EU – Central Asia Economic Forum
On 5 November (Friday), the European Union – Central Asia Economic Forum took place in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic. This high-level gathering is the first in a series of events taking place in Central Asian countries in the coming years, within the framework of the EU Strategy on Central Asia adopted in 2019. Strengthening economic ties between the European Union and Central Asia is one of the priorities of the strategy.
The Forum offered an opportunity to exchange views on priority areas for the Central Asia region in respect of sustainable economic development, to generate beneficial outcomes for all sides. The three main areas of the Forum were green recovery, digitalisation, and a better business environment.
The Forum was led on the EU side by Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis and gathered Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers of Central Asian countries as well as Ministers and high-level officials from more than 15 EU Member States, representatives of the EU and Central Asia private sector, international financial institutions, international organisations and representatives from civil society.
In a joint press statement participants confirmed their commitment to strengthen EU-Central Asia cooperation to support the transformation of Central Asian economies into diversified and competitive private-sector driven economies. This transformation will stimulate job creation, better integration in regional and global value chains while providing opportunities and a level-playing field for all economic actors, as well as helping Central Asian states build back better.
This new regional platform for economic dialogue between the EU and Central Asian partners was launched in December 2020 to support green and resilient recovery from the socio-economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and build back better. It aims to accelerate further diversification of the Central Asian economies, boosting trade, reinforcing the rule of law and modernisation of regulatory framework. The Forum serves as a platform for intra and inter-regional dialogue that will help translate the goals of the EU Strategy on Central Asia into action.
Image © European Commission