NUR-SULTAN – The European Union is to allocate 28 million euros for programs to support trade, the rule of law, investment and economic growth in Central Asia, EU Ambassador to Kazakhstan Sven-Olov Carlsson said Thursday.
The official ceremony for the signing of three agreements was held during the international conference “Enhanced Integration for Prosperity in Central Asia” held in the Kazakh capital.
The European diplomat, who is responsible for coordinating the programs, explained that of the 28 million euros, five million will go to the Central Asia Invest program, 15 million to the program to boost international trade in the region and eight million to develop the rule of law in the countries.
Carlsson said that these three programs are to start early next year in the framework of the new EU strategy for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, approved in June this year.
“We want to move to the next level and invest further in regional cooperation, which will allow Central Asian countries to better manage their interdependence,” he said.
In addition, the diplomat added that cooperation with the EU will allow these countries to address their vulnerabilities and shared concerns, unlock their economic growth potential, increase influence in international affairs while preserving at the same time their independence and identities.
On June 17, the EU approved a new strategy for Central Asia that provides for greater interaction, support for regional stability and development, and strengthening relations between countries in the region.
EU High Representative of Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini in July presented a series of regional programs worth 72 million euros for six countries in Central Asia to support development in the areas of environment, energy, gender equality and education.