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EU presents new trade facilitation programmes in Central Asia

Representatives of the European Union presented several new programmes for economic development and trade facilitation in Central Asia, which will soon be available to Kyrgyzstan. Press service of the Delegation of the European Union to the Kyrgyz Republic reported.

This week, a delegation of the European Union visited Bishkek to participate in the second meeting of EU Kyrgyzstan Sub-Committee on Development. This is the annual meeting during which Representatives of the European Union and the Kyrgyz Republic take stock of the on-going cooperation in several areas, in particular: Education with the support to the education sector reform; Rule of law, with the support to the judiciary reform and the electoral reform; Integrated rural development, with the support to the social protection reform, the development of agro value chains and tourism in Jalalabad; as well as upcoming support to integrated water resource management.

All the programmes are part of the EU’s bilateral development cooperation in the framework of the Multi Annual Indicative Programme for the Kyrgyz Republic (2014-2020), with a total budget of €174 million.

The partners also discussed the additional grants which Kyrgyzstan is receiving from the Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA) for the needs in municipal infrastructure, for provision of drinking water, waste water and waste management in 12 cities. A new grant of €30 million for support to digital transformation is under discussion.

«The sides also agreed on the mutual interest to deepen and widen the bilateral cooperation. In this regard the ongoing negotiations on Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement is a priority. The EU representatives also briefed the Kyrgyz side on the new EU — Central Asia Strategy that will be adopted later this year and will set the strategic framework for the EU’s future engagement with the region,» message says.

Prior to the Subcommittee for Development, the representatives of the European Union had working meetings with the Minister of Education Gulmira Kudaiberdieva and the Minister of Finance Baktygul Jeenbaeva. EU confirmed its commitment to support the Kyrgyz authorities in their reform efforts to ensure sustainable political, economic and social development in the Kyrgyz Republic, for the benefit of its citizens.