China, Central Asian countries to hold video conference against pandemic

Foreign ministers of China and Central Asian countries will hold a video conference on Thursday to exchange views and further their cooperation against the pandemic.

The meeting will be chaired by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

The five Central Asian countries include Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Countries in Central Asia started to report their first COVID-19 cases in mid-March, with the exception of Afghanistan, which reported its first cases in late February.

The multiple effects of COVID-19 on commodities, trade and local economies will have a big impact on GDP growth in the region, which is expected to turn negative in 2020, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The foreign ministers will discuss ways to help drive an economic recovery during Thursday's meeting.