Today, on June 3, an expanded meeting was held in Cholpon-Ata city as a part of the official visit of the President of the European Council Charles Michel to the Kyrgyz Republic.
Speaking at the extended format meeting, Sadyr Zhaparov warmly welcomed the European delegation led by Charles Michel, noted that the European Union is a reliable partner of Kyrgyzstan.
” Kyrgyzstan is a young country with a dynamically developing society, which has chosen the path of democracy, political and socio–economic reforms. We have made significant progress in strengthening democratic institutions, promoting the rule of law and protecting human rights. However, we understand that there are issues that need to be resolved, and we are ready to do this with the support of our international partners. Our partnership with the European Union is based on common values, common goals and mutual respect. One of the main directions of bilateral cooperation is economic development,” Sadyr Zhaparov noted. The Head of State stressed that Kyrgyzstan has natural resources and a young, talented workforce, the Kyrgyz side strives to use the available resources effectively and unlock the potential of the country.
The President emphasized that the experience, investments and technical assistance of the European Union have played an important role in supporting efforts to diversify the country’s economy, develop the private sector and create sustainable jobs. In addition, the European Union’s commitment to regional integration and interconnectedness, as outlined in its strategy for Central Asia, is highly appreciated.
The Kyrgyz Republic is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and firmly believes in the importance of strengthening regional cooperation to ensure stability, prosperity and peace.
“I believe that the establishment of this Agreement will hold significant importance for both sides. It is expected to pave the way for the expansion of cooperation across various areas of mutual interest, reinforcing and enhancing the existing relations. The agreement, primarily, will provide a robust legal framework for collaboration in a new format, forming a comprehensive foundation for our bilateral political dialogue, trade, investment, the rule of law, human rights, and other vital aspects of our partnership,” emphasized the President. The President further highlighted that the Kyrgyz side anticipates an expansion of trade and economic cooperation with the signing of this Agreement between Kyrgyzstan and the EU.
Sadyr Zhaparov emphasized that the negative consequences of climate change affect all countries of the world, including Kyrgyzstan, which has millennia-old glaciers. Therefore, the issues of ecology and green economy are among the main priorities of the state policy of the Kyrgyz Republic. At the initiative of the Kyrgyz side, the UN declared 2022 the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development.
“In my message at the opening of the Summit of World Leaders on Climate Change in Glasgow in November 2021, I already highlighted that Kyrgyzstan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 44 percent by 2030, and strive for carbon neutrality by 2050, with a primary focus on renewable energy sources. The Kyrgyz Republic, located at the headwaters of the rivers in the Central Asian region, serves as a generator of its own water and energy resources. The total hydropower potential of the Kyrgyz Republic is 142.5 billion kWh, with solar energy contributing 490 million kWh/year and wind energy providing 44 million kWh/year. In the CIS, Kyrgyzstan ranks third in terms of hydropower potential, following Russia and Tajikistan. Currently, 13 percent of this potential has been developed.
Kyrgyzstan is keen on cooperating within the framework of the new EU strategy, the “Global Gateway”, and is prepared to propose investment projects for consideration, including the development of large hydroelectric power plants in the Kyrgyz Republic and other renewable energy sectors. One of the most significant energy projects for the country is the construction of the Kambaratinskaya HPP-1, which holds paramount importance not only for the Kyrgyz Republic but also for the Central Asian region. This project will contribute favorably to strengthening energy security, fostering the development of the electricity and capacity trading market, promoting cooperation through the integration of energy and water management issues, and maximizing the utilization of the Central Asian energy system’s capabilities,” emphasized Sadyr Zhaparov.
As the Head of State noted, the implementation of projects for the rehabilitation of the Toktogul HPP, the commissioning of the second hydroelectric unit of the Kambaratinskaya HPP-2, the modernization of the Uch-Kurgan HPP and other projects implemented with the support of development partners will create all the necessary conditions to meet the needs of the population for electricity, taking into account the growing demand, as well as the supply of electric energy within the framework of the regional project CASA-1000.
“Our country is firmly committed to the development of a green economy. In 2018, we adopted the concept of ‘Kyrgyzstan – a country of green economy’ and the National Development Strategy until 2040, which outlines our goal of building a competitive economy driven by innovative and environmentally friendly technologies. We have identified seven priority sectors through which we aim to achieve a progressive transition to green development. These sectors include green energy, green agriculture, green industry, sustainable tourism, low-emission transport, waste management, and green cities. At the beginning of 2023, I proposed an initiative to restructure Kyrgyzstan’s external debt by converting it into projects in the field of the green economy. We believe that this approach will help us further advance our green development agenda,” added Sadyr Zhaparov.
The President also expressed satisfaction with the recent initiative put forth by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to stimulate the Addis Ababa 2030 Agenda. This initiative calls for a substantial increase in financing for sustainable development, amounting to at least $500 billion per year.