Kazakhstan presents proposals for new EU Strategy on Central Asia

A  new draft of the EU Strategy on Central Asia.
Kazakhstan presents proposals for new EU Strategy on Central Asia
29 November 13:17 2018 Print This Article

EU and Central Asia interaction vis-a-vis the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Belt and Road Initiative can make Central Asia an important link in global economic relations. The Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov  spoke about Astana’s readiness, if necessary, to provide a platform to start dialogue on EU-EAEU-China interaction.

EU and Central Asia interaction vis-a-vis the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Belt and Road Initiative can make Central Asia an important link in global economic relations. The   minister spoke about Astana’s readiness, if necessary, to provide a platform to start dialogue on EU-EAEU-China interaction.

At the European Union-Central Asia ministerial meeting attended by the foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.

Abdrakhmanov drew attention to the need to comply with three key elements to implement the document: ensuring cooperation integrity in the EU-Central Asia format and creating more flexible tools to practically implement the strategy, as well as enhancing its visual perception.

The delegation noted Central Asia’s growing involvement in global economic processes also requires closer cooperation between the regions, including introducing a new technological paradigm and digitisation elements, interfacing transport and logistics infrastructures, sharing experience in energy efficiency and introducing green technologies. The issues of environmental protection and rational use of water resources, as well as joint assistance to help restore and stabilise Afghanistan, are critical. According to the Kazakh side, these and other measures should be taken into account in the document.

EU and Central Asia interaction vis-a-vis the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Belt and Road Initiative can make Central Asia an important link in global economic relations. The minister spoke about Astana’s readiness, if necessary, to provide a platform to start dialogue on EU-EAEU-China interaction.

To achieve the latter, Kazakhstan proposed creating a single online portal that would provide “virtual institutionalisation” of cooperation and could become a universal online window to Europe for 70 million Central Asians.

Abdrakhmanov and Mogherini later discussed the progress of ratifying and implementing the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) between Kazakhstan and the EU, as well as the outcomes of the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit and issues of international and regional cooperation.

The EU is Kazakhstan’s largest trade, economic and investment partner, accounting for approximately half of its foreign trade and investment, and is one of the priorities of the country’s foreign policy, noted Abdrakhmanov. Kazakhstan ranks 32nd among the EU’s largest trade partners, while its share of the EU trade turnover with Central Asia is approximately 80 percent.

As part of the EPCA, Astana is aiming at further rapprochement between Kazakhstan and the EU.

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