On November 5th, the first in-person meeting of the EU-Central Asia Economic Forum takes place in Bishkek, Delegation of the European Union to the Kyrgyz Republic reported.
This high-level gathering is planned to be 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 priority areas of the strategy.
The Forum will offer an opportunity to exchange views on the Central Asia region’s priority needs in respect of sustainable economic development, with the aim of generating beneficial outcomes for all sides. The three main areas of the Forum will be green recovery, digitalisation, and a better business environment.
Therefore, the first in-person EU-Central Asia Economic Forum will focus on challenges and opportunities in these three areas, based on existing EU initiatives, including the European Green Deal, Digital Agenda, EU regional and bilateral programmes in line with the new programming cycle for 2021-2027, as well as initiatives and technological solutions offered by the EU private sector.
The Forum this year is hosted by the Kyrgyz Republic, while also allowing for online participation. It will enable an inclusive discussion with representatives of all Central Asian countries on the ongoing EU engagement and on further opportunities for EU-Central Asia economic cooperation with particular focus on the Forum’s three priorities.
Central Asian states will be represented by senior government officials, while Valdis Dombrovskis, EU Commission Executive Vice President for An Economy that Works for People and European Commissioner for Trade, will represent the European Union.
“I am honoured to represent the European Union at this important high-level event. Our relations with the five countries of the Central Asian region are consistently improving, and with this Economic Forum, we are taking the next step in our region-to-region engagement. We will discuss avenues for increasing cooperation, trade and investment, focusing on key shared priorities such as fostering a stable business environment, and the green and digital transformation of our economies. As we continue our recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, our work on these shared priorities can bring our regions closer than ever before,” EVP Valdis Dombrovskis said.
The event will also gather high-level representatives of EU Member States, partners implementing EU funded projects in the region, private sector representatives from Central Asian and European countries, and development partners, including European financial institutions.