On May 19, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev participated in the first summit “Central Asia — China” in Xi’an city, the press service of the head of state reported.

The event, chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping, was also attended by President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov.

According to the agenda, the issues of further expansion of mutually beneficial cooperation among the countries of Central Asia and China, topical international and regional issues were discussed.

During his speech, the President of Uzbekistan emphasized that a current meeting is absolutely important under the conditions of a difficult international situation.

“Our countries, having overcome the ordeals of the pandemic, are faced with the negative consequences of a global crisis of confidence. Serious gaps in sustainable transport and logistics chains, which are especially sensitive for Central Asia, the challenges of food and energy security, the risks of social tension against the backdrop of growing inflation imports and other problems require closer coordination and practical interaction from us,” the head of the state said".

President noted that, nowadays, Central Asia is a cohesive and strong region open to dialogue and full-scale partnership.

The President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev put forward a number of important initiatives to develop regional cooperation based on a long-term agenda.

He noted the need to establish an interaction among the leading “think tanks” of the six countries for the development of strategic approaches, comprehensive recommendations and solutions, “breakthrough” projects of a regional and global scale. As a discussion platform, the head of the state proposed to hold the first International Expert Conference in Samarkand on the issues of conjugation of national development strategies next year.

The President dwelled on the issues of creating conditions for the sustainable development of the countries of the region, where the central place is given to the effective fight against poverty.

“I am sure that the adoption and implementation of a joint program with the specific tasks to improve living standards and develop territories, primarily rural areas, will be supported by our peoples and will become a common contribution to achieving the Goals of the 2030 Agenda,” Uzbek leader noted.

The head of the state called for the further formation of the New Economic Dialogue and the strengthening of interconnectedness, the achievement of a twofold increase in trade turnover of regional countries with China by 2030.

It is proposed to ensure the implementation of this task by a balanced growth of mutual supplies of industrial goods and agricultural products, the creation of an effective trade and logistics infrastructure and modern wholesale distribution networks, the introduction of green and express corridor systems, and common e-commerce platforms.

In order to form favorable framework conditions and a legal framework, it was proposed to consider the possibility of adopting a multilateral Agreement on the Promotion of Mutual and Encouragement of Investments.

The President drew attention to the fact that the issues of deepening industrial cooperation, attracting digital technologies and introducing innovations can be effectively resolved through direct interregional contacts with China’s provinces.

He also proposed to hold a Forum and an exhibition of cities and regions from six countries in Uzbekistan this year to establish practical cooperation, and strengthen twin-city and partnership relations.

“The development of safe and shortest transport corridors connecting China to our region, with the access to Europe, the Middle East and South Asia, is of strategic importance. The priority project for the revival of the Great Silk Road is the Trans-Eurasian Railway, whose important components will be the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan road and railroad,” Shavkat Mirziyoyev stated.

As a top priority, it was determined to ensure the conjugation of national programs for the development of transport communications and the development of a single long-term Strategy on this basis.

It was proposed to pay a particular attention to the issues of cooperation on the climate agenda and “green” energy.

“Unfortunately, the pace of energy infrastructure development in Central Asia has not kept up with the pace of industrialization, urbanization and demographic growth. Currently, this is indeed a very serious challenge to the long-term sustainable development of our countries,” head of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.

Taking into account China’s technological leadership in the field of solar, wind and hydropower, as well as existing financial instruments, it is proposed to establish a closer scientific and practical partnership in alternative energy.

Besides, the readiness for fruitful cooperation in solving the environmental problems of the Aral Sea Region, protecting biodiversity, preserving glaciers and soil, and introducing water-saving technologies was indicated.

The President of Uzbekistan highly appreciated the current level of regional dialogue on stability and security issues, supporting China’s global initiative based on the principles of indivisibility of security and peaceful development in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

“We consider that it is important to fully use dialogue platforms of the Contact Group as part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and neighboring countries of Afghanistan to develop a coordinated position and take measures to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in this country,” Uzbek President stressed.

He also noted the importance of continuing the regular holding of humanitarian exchanges, exhibitions, concerts and tours, joint sports events, with a broad involvement of the youth. In this regard, it was proposed to hold a Young Talents Forum together next year.

Summing up, our President stressed that our countries are strategic partners and reliable friends.

“And today, in the face of increasing confrontation and unpredictability in international relations, we provide mutual support and build a prosperous future for our peoples together,” the President said.

In this regard, the initiative of the Chinese side to hold regular meetings to strengthen friendship and partnership among the states of Central Asia and China was supported.

Following the meeting, the heads of states signed the Xi’an Declaration of the Central Asia-China Summit.

At the end of the summit events, the leaders planted trees as a sign of friendship, good neighborliness and common aspirations of our countries for development and prosperity.