Samarkand, 18 November 2022 (TDI): Samarkand hosted the first EU-Central Asia Connectivity Conference: Global Gateway for Sustainable Development.

Representative delegations from different countries of Central Asia attended the conference. While Josep Borrell, the Vice-President of the European Commission and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy led the delegation of the EU.

The High Representative of the EU, Josep Borrell gave the opening remarks at the Conference. Moreover, the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Vladimir Norov, also addressed the Conference.

Following the Conference, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Vladimir Norov briefed the media representatives.

Remarks at the Briefing

The Foreign Minister, Norov said that they have suggested having the conference on a regular basis to create coordinated strategies to enhance cooperation between Central Asia and the European Union.

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He also invited the European countries to use the opportunities and execute the projects in Central Asia. He mentioned three areas as priorities of the region’s national development strategies and the EU’s Global Gate Strategy.

They are sustainable transport connectivity, digital transformation, and the “green” transition. Minister Norov discussed the importance to cooperate systemically with the EU and its member states.

Moreover, to address the coordination of customs practices, the adoption of tariffs, and the development of an integrated digital network along the Trans-Caspian route, he suggested holding the EU-Central Asia meeting.

He also mentioned the Digital transformation of economies as a key priority. He highlighted the importance of cooperative investment initiatives for the development of data infrastructure.

The Minister also announced that the European side proposed a new regional project to improve digital connectivity in Central Asia.

He stated that they appreciated the proposal made by the EU regarding Central Asia’s water resources, electricity, and climate change.

In the briefing, he mentioned that they are willing that Uzbekistan would host the EU-Central Asia Tourism Forum the following year.

While concluding, he expressed his confidence that the Samarkand Conference will help strengthen the collaboration between Central Asia and the EU.