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Central Asia

Central Asia

Central Asia is of geostrategic importance to the EU. The region represents a bridge to China as well as to Afghanistan and to the Middle East. The region is a source of significant energy imports for the EU.

Three of the five Central Asian countries (Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) benefit from favourable access to the EU market, through the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, as upper middle income-level economies, can no longer benefit from this scheme). Kyrgyz Republic also benefits from the GSP+ scheme, which grants additional preferences.

Trade picture

Central Asia:

  • Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

EU trade with Central Asia has grown and the EU is now the region’s main trading partner, accounting for about a third of its overall external trade. Nevertheless, the total turnover of the EU's trade with Central Asia remains low.

  • Central Asian exports to the EU largely centre on a few commodities, particularly crude oil, gas, metals and cotton fibre.
  • EU exports are dominated by machinery and transport equipment, and other manufactured goods. Such products account for more than half of EU exports to the region.

EU-Central Asia: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2017-2019, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2017 17.5 7.8 -9.7
2018 20.7 8.6 -12.0
2019 19.1 9.5 -9.6

Unless otherwise mentioned “EU” concerns for all indicated years the current European Union of 27 Member States.

Date of retrieval: 22/04/2020

More statistics on Central Asia

EU and Central Asia

The EU adopted a New Central Asia Strategy in 2019.

The overall institutional framework for the EU's cooperation with the region is as follows:

Committees and Dialogues - Uzbekistan

The EU and Uzbekistan meet regularly to discuss issues and best practices when applying the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.

Subcommittee on Economic, Trade and Investment Relations

Committees and Dialogues - Kyrgyz Republic

The EU and Kyrgyz Republic meet regularly to discuss issues and best practices when applying the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.

Sub-Committee on Trade and Investment

Committees and Dialogues - Kazakhstan

The EU and Kazakhstan meet regularly to discuss issues and best practices when applying the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.

Trading with Central Asia