• KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 33

Britain’s Cameron to Central Asia: Work with Us

Britain’s foreign secretary is in Central Asia this week, seeking deeper ties with a part of the world seen as increasingly vital to international security, energy flows and efforts to combat climate change. The trip, which David Cameron described as overdue, followed criticism that Britain had neglected what the envoy’s own office describes as a “pivotal region of the world.” Cameron´s visit comes months after a British parliamentary committee report said there was a perceived “lack of seriousness” in Britain’s engagement with Central Asia. The committee said Russia and China were courting the region, while Britain was “a leading enabler for corrupt Central Asian elites and a key node for capital flight out of the region.” Cameron spent the first day of his trip in Tajikistan, meeting President Emomali Rahmon in Dushanbe and visiting the Nurek hydropower project, which supplies about 70% of the country’s electricity. He will also visit Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. “These countries aren’t often talked about in the U.K., so you might ask why,” Cameron said on Monday. “Well, these countries are sandwiched between China, Russia, Afghanistan and Iran. They’re making a choice of who to work with, and in a more competitive and contested world, if you want to protect and promote British interests, you need to get out there and compete.” Britain intends to provide investment funds for small businesses as well as “green” projects that can mitigate the effects of climate change, Cameron said. Without providing specifics, he told Tajik television that he and Rahmon discussed security and “all the difficulties and conflicts in the region.” The Islamic State group, which is said in some quarters to have increasingly recruited Central Asians into its ranks, claimed responsibility for the killing of more than 140 people by gunmen who attacked the Crocus City Hall in Moscow on March 22. Several Tajik migrants are among the detained suspects. Cameron will “advance discussions on sanctions circumvention, human rights and reform,” his office said. Britain is a staunch supporter of Ukraine in its war against Russia, which has had success in dodging Western sanctions, partly by trading with Europe via Central Asia. For example, British firms´ exports to Kyrgyzstan have soared by over 1,100%, Sky News reported. “Major European economies are quietly continuing their economic cooperation with Moscow by circumventing sanctions to take advantage of the vacated market,” says a commentary in the Center for European Policy Analysis, which is based in Washington. “And they’re doing it by finding partners in the South Caucasus and Central Asia.” Cameron praised the Nurek Dam as an example of the kind of “great schemes” that can help reduce the use of coal-fired power plants and drive down carbon emissions by providing clean energy from Central Asia to South Asia under the CASA-1000 project. On the second leg of his tour, Cameron arrived in Kyrgyzstan later on April 22, where he met with President Sadyr Japarov. They exchanged views on the prospects for Kyrgyz-British cooperation in the political, trade,...

Uzbekistan Working on Economic Reforms, Wants U.S. to Get More Involved

Uzbekistan’s ambassador to the United States says the relationship between the two countries is on a roll. “It’s a very promising time,” Ambassador Furqat Sidiqov said in Washington this week, adding that the two nations have a high level of “effective, open dialogue” as Uzbekistan seeks American investment and U.S. support for economic reforms and in other areas. Even difficult topics such as child labor and concerns about religious freedom in Uzbekistan are on the table, he said. American businesses stand to benefit from Uzbekistan’s push into information technology and other industries, Sidiqov said on Wednesday at a meeting of the Caspian Policy Center, a research center based in Washington. More than 100,000 Uzbeks are engaged in IT services; with most industry exports already go to the United States, a technology campus affiliated with Arizona State University will open this year in the Central Asian country, according to Sidiqov. The ambassador acknowledged that Uzbekistan faces challenges such as water scarcity, and that the country’s leaders hope U.S. and international institutions can help implement “smart technologies” that save water. Only 20% of Uzbekistan’s water comes from within the country – the rest coming from neighboring states - and the vast majority of water is used in agriculture, often inefficiently, according to the press office of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.  Uzbekistan is privatizing most of its banking industry, there are plans to relax the tax burden on foreign investors, and an anti-corruption push is underway. “Our main strategy is to minimize the role of the government in business,” said Sidiqov, a former deputy foreign minister who became ambassador to the U.S. last year. Sidiqov worked as a lower-ranking diplomat in the Washington embassy on two previous tours lasting a decade. Uzbekistan’s state-owned banks have made progress toward “more commercially-driven business models” since the unveiling of a banking reform plan in 2020, according to Fitch Ratings, the credit ratings agency. But “further improvements may take longer due to the sector’s deep-seated structural weaknesses and new risks,” the agency said in March. A U.S. congressional delegation recently returned from a trip that include a visit to Uzbekistan. The delegation, which included Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, met Mirziyoyev and his foreign and defense ministers. The Uzbek ambassador said a key development in ties between Central Asia and the United States came last year when U.S. President Joe Biden met leaders from the region in New York. The summit, dubbed “C5+1,” included the presidents of Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.  They discussed security, economic development, climate change and efforts to promote peace. “For the first time in our history, the United States is seeing us as a region. Before, we were part of American policy toward Afghanistan, something like that,” said Sidiqov, adding that Central Asia would welcome a Biden visit. “We will be more than happy to organize that,” he said.

Kazakhstan’s President Among First Foreign Leaders to Address Quorum of Qatar’s Parliament

The President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev paid a working visit to Qatar on February 13-14, during which he delivered a speech to the members of the Consultative Assembly (Majlis al-Shura) in Doha. About a dozen documents were signed after negotiations between the Kazakh side and the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. The main agreement focuses on cooperation in the construction of gas processing plants at Kazakhstan's Kashagan field between the state company, JSC QazaqGaz, and Qatar's UCC Holding - as well as projects in the field of energy and gas between JSC Samruk-Kazyna, the Kazakh Ministry of Energy, and Qatar's Power International Holding. According to the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan to Qatar, Arman Isagaliyev, President Tokayev's speech contained comments and observations about the upcoming reforms in Kazakhstan, as well as an assessment of events in the Middle East and the world in general. Qatar appears keenly interested in the structure and operations of state institutions given that the first parliamentary elections in the country were held just three years ago. Tokayev proposed after state-level talks that the countries could enter a fully-fledged strategic partnership. Furthermore, Tokayev noted that it's necessary to develop an inter-modal transport network connecting the Persian Gulf and Central Asia, and to expand cooperation in agriculture and organize cultural exhibitions from Kazakhstan and Qatar in each other's capitals in 2025. During the talks, Tokayev said he is ready to increase exports to Qatar on 60 non-resource-based commodity items by $250 million, and proposed bilateral trade be increased to $500 million.

Why Are You Allowed and We Are Not? Japarov Responds to U.S. on Foreign Agents Law

The Kyrgyz presidential administration published a letter of response from Sadyr Japarov to U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. It follows a letter to the Kyrgyz leader in which the top U.S. diplomat expressed concern about the draft law titled "On Non-Profit organizations," which tightens control over their activities in Kyrgyzstan. In his response letter to Blinken, Japarov thanked the American official for his appreciation of the work of the 78th UN General Assembly last September, where the Kyrgyz President urged the international community to support Kyrgyzstan's environmental and green projects. But, he also noted with regret that U.S. authorities are interfering in Kyrgyzstan's internal affairs, emphasizing that the desire for justice and freedom is a distinctive feature of his home nation. "Regarding your concerns about the draft law on foreign agents... there are tens of thousands of non-governmental (NGOs)/non-profit organizations (NPOs) that are successfully working throughout Kyrgyzstan, addressing many problems on which the state previously had neither the will nor the desire to do something. At the same time, it should be recognized that some NGOs/[NPOs] receive funding from abroad, and not only from the U.S. and EU countries," the president wrote. According to Japarov, the Kyrgyz state, by legal definition, intends to control such organizations - namely, where their money comes from and for what purposes it is used. The president emphasized that the draft law - which MPs initiated and adopted in its first reading - is very similar to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) adopted in 1938 in the United States. According to the president, the analogous American law assigns the status of a foreign agent and controls not only the mass media but also any individuals and legal entities financed from abroad. At the same time, violations of this law or delays in registering an organization in the United States are fraught with not only administrative but also criminal penalties. "In this connection, the question cannot [help] but arise: why are you allowed and we are not allowed?" the Kyrgyz President asked rhetorically. In his letter, Japarov said that in accordance with the Constitution of Kyrgyzstan, human and civil rights and freedoms - including the right to freedom of speech and the right to association - may be restricted by law to protect national security, public order, health and public morals, as well as to protect the rights and freedoms of others. In this right, Kyrgyzstan is no different from other countries. Japarov noted that it seems to him that when Blinken addressed him, he relied on unreliable information from NGOs who had earlier criticized the draft law. Japarov said that this information didn't allow the U.S. foreign policy chief to draw an objective picture of the situation with human rights and freedoms in Kyrgyzstan. "Only a small number, but a [quite] vociferous group, of these structures financed by foreign states... is a source of inaccurate information for their grantors. In addition, these nongovernmental structures often spread false, inaccurate information among the people, which...

Lukashenko In Uzbekistan To Talk Trade

The president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko arrived in Uzbekistan on February 7th for a two-day visit, holding official talks with president Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Tashkent. The two leaders discussed their countries' trade, economic and cultural ties. Mr Lukashenko's visit coincided with a meeting of the Business Council in Tashkent, which featured high-ranking officials and important businesspeople from the two countries. Last week a delegation of more than 100 Uzbek businessmen paid a working visit to Belarus, during which a trade house was opened at the Uzbek Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Minsk. Over the past seven years Belarus and Uzbekistan have increased bilateral trade by more than four times; turnover was $565m in 2023. The nations intend to increase this figure to $1bn within two years, expanding cooperation in sectors including agriculture, education, tourism, forestry and housing. At present Uzbekistan's exports to Belarus comprise industrial goods, food products, beverages and tobacco products. In monetary terms, Belarus' s investments in Uzbekistan's economy have increased threefold over the past three years and amount to $45.6m. Uzbekistan in turn buys foodstuffs, machinery and transportation equipment from Belarus.

Mirziyoyev Fortifies China-Uzbekistan Relations for Economic and Green Transformation

Ahead of his trip to Beijing, in his article for the People's Daily, Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev poured lavish praise on China. Not only did Mirziyoyev say he admired Chinese President Xi Jinping's global development, security and civilization initiatives as efforts to significantly address global challenges and accelerate the transition to a more sustainable and inclusive future, he also aligned Tashkent's vision of regional and international security with Beijing. Mirziyoyev has paid several visits to China, underscoring Beijing's growing importance in his economic and development agenda. His objective to strengthen "multifaceted" relations with Beijing further expounds the fact that China will be a centerpiece of his foreign and regional policy and ambition for a green transition. During his October's trip to Beijing to attend the third Belt and Road Forum, Mirziyoyev struck a complimentary tone, expressing gratitude to Xi for the invitation, stressed that the number of Chinese companies investing in Uzbekistan had increased fivefold and said that he expected bilateral trade to exceed $10 billion by the end of 2023. Mirziyoyev’s campaign has worked, given that Chinese enterprises are the second-largest investors in the country, China accounts for more than one-fifth of Uzbekistan’s foreign trade (21.3%) and bilateral trade in 2023 has far exceeded expectations, reaching $14 billion. Once Mirziyoyev signaled that China as one of his top foreign policy priorities, it helped Tashkent sign several agreements with Beijing. In his latest visit, Mirziyoyev called for international unity on the "Green Silk Road," which was first proposed by Xi in Uzbekistan back in 2016, and fully supported the green initiative’s potential to shape the agenda for a “common green future.” Construction of a 400-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant by PowerChina and Mirziyoyev's meetings with Chinese energy companies in October indicated that he was impressed by their ability to deploy modern engineering solutions in electricity transmission networks and to implement solar, wind and hybrid power projects. Just last month, Mirziyoyev praised his strategic partner for completing projects at an “astonishingly” fast pace, and he continues to hail China's progress on large scale joint investments projects which have helped Tashkent make important strides in developing green energy and their endeavor to create 27 gigawatts of renewable energy generation by 2030. While cooperation with the "undisputed global leader" in renewable energy would solidify Tashkent's energy security and environmental sustainability, the first hydrogen plant in the country and region will also save some 33 million cubic meters of gas every year, decarbonize heavy industries, and add a new engine of growth, raising Uzbekistan’s international profile. The two nations are promoting active cooperation on infrastructure, too. The Chinese-built Angren-Pap railway line, the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan transport corridor, and the four routes of the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline that pass through Uzbekistan denote a region-wide consensus on developing intra- and inter-regional infrastructure to push trade, enhance connectivity, and bring prosperity. Once finalized, the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project will give Central Asia the shortest and most accessible passage to global markets, bringing billions of dollars of investments into...

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