The Second EU-Central Asia Economic Forum welcomes intensity of EU-Central Asian relations

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On the occasion of the second in-person European Union-Central Asia Economic Forum, which took place in Almaty, Kazakhstan on May 18-19, the European Union (EU) and Central Asia welcomed the enhanced strategic importance, relevance and intensity of EU-Central Asian relations, according to the EU Delegation to Tajikistan. The parties reportedly reaffirmed their joint and steady commitment to further developing their strong, multi-faceted and forward-looking partnership, based on shared values and mutual interests. The participants reviewed the implementation of three priority areas of the First in-person EU-Central Asia Economic Forum, which took place in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on November 5, 2021 and stressed their intention to keep working together towards the continued transformation of Central Asian economies, with particular focus on better business environment, green and digital transitions, and EU-Central Asia trade and economic relations. In line with the EU Strategy for Central Asia and following the launch of the EU Global Gateway in 2021, the EU's offer to promote smart investments in quality infrastructure respecting the highest social and environmental standards- the parties agreed that sustainable and trust-based connectivity supports the shared goal of a prosperous and secure Central Asia. To that end, the parties: - Welcomed the continued geopolitical and strategic relevance of the Forum as a regional platform for economic dialogue between the EU and Central Asia. - Noted that the Forum facilitates closer economic relations and promotes inclusive and sustainable development through further diversification of the Central Asian and EU economies, boosting intra and interregional trade, enhancing the rule of law and strengthening regulatory frameworks. - Expressed their continued commitment to uphold the UN Charter and principles of international law, particularly the respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all UN Member states. - Agreed that cooperation should focus, among other things, on promoting environmental and social sustainability, removing trade barriers and promoting inclusiveness, enhancing competitiveness, creating jobs, accelerating integration into regional and global markets, and ensuring a level playing field for businesses. The business-to-business component of the Forum was particularly welcomed in promoting EU-Central Asia business, trade and investment relations. The parties reportedly agreed to regularly take stock of the progress made in the identified priority areas and looked forward to the organization of the next EU-Central Asia Forum in 2025.

Source: Asia Plus