Uzbekistan and the European Union came to a common understanding on the structure of the draft Extended Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA), the Foreign Ministry said. The future agreement will replace the current agreement in force since July 1, 1999.
The first round of negotiations on the document took place on February 4-7 in Tashkent. The delegations of were headed by Uzbek Deputy Foreign Minister Dilshod Akhatov and Deputy Chief of European and Central Asian Department at the European External Action Service Luc Devin.
Meetings of experts on the trade section of the draft agreement will continue until the weekend with the participation of officials of relevant Uzbek ministries.
The parties have decided to hold the second round of negotiations on the EPCA in Brussels, with the date not yet known.
As part of the visit of the EU delegation in Tashkent, consultations were held on preparing the Uzbekistan’s request for the General System of Preferences Plus status and a briefing for business executives on the benefits of the GSP + status.
Official negotiations on the renewal of the EPCA between Uzbekistan and the EU started last November in Brussels. The agreement covers such areas as political cooperation, trade and investment ties, sustainable development and interaction, as well as human rights and governance.