On July 21, the Fourth Consultative Meeting of the Heads of Central Asian States was held in the town of Cholpon-Ata.
The summit, chaired by the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov, 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.
The issues of strengthening the interactions on a joint response to modern challenges and threats to regional security, the prospects for enhancing regional cooperation to ensure sustainable economic growth, as well as continuing active cultural and humanitarian exchanges of the Central Asian States were discussed.
The President of Uzbekistan has noted that owing to a regular dialogue in this format, it has been able 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 has emphasized.
On this path, many barriers have been removed, the conditions have been created for a 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 the joint industrial cooperation projects, creating efficient value chains, and developing transport and energy infrastructure.
«Most importantly, all these positive changes are being felt by our fraternal peoples», the Leader of Uzbekistan has said.
Moreover, 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 imports are 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 in the framework of Consultative Meetings is growing even more», Shavkat Mirziyoyev has noted. «I would like to emphasize that a peace, stability and prosperity of the entire region depend on our unity and readiness to take the 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 the multifaceted relations and developing a practical regional interaction.
It was noted that despite the positive dynamics, the potential for trade and economic cooperation among our countries is still undiscovered. Today, the intraregional trade accounts for 5 to 10% of the total trade turnover of our countries.
In this regard, it is proposed to actively introduce the 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 President has called for intensifying efforts to implement the projects aimed at replacing imports from third countries with products from manufacturers in the region.
Another important task is to promote the joint industrial cooperation projects. The President of Uzbekistan has noted the importance of developing common approaches to the formation of the Central Asian Space of industrial localization and import substitution based on the national industrial development programs.
The President has encouraged to pay a particular attention to the digitalization of economy to reduce production costs and ensure the competitiveness of products.
Besides, it was recommended to expand the potential of direct interregional cooperation and launch an annual Central Asia Regional Forum for further development of trade and economic ties.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev appreciated the support of regional partners for the recently adopted special Resolution of the UN General Assembly on strengthening connectivity of Central and South Asia, adopted on the initiative of Uzbekistan, and as part of the advancement of this initiative, the President called for elaboration of a «road map» for the promotion of priority alternative transport corridors to reach Indian, Pakistani and Chinese markets.
The participants were drawn attention to the importance of systematic joint work to ensure food security of the Central Asian region taking into account common interests.
The President proposed to jointly develop a comprehensive scheme for guaranteeing provision of the population with a wide range of food products, which are made in sufficient quantities in our countries.
The importance of multilateral cooperation in the environmental direction was emphasized.
As part of the program for Central Asia «Green Agenda», developed by Uzbekistan, partners were offered to focus on the decarbonisation of the economy, rapid development of alternative energy with the organization of mutual electricity supply, extensive implementation of water-saving and environmentally friendly technologies, as well as the rational use of water resources.
The President of Uzbekistan has regretfully stated that today the Central Asian countries considerably lag behind the leading world regions in terms of «green development».
«It is necessary to immediately instruct our governments to prepare an action plan for the implementation of the program adopted today to ensure the competitiveness of our countries in the long term», the President said.
A deep study of common history as well as joint programs in the field of culture, education, sports and tourism is necessary for further rapprochement of the fraternal nations of the region.
In this regard, the President has suggested alternately holding the Central Asian Festival of Art, Cinema, and National Cuisine.
It was noted that intraregional tourism should be actively stimulated not only by developing special tourist routes and products, but also by conducting unified PR-campaigns.
The initiative to prepare a multilateral agreement on common directions of youth policy realization was put forward.
The President has paid a special attention to the strategic directions of regional cooperation in the sphere of security.
«I should underscore that the region’s security is crucial and it primarily depends on how effectively our partnership is built», Shavkat Mirziyoyev has said. In this regard, we need to strengthen practical cooperation in tackling the traditional threats of extremism and terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking.
According to the President, the new challenges related to illegal activities on the Internet, which are growing in scale, require a special attention.
It was emphasized that the most important priority should remain to continue a close cooperation in promoting a long-term peace and socio-economic reconstruction of Afghanistan.
«The countries of the region, as closest neighbors of this country, should be more interested in stability in this country than anyone else», the Leader of Uzbekistan has noted.
The President 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, as well as promotion of important social and infrastructure projects.
Concluding the speech, the President of Uzbekistan expressed confidence that the results of the Consultative Meeting shall serve to strengthen the strategic partnership and trust of the Central Asian countries, give a powerful impetus to promote the joint programs and projects of practical interaction.
The Presidents of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan in their speeches have emphasized the relevance of such regular meetings, as well as 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 States 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 of the Central Asian States at the multilateral formats.
Thus, the Fourth Consultative Meeting of the Heads of States of Central Asia came to an end.