In the first half of 2016, the first meeting of the Board of Investment and Trade of Uzbekistan - EU will take place, said the head of the EU delegation in Uzbekistan, Yuri Stärk.
According to Stärk, the process of harmonization of all aspects took about two years. The talks mainly dealt with the creation of a specific regulatory platform for the launch of such a council. Secondly, specific issues were being resolved in a working format.
“It took quite a lot of work for both sides to reach an agreement on certain issues, which were the subject of those negotiations. In general, many of the issues have already been agreed upon, so in the first half, we can proceed to convene the first meeting,” said Stärk.
"The main idea is to involve the private sector - businesses interested in joint projects,” he said.
Eventually, as the head of the EU delegation noted, the parties agreed on the need to create the most lightweight platform, freed from unnecessary bureaucracy, "in order to make it work in purely practical terms for the realization of the goals at hand.”
"The idea is to create a sufficiently flexible format in which it is possible to discuss specific concerns and suggestions for improvement of the business environment in Uzbekistan and eliminate barriers for partners from the EU pragmatically and effectively,” he stressed.
The parties also excluded the possibility of duplication of functions of the Board with such "heavy" structures as the Co-operation Council and others.
By the end of 2014, the EU was the third largest trade partner of Uzbekistan. The turnover of the EU and Uzbekistan trade in 2014 amounted to 1.8 billion euros.
The total amount appropriated by the EU grant aid for the region of Central Asia for 2007-2013, amounted to 750 million euros, and for the period of 2014-2020 will amount to over 1 billion euros.