On July 21, the city of Cholpon-Ata hosted the fourth Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia.
The summit chaired by the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Zhaparov was attended by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov.
Issues of strengthening interaction in a joint response to modern challenges and threats to regional security, prospects for enhancing regional cooperation to ensure sustainable economic growth, and continuing active cultural and humanitarian exchange of the states of Central Asia were discussed.
The President of Uzbekistan noted that 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 Central Asian region.
“We consistently solve the difficult tasks of ensuring security and stability, as well as sustainable socio-economic development in Central Asia”, the President of Uzbekistan emphasized.
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.
The countries of the region have 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”, the Leader of Uzbekistan said.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted the difficult situation in the world, which directly affects the 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”, Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted. – I would like to emphasize that the 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.
The President of Uzbekistan expressed his vision on the current issues and put forward several proposals aimed at further strengthening multifaceted relations and developing practical regional interaction.
It was noted that despite the positive dynamics, the potential for 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, it was proposed to actively introduce new forms and mechanisms for stimulating mutual trade. It is about creating a system of cross-border trade zones with unified rules and procedures for the supply of goods.
The Head of the state called for intensifying efforts to implement projects aimed at replacing imports from third countries with products from manufacturers from the countries of the region.
Another important task is to promote joint industrial cooperation projects. The President of Uzbekistan noted the importance to develop common approaches to the formation of the Central Asian Space of industrial localization and import substitution based on national industrial development programs.
The Leader of Uzbekistan proposed 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.
To further develop trade and economic ties, it was also proposed to make greater use of the potential of direct interregional interaction and launch the annual Forum of Central Asian Regions.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev expressed gratitude to partners from the region 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, and called for the development of a roadmap for promoting alternative transport corridors to enter the markets of India, Pakistan and China.
The attention of the participants was drawn to the importance of systematic joint work to ensure food security based, first of all, on the common interests of the Central Asian region.
In this context, the President of Uzbekistan proposed 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.
The importance of multilateral interaction in the environmental field was emphasized.
Within the framework of the Green Agenda for Central Asia program developed by Uzbekistan, partners were proposed to focus on decarbonizing the economy, advancing the development of alternative energy, 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”, the President said.
– 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, – the Head of the state noted.
A deep study of the common history, as well as joint programs in culture, education, sports and tourism are necessary for the further rapprochement of the fraternal peoples of the countries of the region.
The President of Uzbekistan proposed to hold the Central Asian Festival of Culture, Art and Cinema in the Central Asian countries in turn.
It was noted that it is important to actively promote intra-regional tourism by developing special tourist routes and products, and conducting unified PR campaigns.
An initiative has been put forward to prepare a multilateral agreement on general directions for the implementation of youth policy.
The Head of the state paid special attention to the strategic areas of regional interaction in security.
“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, Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted. – In this regard, we need to further increase practical interaction in the fight against traditional threats of extremism and terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking.
According to the Head of the state, new challenges related to illegal activities on the Internet, which are growing in scale, require special attention.
It was emphasized that the highest priority should remain to continue working closely together to promote long-term peace in Afghanistan and its socio-economic recovery.
The countries of the region, as closest neighbors of this country, should be more interested in stability in this country than anyone else.
He also supported 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 President of Uzbekistan expressed confidence that the results of the Consultative Meeting would serve to strengthen the strategic partnership and trust of the Central Asian countries, give a powerful impetus to promote joint programs and projects of practical interaction.
The Presidents of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan in their speeches emphasized the relevance of such regular meetings, and put forward several initiatives aimed at further strengthening friendship, good neighborliness and partnership in the region.
Following the summit, the Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighborliness and Cooperation for the Development of Central Asia in the 21st century was signed. The heads of state adopted the Joint Statement of the Cholpon-Ata Consultative Meeting, the Roadmap for the Development of Regional Cooperation for 2022-2024, the Green Agenda Regional Program for Central Asia, as well as the Concept of Interaction between the Central Asian States within the framework of multilateral formats.
Thereupon, the fourth Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia ended.