0354 GMT August 04, 2021
Regional connectivity is regarded as the level and effectiveness of regional networks to facilitate flows of goods, services, people and knowledge. This extends the traditional focus of public policies beyond either physical or non-physical parameters to encompass both dimensions.
The two-day international conference “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity. Challenges and Opportunities” wrapped up in Tashkent on Friday at the initiative of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
Attended by the presidents of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan as well as the prime minister of Pakistan, foreign ministers and high representatives of the Central and South Asian countries, other foreign states, heads of authoritative international and regional organizations, global financial institutions and companies, leading research and analytical centers,
the forum was aimed at strengthening historically close and friendly ties, trust and good neighborliness between Central and South Asia in the interests of all peoples and countries of the regions.
During the plenary and breakout sessions, the forum participants discussed the possibilities of promoting initiatives aimed at developing trade, economic, transport, communication, cultural and humanitarian cooperation in the context of further deepening regional connectivity.
The agenda included a comprehensive exchange of views and joint development of proposals for enhancing cooperation in trade, investment, transport, energy and innovation, green technologies, implementation of specific projects and cooperation programs, enhancing interaction in tourism, education, health care, science and culture, ensuring the stability and security of the regions.
Connectivity is central to trade, economic growth and sustainable development. But connectivity is not just about economics. It drives regional cooperation and encourages friendly relations among neighbors, near and far.
Enhanced connectivity that is environmentally sustainable and based on the rule of law can contribute to building long-term peace, stability and prosperity in Central and South Asia. This is crucial now more than ever.
The countries of the region can only fully benefit from potential opportunities if the region at large is at peace.
The countries should work together to ensure that the potential benefits of peace are well enough understood by all so that the promise of connectivity itself becomes a counterbalance to the threat of further deterioration in the region.
Tashkent’s conference was an important step in that direction. Supported efforts will strengthen interconnectedness in the region for the benefit of all.