a multi-country tour for visitors seeking to sightsee along the ancient Silk Road.
Representatives from the Kazakh Chamber of International Commerce, Kazakhstan Railways, Kazakh-Export, Kazakh-Invest, and others attended a trade event to seek out deals with Afghanistan.
Foreign tourists now face less red tape when visiting Samarkand and other historic cities in Uzbekistan.
Recently designated a city of 'national significance', Shymkent is looking at ways to develop its economy.
The Kremlin's decision to extend a ban on transporting Ukrainian goods through Russia to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan is bad for business and unneighbourly, analysts say.
According to a recent survey, even a third of Russian youth want to leave their country for better opportunities and quality of life.