I am glad to welcome all the participants of our meeting.
I associate myself with the words of my distinguished colleagues and express my gratitude to the President of Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Sadyr Nurgozhoyevich, for the warm welcome and excellent organization of our summit.
I also welcome the distinguished Serdar Gurbangulyevich, who is taking part in the Consultative Meeting for the first time.
As it was repeatedly noted today, thanks to the established dialogue in this format, we managed to strengthen the relations of friendship and good-neighborliness, create a completely new atmosphere of constructive cooperation in the region.
We consistently solve the difficult tasks of ensuring security and stability, as well as sustainable socio-economic development in Central Asia.
On this path, many barriers were removed, conditions were created for the free movement of our citizens, active cultural and tourist exchanges.
A favorable environment has been created that promotes the growth of mutual trade and investment.
In the last five years alone, the volume of intraregional trade has doubled.
We have also started implementing joint industrial cooperation projects, creating efficient value chains, and developing transport and energy infrastructure.
The most important thing is that all these positive changes are felt by our fraternal peoples.
I agree with the assessments made here of the difficult situation in the world, which directly affects our region as well.
There is a rapid transformation of the international order with hard-to-predict consequences. We are witnessing a growing lack of dialogue and trust at the global level.
As a result of the growing crisis in the global economy, our countries are facing problems of breaking traditional logistics chains, inflation is growing, and food and energy security risks have increased many times over.
In this context, the need for coordination and improving the effectiveness of multilateral cooperation within the framework of Consultative Meetings is growing even more.
I would like to emphasize that peace, stability and prosperity of the entire region depend on our unity and readiness to take decisive measures to protect the common interests of Central Asia.
Dear Heads of State!
In order to further strengthen our multifaceted relations and develop practical regional cooperation, we consider it appropriate to focus our joint efforts on deepening our partnership in the following key dimensions.
The first is the economic dimension. The analysis shows that despite the positive dynamics, the potential of trade and economic cooperation between our countries is still undiscovered.
Today, intraregional trade accounts for 5 to 10 percent of the total trade turnover of the region’s countries.
In this regard, we propose to actively introduce new forms and mechanisms for stimulating mutual trade.
We are talking about creating a system of cross-border trade zones with unified rules and procedures for the supply of goods.
It is important to understand and support efforts to replace expensive and not always high-quality imports from third countries with products of our manufacturers.
Another important task is to promote joint industrial cooperation projects.
Our business circles are interested in creating production facilities, using competitive advantages and the factor of mutual complementarity of the economies of the region’s countries.
In this regard, it is important to develop common approaches to the formation of the Central Asian Space of industrial localization and import substitution based on national industrial development programs.
I propose to pay special attention to the issues of digitalization of economic sectors, which will reduce the cost of production and ensure the competitiveness of products.
In order to further develop trade and economic ties, we also propose to make greater use of the potential of direct interregional cooperation and launch the annual Forum of Central Asian Regions.
At the same time, it is necessary to strive to create a single favorable business climate to increase the overall regional investment attractiveness.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you for supporting the UN General Assembly’s special resolution on strengthening connectivity in Central and South Asia, which was recently adopted at the initiative of Uzbekistan.
As a follow-up to this initiative, we consider it important to develop a roadmap for promoting alternative transport corridors to enter the markets of India, Pakistan and China.
I also support the proposals of my colleagues on measures to ensure food security.
In this context, I consider it important to jointly develop a comprehensive scheme to guarantee the provision of a wide range of food products to the population, which is produced in sufficient quantities in our countries.
First of all, these are cereals, oilseeds and fodder crops, fresh and processed fruit and vegetable products, meat and dairy products, and much more.
We must work systematically on these issues, primarily based on the common interests of the Central Asian region.
The second dimension is multilateral cooperation in the environmental field.
I would like to thank you for supporting our initiative to adopt the Green Agenda for Central Asia program.
Within the framework of this program, we propose to focus on the implementation of international obligations on decarbonizing the economy, advancing the development of alternative energy, primarily hydro, solar and wind generation, with the organization of mutual electricity supplies, the widespread introduction of water-saving and environmentally friendly technologies, as well as the rational use of water resources.
We must admit that, unfortunately, we are far behind the leading regions of the world in terms of “green development”.
In order to ensure the long-term competitiveness of our countries, it is necessary to instruct governments to prepare a plan of concrete actions for the implementation of the program adopted today.
In the humanitarian dimension, I propose to strengthen joint work on implementing cooperation programs in the fields of culture, education, sports and tourism, as well as in-depth study of our common history. All this, of course, will contribute to the further rapprochement of our fraternal peoples.
We propose to hold the Central Asian Festival of Culture, Art and Cinema in our countries in turn.
I would like to pay special attention to the possibilities of expanding our cooperation in the field of tourism.
We should actively promote intra-regional tourism by developing special tourist routes and products, and conducting unified PR campaigns.
To this end, we propose creating a joint expert group to prepare specific proposals for increasing mutual tourist flows.
Separately, I would like to focus on the fruitful results of the Central Asian Youth Forum held in Tashkent in May this year.
We have once again seen that our young people have similar views and aspirations, and strong intellectual potential.
We must continue to fully support their breakthrough initiatives, creative approaches, and startup projects.
We suggest to prepare a multilateral agreement on common areas of youth policy for our next meeting.
The security sector is a strategic area of our regional cooperation.
I would like to emphasize that the security of the region is indivisible and, first of all, depends on how effectively our partnership is built.
In this regard, we need to further increase practical cooperation in the fight against traditional threats of extremism and terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking.
New challenges related to illegal activities on the Internet, which are growing in scale, require our special attention.
Today, there are no borders for these threats – they penetrate through mobile phones.
Unfortunately, the recent tragic events in Uzbekistan have once again confirmed the presence of destructive forces that are trying to disrupt our plans, sow chaos and instability in our region.
In this regard, we support the proposal to launch regular consultations of the heads of the security councils and special services of the countries of the region in these areas.
Our highest priority should remain to continue working closely together to promote long-term peace in Afghanistan and its socio-economic recovery.
We, our closest neighbors, should be more interested in stability in this country than anyone else. It is largely up to us how the international community perceives this problem.
We also support the active development of trade relations with this country, its involvement in regional economic processes, the expansion of humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people, and the promotion of important social and infrastructure projects.
The main outcome of our summit is undoubtedly the adoption of a solid package of documents designed to strengthen the relations of friendship, good-neighborliness and cooperation between our countries for the sake of peace and sustainable development of Central Asia.
I would like to join my colleagues in expressing my confidence that the results of the Consultative Meeting will serve to strengthen the strategic partnership and trust between our countries, and will give a powerful impetus to the promotion of joint programs and practical cooperation projects.
Thank you for your attention.