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On April 27, the first meeting of the Subcommittee between Uzbekistan and the EU for Development Cooperation was held at the International Hotel Tashkent. The event was organized by the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Investments and the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The European side was represented by the appointed co-chairman Raffaella Iodice, the Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Development of Cooperation of the European Commission, with the participation of Eduard Stiprais, the Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Uzbekistan. The co-chairman of the meeting of the Subcommittee from the Uzbek side was Shukhrat Vafayev, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Investments of Uzbekistan with participation of Abdujabbor Abduvakhidov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. The main goal of the first Subcommittee meeting is to review the current activities in the implementation of joint programs and projects of cooperation between Uzbekistan and the EU and identify new priority areas for cooperation, up to the next, after 2020, period.
The discussion of further EU-Uzbekistan cooperation involved representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, Finance, Economics, Justice, Labor, Agriculture and Water Resources, Higher and Secondary Special Education, the State Committee for Ecology, the Development Strategy Center, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps, and other EU organizations.
Today the European Union implements its activities in Uzbekistan within the framework of the Multi-year Indicative program for 2014-2020 with the main development directions in agriculture and rural regions. For the next round of cooperation participants proposed to expand the scope of cooperation and cover such areas as energy, trade and transport.
Raffaella Iodice, the Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Development of Cooperation of the European Commission, highlighted: "We will continue cooperation in the spheres of ecology and climate change, but we will also support reforms in civil service and governance, contribute to increasing transparency and fight corruption in the region. We are also keen in expanding cooperation in the field of infrastructure development, which has a high demand in the country, as well as the development of the business climate and creation of additional jobs in the country, paying special attention to youth. We must not forget that it is the youth who is the main agent of change, not only in the region, but throughout the world. In addition, gender and empowerment is an essential precondition for equitable and inclusive sustainable development, which will not take place if half of the world's population is left behind."