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Weekly Digest of Central Asia

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — The Publisher’s note: Central Asia is an important geopolitical area between Europe, Russia and China. It is in Central Asia that world powers have confronted each other for centuries; it is here that China needs to succeed with its new Silk Road Belt for direct access to the Western markets; and it is here that a large wealth of raw materials has its origin. Every week thousands of news appears all over the world in printed and online media and it is quite understandable that many of them may escape the attention of busy readers. At The Times of Central Asia, we strongly believe that more information can better contribute to peaceful development and better knowledge of the region, and for this reason we are presenting this Weekly Digest of Central Asia which compiles what other media have reported during the past week.

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EU to provide 21.5 million euros for horticulture project in Uzbekistan

  • Written by TCA

TASHKENT (TCA) — On 26-28 April, a mission of EU officials paid an official visit to Uzbekistan. They held talks with central government officials in Tashkent and local authorities in Samarkand, met with representatives of the diplomatic corps, EU companies, NGOs active in Uzbekistan, and visited the EU-funded projects, the Delegation of the European Union to Uzbekistan said.

Read more: EU to provide 21.5 million euros for horticulture project in Uzbekistan

U.S. helps promote horticulture export to boost economic growth in Central Asia

  • Written by TCA

SAMARKAND, Uzbekistan (TCA) — The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Uzbekistan, and Germany’s GIZ held a business forum on April 27 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan to support regional horticulture export promotion efforts and competition development to boost economic growth in Central Asia.

Read more: U.S. helps promote horticulture export to boost economic growth in Central Asia

Kazakhstan introducing new approaches to attracting investments

  • Written by TCA

ASTANA (TCA) — During an April 27 presentation of the National Investment Strategy of Kazakh Invest, Kazakhstan’s Minister for Investment and Development Zhenis Kassymbek reported on new approaches to attracting investments and coordinating the activities of state bodies, the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported.

Read more: Kazakhstan introducing new approaches to attracting investments

New EU project against drugs and organized crime launched in Kyrgyzstan

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — More than 25 high-level officials from Kyrgyzstan and the EU on April 27 discussed enhanced support and cooperation being provided by a new Project financed by the European Union, designed to address issues relating to the reduction of both drug demand and drug supply in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia, the Delegation of the European Union to the Kyrgyz Republic said.

Read more: New EU project against drugs and organized crime launched in Kyrgyzstan

Municipalities of Kyrgyzstan provinces improve citizens’ well-being with Switzerland’s support

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — Certificates for receiving grants worth over 43 million Kyrgyz soms to improve public services were awarded to 13 municipalities from Jalal-Abad and Issyk-Kul provinces of Kyrgyzstan on April 26, the Embassy of Switzerland in Bishkek said.

Read more: Municipalities of Kyrgyzstan provinces improve citizens’ well-being with Switzerland’s support

Pakistan wants Russia to play major role in stabilizing Afghanistan

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — Russia should spearhead the process of bringing stability to Afghanistan, while Pakistan will support all of Russia's initiatives towards reaching this goal, Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said on April 26 at a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on the sidelines of an international security conference in Moscow, Sputnik news agency reported.

Read more: Pakistan wants Russia to play major role in stabilizing Afghanistan

South Korean companies consider opening production facilities in Kazakhstan

  • Written by TCA

ALMATY (TCA) — Representatives of 20 large South Korean companies came to Almaty to take part in a Kazakh-Korean business forum to discuss the possibilities of opening production facilities in Kazakhstan, the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan reported on April 25.

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Biodiversity management finance in focus at regional workshop in Kazakhstan

  • Written by TCA

ALMATY (TCA) — Representatives of governments, the United Nations, and technical experts from 13 countries across the Eurasia-Pacific region have gathered this week in Kazakhstan to share knowledge and discuss new financial solutions to protect and better manage biodiversity, United Nations Development Programme in Kazakhstan reports.

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Moscow rejects US charges that Russia supplying arms to Afghan Taliban as 'groundless’

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on April 25 that a U.S. allegation that Moscow is supplying arms to the Taliban in Afghanistan was unsubstantiated, RFE/RL reported.

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Turkmenistan elected to UNICEF Executive Board for 2018-2020

  • Written by TCA

ASHGABAT (TCA) — United Nations Children’s Fund on April 25 congratulated the Government of Turkmenistan for having been elected to the UNICEF Executive Board for the period 2018-2020 and to the Commission on Status of Women for four years. The decision was announced at the meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social Council at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 19 April 2017.

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Uzbekistan president demands to cut imports, increase production and export

  • Written by TCA

TASHKENT (TCA) — Despite Uzbekistan’s government’s measures to expand the production of localized import-substituting products, the country has seen the unreasonable growth in imports, which leads to inefficient use of foreign currency resources that could be directed at projects aimed at further expansion of domestic production and creation of new jobs. This was said at the April 19 video-intercom meeting chaired by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, which discussed strengthening of the personal responsibility of officials at all levels for optimizing the volume and structure of imports by deepening the localization of the production and increasing exports, the Jahon information agency reported.

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New railway station of Astana in Kazakhstan to open June 1, before EXPO-2017

  • Written by TCA

ASTANA (TCA) — Construction works at a new railway station of Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, will be completed on May 15 and it will be launched on June 1, before the opening of the international exhibition EXPO-2017 in Astana this summer, the press service of Kazakhstan’s national railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) said.

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ADB approves $80 million for railway electrification in Uzbekistan

  • Written by TCA

TASHKENT (TCA) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved an $80 million loan for the electrification of 145 kilometers (km) of railway in Uzbekistan, linking the cities of Pap, Namangan, and Andijan. The electrified track is part of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Corridor 2, a critical transport link in the region, ADB’s country office in Uzbekistan said on April 24.

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U.S. concerned Russia may be supplying arms to Taliban in Afghanistan

  • Written by TCA

KABUL (TCA) — A top U.S. Army general has suggested during a visit to Afghanistan by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that Russia is arming Taliban militants, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reported.

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Tajikistan’s economy: any light at the end of the tunnel?

  • Written by EurasiaNet

DUSHANBE (TCA) — As Tajikistan is being hit hard by decreased remittances from Tajik labor migrants in Russia and the weakening national currency, the somoni, against the US dollar, we are republishing this article, originally published by EurasiaNet.org:

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Turkmenistan’s anti-tobacco drive causes cigarette prices going up

  • Written by TCA

ASHGABAT (TCA) — Cigarettes have again disappeared from state-owned stores in Turkmenistan in April, as the “Month of Health” is being held in the country, the Chronicles of Turkmenistan independent website reports.

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Japan grants $3.6 million aid to Afghanistan

  • Written by TCA

KABUL (TCA) — Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister for political affairs Hekmat Khalil Karzai said the Japanese aid package will be invested in education, procurement and infrastructure projects, Afghanistan’s TOLOnews agency reported.

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US donates over 130,000 books to children’s libraries in Kyrgyzstan

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — During the World Book Day celebration in Bishkek on April 21, U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic Sheila Gwaltney announced a donation of over 130,000 books to 80 children’s libraries across the country. The United States will contribute the books through its USAID Reading Together project, which improves the reading skills of early grade students, the US Embassy in Bishkek said.

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Kyrgyzstan’s parliament considers challenges facing agricultural sector

  • Written by Maria Levina

BISHKEK (TCA) — Kyrgyz parliament deputies have considered receiving a 40 million euro Polish loan for agricultural producers in Kyrgyzstan.

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