ASTANA -- Kazakhstani Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov, speaking at an international conference, urged the European Union (EU) to help bring European investment to Central Asia, Kazinform reported Thursday (February 22).
Abdrakhmanov made his remarks during a conference titled "25 Years of European Union-Central Asia Relations: From the Past to The Future."
Kazakhstan wants the EU "to develop new mechanisms to assist in bringing private European capital to various projects in Central Asia", he said.
"This will provide European companies with new opportunities of reaching the regional market and will strengthen the EU's positions in the region," said Abdrakhmanov.
Regional countries should use EU experience in digitisation, the environment, water resources, human rights and legislation to diversify their economies and develop their technology sectors, he urged.
"We call on the [EU] to be more ambitious and expand its presence in the Central Asian region as part of the new strategy," the minister said, adding that Central Asia should not remain only a transit region for European Union.
EU Special Representative for Central Asia Peter Burian said he welcomed the proposal.
The two sides plan to develop a new strategy by the end of 2019.