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Central Asia | Bishkek, 6 July

EU and Kyrgyz Republic initial Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement

On 6 July 2019, the European Union and the Kyrgyz Republic initialled an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) in the margins of the 15th EU-Central Asia Ministerial Meeting, in Bishkek.

This agreement represents a major improvement on the current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the Kyrgyz Republic, in force since 1999. The new agreement creates the conditions for a safer business environment for economic operators, as it includes the protection of intellectual property rights and, for the first time in the region, EU Geographical Indications, as well as the adoption of several international and European standards (e.g. sanitary and phytosanitary, capital movement, competition and transparency).

Both Parties have also committed to open substantially their respective public procurement markets. Additionally, the Kyrgyz Republic accepted provisions going beyond the WTO (e.g. on subsidies and technical barriers to trade), hence boosting market attractiveness for EU investors, and agreed to prohibit export duties for a number of products.

This agreement comes in addition to the trade preferences already unilaterally offered by the EU to the Kyrgyz Republic through the Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP+), together with the implementation by the Kyrgyz Republic of 27 international conventions related to human rights, labour rights, protection of the environment and good governance.

The negotiations for the EPCA were launched in December 2017, following the adoption of the negotiating directives by the Council on 9 October 2017. The seventh and final negotiating round took place in Bishkek on 6-8 June 2019. This is the second EPCA to be concluded with a Central Asian country (after Kazakhstan), creating the conditions for strengthened trade relations in a region of strategic interest for the EU, as outlined by the recent Joint Communication on the EU and Central Asia.

More information:

Factsheet: EU-Kyrgyz Republic: Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement