BISHKEK -- Negotiations between Kyrgyzstan and the European Union (EU) on a new co-operation agreement are continuing, 24.kg reported.
A second round of talks on the deal is taking place in Bishkek, Luc Devigne, the lead EU negotiator, said at a news conference Thursday (March 1).
The EU holds Kyrgyzstan in especially high regard among Central Asian countries because "we share common values such as democracy, human rights and the recent democratic transfer of power," he said.
Although the EU and Kyrgyzstan have a 20-year-old agreement, changes in both entities make a new treaty necessary, he said.
"Our co-operation is based on three main sectors -- education, the rule of law and the integrated development of rural regions," he said.
Exports of goods from Kyrgyzstan to the EU grew by 120% last year, along with a 48% increase in overall trade in both directions, Devigne noted, adding that the two entities have plenty of potential for more trade.
The EU is ready to take relations to a new level to develop the economy and improve stability in Central Asia, Devigne said.