GCC Sec Gen participates in Central Asia – GCC Strategic Dialogue Foreign Ministerial Meeting

A joint statement from the second ministerial meeting of the strategic dialogue between the Gulf Cooperation Council ↗ and Central Asian countries in Tashkent emphasized boosting trade, investments, and cooperation for sustainable supply chains. It highlighted linking transportation, transit, food, energy, and water security, implementing joint investment projects, advancing clean energy, addressing environmental issues, and sharing best practices in education and health.

The meeting discussed investment promotion mechanisms proposed by participating countries, including Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It encouraged investment officials to explore these proposals to boost investment between the two regions, aligning with the joint action plan (2023-2027) of the GCC and Central Asia. Member states of the Islamic Organization for Food Security ↗, as reported by Al-Ikhbariya, emphasized the need to support and enhance the organization’s activities in food security.

The ministers congratulated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for hosting Expo 2030 in Riyadh, and expressed their readiness to make every effort to support the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in organizing the event successfully, and to ensure their effective participation, which will help enhance economic and cultural exchanges between the GCC countries and the countries of Central Asia.

The ministers also urged active, high-level participation in the first investment forum between the Gulf Cooperation Council and Central Asian ↗ countries, scheduled to be held in Riyadh next May 29, as well as the investment forum between the GCC and Central Asian countries, scheduled to be held in Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyz Republic. They welcomed Kazakhstan’s proposal to hold a discussion session on “Investment and Economic Cooperation between Central Asia and the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries” in 2025 within the framework of the Astana International Forum.

The need for effective mechanisms for cooperation in the areas of transport connectivity, infrastructure, innovation, artificial intelligence, green economy, digitization, smart agriculture, nano- and bio-technologies was stressed, in accordance with the GCC-Central Asia Joint Action Plan (2023-2027). The ministers encouraged investment officers and business representatives to network and discuss investment mechanisms, opportunities, potential partnerships and best practices. They noted Uzbekistan’s proposal to hold a meeting of business sector representatives in Samarkand for this purpose. They expressed their readiness to study the possibilities of further developing transport and transit corridors between the two regions.

The meeting also discussed the need to increase cooperation in the areas of the IT industry and advanced technology, including using the capabilities of the international technology park for emerging companies in the field of information technology “Astana Hub” in Kazakhstan, the high-technology park in the Kyrgyz Republic, and the information technology and techno park in Kazakhstan.

The ministers recalled the joint statement from the Gulf Cooperation Council and Central Asia summit in Jeddah on July 19, 2023. In this statement, leaders emphasized energy cooperation, given the rich energy sources, infrastructure, and production facilities within the strategic dialogue member states. They also noted Turkmenistan’s proposal for energy sector cooperation, under discussion in the Joint Action Plan (2023-2027). Additionally, they highlighted Saudi Arabia’s proposal for International Energy Forum coordination and cooperation in healthcare and mitigating global risks.

The statement touched on addressing climate change, with a focus on managing greenhouse gas emissions regardless of their sources. They welcomed the historic “UAE Agreement” reached at the twenty-eighth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Dubai in 2023.

The ministers stressed the importance of the Green Middle East Initiative launched by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which aims to address emissions through the circular carbon economy approach adopted by the Gulf Cooperation Council and affirmed its commitment to it. They pointed to the hydropower stations under construction in Central Asia, including the Rogun Hydropower Station in Tajikistan and Kambarata-1 in Kyrgyzstan which will significantly increase the potential for joint cooperation in the field of water and energy in the region. In this regard, they also noted the successful conclusion of the Horticultural Exhibition in the State of Qatar (Expo Doha 2023).

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