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Monday 7 June 2021

EU Grants €11 mln to Uzbekistan for Agricultural Reforms


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TASHKENT (Satrapia) — The European Union has allocated €11 mln to Uzbekistan to support strategic reforms aimed at improving the agri-food sector and the livelihoods of the rural population.

On March 5, the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov hosted the newly appointed head of the European Union Delegation, Ambassador Charlotte Adrian. Previously, Charlotte Adrian headed the Financial and Technical Cooperation Department of the Delegation of the European Union to Kyrgyzstan.
The previous head of the EU Delegation to Uzbekistan, Eduards Stiprais, completed his four-year mission in July last year.

The allocation of financial assistance to Uzbekistan is the third transfer by the EU since the beginning of the first quarter of 2020. The total amount of grant support to the budget reached €32 mln.Ambassador to Uzbekistan Charlotte Adrian said:

The potential for employment in areas such as agriculture, food and textiles is significant. This is important not only in terms of creating decent jobs and providing sustainable livelihood opportunities for women and youth, but also for ensuring food security and building responsible food systems. The EU remains committed to supporting government reforms aimed, in particular, at developing a greener and more sustainable agricultural sector in the light of climate change. However, more emphasis still needs to be placed on supporting market access and competitiveness measures for smallholder farmers, who are the majority of producers and deserve equal opportunities.

Last year’s disbursement was accelerated in the wake of the pandemic to support the government’s efforts to continue progress on key reforms and help the most vulnerable rural populations.

On March 5, the Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov hosted the newly appointed head of the European Union Delegation, Ambassador Charlotte Adrian. The parties discussed the state and prospects of cooperation between Uzbekistan and the EU in the political, trade and economic, financial and technical, cultural, humanitarian and other areas and commended the progress of the negotiation process on the draft Expanded Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Uzbekistan and the EU. To date, 7 rounds of negotiations have already been held on this issue.

The schedule, agenda and organizational issues of upcoming joint events, including the next meeting of the Uzbekistan-EU Cooperation Council, the upcoming round of high-level dialogue EU-Central Asia on politics and security, were considered.

The sides expressed hope for the granting of the GSP + status to Uzbekistan by the end of March 2021. Let us remind you that in December the European Commission made an early decision to grant Uzbekistan the status of a beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preferences plus “GSP +”. This will allow the country to double the number of duty-free goods supplied to the EU.

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