For the next four years, the European Union has allocated €300 million in grant funding, for both bilateral and regional projects in Central Asia, the EU High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrel said during his opening remarks at the EU-Central Asia Connectivity Conference: Global Gateway in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand city on Friday.
The EU foreign policy chief said Europe is the number one source of Foreign Direct Investment across the world, and by far the largest investor in Central Asia.
“Over the past 10 years, EU member states have invested more than €105 billion or $121.3 billion in Central Asian countries, which exceeds 40% of the total amount of foreign direct investment in the region,” Borrel said.
The forum was attended by the heads of foreign ministries of Central Asian countries, high-ranking officials of EU member states, international financial institutions and the private sector, experts, as well as representatives of civil society.
On Thursday, Samarkand also hosted the 18th meeting of foreign ministers of Central Asian states and the European Union.
The meeting discussed current interregional and global issues, including economic, trade and investment cooperation, cooperation in the field of environmental protection, water and climate, as well as education, science and innovation, according to the press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.
The delegation of Turkmenistan at the meetings was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Vepa Hajiyev.
The next ministerial meeting in the EU-Central Asia format will take place in Brussels in 2023.