| 3 December 2023, Sunday |

Central Asian leaders agree on potential for economic cooperation with EU

During the second European Union-Central Asia summit held in Cholpon Ata, Kyrgyzstan, leaders from five Central Asian countries expressed a shared perspective on the possibilities for economic collaboration with the European Union (EU).
Kyrgyzstan’s President Sadyr Zhaparov, who presided over the summit, said the formation of a common “geo-economic space” in Central Asia will help the region integrate into the global economy.

Zhaparov said over the past year, Kyrgyzstan’s trade turnover with EU countries increased by 76.1% and amounted to $603.1 million, noting that in the future, the country would like to work not only on increasing trade turnover but also on “leveling the trade balance.”

“At the same time, we understand the concerns and requests of our European partners regarding a certain group of goods subject to sanctions, and we are ready to continue dialogue with the EU on this issue,” he said.

On the occasion, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted an increase in trade turnover, saying it could reach $50 billion by 2025.

Kazakhstan, in particular, has the potential to increase oil supplies to Germany via the Druzhba pipeline to 1.2 million tons per year, he said.

Tokayev also proposed hosting a Central Asian climate summit in Kazakhstan in 2026.

In turn, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev urged combining efforts to develop transport and communication ties between Central Asia and Europe, primarily through the formation of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), also known as the Middle Corridor.

He also invited EU representatives to co-organize the first International Climate Forum, which will be held this fall as part of the Samarkand solidarity initiative for common security and prosperity.

Mirziyoyev drew attention to “the rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan,” urging partners to maintain the volume of humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people and expressing readiness to provide for these purposes the capabilities of the logistics hub infrastructure in the city of Termez.

The summit concluded with the adoption of a communique in which all leaders present pledged to increase cooperation.

  • Anadolu Agency