Although the prime objective is to hold official meetings with various high representatives of the government in each of these countries, the Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs will also visit development cooperation projects financed by Switzerland and will meet with key actors, both Swiss and local, from the economic sector. One of the highpoints of her trip will be the inauguration of the new Swiss Embassy in Kazakhstan.
Switzerland has supported the development of this region for many years. The cooperation strategy for Central Asia 2007-2011 has defined 5 priority areas: health, the use of water, institutions and public services, improvement of basic infrastructure and the development of the private sector. Switzerland's commitment takes the form of specific projects, especially in the Fergana Valley, where Switzerland has used its expertise to achieve a more economical and ecological use of water. The results of this project benefit Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Swiss aid to Central Asia totalled CHF 40 million in 2009.
The Republics of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan are important partners for Switzerland. Indeed, all of them belong to the Swiss Constituency Group in the Bretton Woods Institutions. Moreover, the entire region will play a crucial role in the global economy of the future and in the world’s energy supply. For the year 2009, the aggregate assistance injected by Switzerland into Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan) falls just short of CHF 40 million. The trip to the region will end on 9 October 2009.
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