ASTANA – Foreign Ministers of Central Asian states gathered in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on Sept. 13 to review the draft agenda of the fifth Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia scheduled for today, reported the Kazakh Foreign Ministry’s press service.
Underlining regional interaction in the spirit of friendship, good neighborliness, and strategic partnership between Central Asian countries, the ministers exchanged views on the development of cooperation. They aligned on current regional and international issues.
Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Murat Nurtleu emphasized that the consultative meeting has reached a qualitatively new level since its inauguration in 2018 in Astana.
“This dialogue acquired a stable and dynamic character, which is confirmed by the holding of the anniversary summit,” he said.
According to Nurtleu, trade between Central Asian countries has doubled to more than $10 billion over the past five years, with the significant impetus given by the consultative meetings to deepen cooperation in trade, industry, energy, transport and logistics.
The parties acknowledged the joint efforts of the five states to maintain peace and stability, ensure sustainable economic development, improve the citizens’ well-being, and strengthen cultural and humanitarian ties.
Elaborating on building an effective five-party cooperation on water and energy, Nurtleu stressed the need to harmonize the approaches of the Central Asian countries in hydropower, irrigation, and ecology, proposing to develop a long-term comprehensive mechanism.
Following the meeting, the foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan agreed on a list of draft documents and decisions planned for signing and adoption at the fifth consultative meeting.
Fostering business cooperation
Kazakh entrepreneurs signed export contracts worth $82.1 million in a trade and economic mission on Sept. 10-12 in Dushanbe.
Tajik Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade Nuriddinzoda Ahliddin Nuriddin noted Kazakhstan is Tajikistan’s second-largest trading partner with dynamically developing relations in various sectors.
In six months of 2023, trade turnover between the countries totaled $557.4 million. Exports of Kazakh goods to Tajikistan increased by 6.9% to $387.2 million, whereas imports decreased by 33.3% to $170.2 million.
Kazakhstan sends wheat, sunflower oil, hot-rolled non-alloy steel rods, and petroleum products to the Tajik market, importing vegetables, fresh and dried fruits, and nuts.
Kazakhstan is participating in an international exhibition of national goods in Dushanbe on Sept. 13-15, slated to take place within the fifth consultative meeting.