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Ministers of Central Asian countries held a meeting in Samarkand with the participation of the head of USAID

On October 24, the first ministerial meeting on regional integration was held in Samarkand under the auspices of the regional diplomatic platform “C5+1” – five Central Asian countries plus the United States.

Speaking to the meeting participants, the head of the Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade of Uzbekistan, Laziz Kudratov, emphasized the importance of strengthening and developing economic cooperation between the countries of the region to ensure the stability of supply chains. He stated that over the past few years, relations between the Central Asian states have significantly strengthened, which has led to a breakthrough in socio-economic indicators.

In particular, the total foreign trade turnover of the countries in the region in 2022 increased almost twice compared to 2017 and amounted to $220 billion. Mutual investment volumes increased by 5.6 times. The total GDP of the Central Asian countries grew by 40% over the past five years and by the end of 2022 exceeded $406 billion.

Samantha Power, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), reminded that at the September summit in New York, where the ministerial meeting was announced, President Joe Biden confirmed the United States’ commitment to strengthening the sovereignty, stability, and prosperity of the countries of Central Asia.

As part of the ministerial meeting, panel sessions were held on developing common positions on the digital and “green” economy, improving the investment and favorable environment for doing business, special attention was paid to issues of expanding intra-regional trade and diversifying transport corridors, improving energy integration.

A joint statement was adopted at the end of the meeting. The Central Asian countries signed memoranda of understanding with USAID on decarbonization and digitization of customs procedures.

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