On September 21-22, 2021 Bishkek (Kyrgyz Republic) hosted a business forum "Dialogue of women entrepreneurs of Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan" with participation of more than 80 businesswomen of the two countries.
The event was carried out in execution of the "Roadmap for Cooperation of Women-Entrepreneurs of Central Asia in the Field of Sustainable Development", adopted on June 15, 2021 in Tashkent following the results of the International Forum "Economic empowerment of women for sustainable development in Central Asia and Afghanistan" within the framework of Central Asia Women Leaders Caucus. The business forum was organized with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Welcoming speeches at the event were made by Chairperson of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Chairperson of the Central Asia Women Leaders Caucus Ms. Tanzila Narbaeva, Vice-Speaker of the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic Ms. Aida Kasymaliyeva, UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic Ms. Louise Chamberlain, Director of USAID Economic Development Office in the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Joshua Templeton.
Speaking at a business forum dedicated to the development and strengthening of cooperation between women entrepreneurs of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, the Head of the upper house of the Uzbek parliament Tanzila Narbaeva noted that the dialogue between women business representatives of the two countries in such a broad format and with the participation of representative delegations is held for the first time. "Active cooperation of our women entrepreneurs meets the spirit of the times, contributes to the maintenance and strengthening of centuries-old ties of friendship, good neighborliness between the two brotherly peoples, as well as multidimensional, mutually beneficial partnership between our countries," –Tanzila Narbaeva said in her speech.
Development of trade and economic cooperation between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan demonstrates rapid dynamics. Only over the past five years, the bilateral trade turnover has grown many times and by the end of 2020 has exceeded 900 million USD. Women entrepreneurs have expressed confidence that they will make a worthy contribution to the further consolidation of these ties.
The delegation of women of Uzbekistan at this business forum covered many sectors of the economy, in particular, industry, services, agriculture, arts and crafts. The creation of such platforms contributes to the establishment of direct contacts between women entrepreneurs, the exchange of experiences and best practices of entrepreneurship, the identification of promising areas of business cooperation between women of the two countries.
During business meetings businesswomen of Uzbekistan learned about the activities of potential Kyrgyz partners and established contacts for further business cooperation. As a result of the talks, the businesswomen concluded 15 agreements and memorandums totaling more than 13 million US dollars.
Within the framework of her presidency in the Central Asia Women Leaders Caucus, Tanzila Narbaeva said the Uzbek side attaches great importance to the development and strengthening of practical business cooperation between women-entrepreneurs both in regional and bilateral formats.
In this regard, the Chairperson-in-Office of the Caucus invited Kyrgyzstan's representatives to participate in the Central Asian Women Entrepreneurs' Cooperation Exchange to be held on September 28-30, 2021, which will focus on various thematic areas of business. It was also announced about the first meeting of the Central Asian Women Entrepreneurs Discussion Club to be held in November this year.
In her speech, UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic Louise Chamberlain emphasized that deepening regional cooperation can foster stronger social cohesion among border communities and cross-border cooperation, which can encourage peace and stability and lead to more sustainable and peaceful future. Such business in itself could become a very important resilience factor.
"It can be a very important factor in sustainability. It is my hope that this event will provide a platform where its participants come together and tackle common challenges, build mutually beneficial business relationships, and strong, long-lasting partnerships," Louise Chamberlain said.
During the event a Joint Statement of the business forum participants was adopted, which noted their commitment to continue joint efforts on the economic empowerment of women, support and develop business relations in both bilateral and regional formats, conduct joint activities in the format of business forums and B2B meetings on a regular basis with the support of relevant government agencies and international partners.