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26/March/2022   Tashkent International Investment Forum

MIFT: Cooperation between Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia Gets to a Qualitatively New Level

TASHKENT, March 26. /Dunyo IA/. The 5th Meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) in the field of trade, economy, science and technology, culture, sports and youth was held on March 24 this year between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia within the framework of the Tashkent International Investment Forum, reports “Dunyo” IA correspondent.

According to Uzbekistan MIFT, the co-chairs of the meeting were: from the Uzbek side - Sardor Umurzakov, Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade and from the foreign side - Khalid al-Falih, Minister of Investments of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The event was also attended by heads of key ministries and departments of the two countries.

As part of the agenda of the meeting, issues of bilateral cooperation in the trade, economic and investment spheres, in the field of energy, chemical industry, telecommunications and information technology, agriculture and forestry, tourism, culture and sports, healthcare, science and education, environmental protection and ecology were discussed.

During the meeting, the heads of delegations of the two countries expressed mutual commitment to further deepening the multifaceted Uzbek-Saudi cooperation and came to a common position on the existence of significant untapped potential for expanding partnership in priority areas.

It was emphasized that thanks to the concerted actions of the relevant ministries and departments of the two countries, coordinated on the IGC platform, in recent years the pace of development of Uzbek-Saudi cooperation has increased significantly. Thus, in particular, over the two months of this year, the volume of mutual trade increased 9 times compared to the same period in 2021. In the opinion of the sides, this indicates great opportunities for enhancing cooperation in this direction, in connection with which an agreement was reached on the development of a joint "Practical Action Plan" for a multiple increase in the Uzbek-Saudi trade in the near future, indicating step-by-step mechanisms, specific deadlines and responsible performers.

It was also agreed to hold branch industrial exhibitions in Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia, which will allow demonstrating the industrial potential of the two states and establishing direct relations between leading Uzbek and Saudi manufacturers.

Separately, the parties also highlighted the prospects for deepening business cooperation and developing industrial cooperation. It was emphasized that the number of enterprises created in Uzbekistan with the participation of Saudi capital has increased 4 times over the past years. Large-scale projects of Saudi investors in the field of traditional and alternative energy are being successfully implemented in the country. The parties expressed their readiness to work together to create favorable conditions for closer rapprochement between the business circles of the two countries and to provide mutual practical assistance in the implementation of new investment projects in such promising sectors as the IT, electronics, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, agriculture, construction materials, light, chemical and petrochemical industries.

The parties especially noted the prospects of establishing industrial cooperation, aiming to increase joint production for the production of goods with high added value, which is formed due to the high volume of domestic consumption, as well as access to regional markets and the foreign markets countries. In this regard, it was agreed that the parties will develop and approve a joint Industrial Cooperation Program for 2022-2023, which will include specific projects and their initiators from both sides.

Opportunities for expanding bilateral cooperation in the field of science and technology as a key factor in increasing the competitiveness of the economies of the two countries were also considered. An agreement was reached on establishing direct relations between the Tashkent Technopark and the King Abdulaziz Center for Science and Technology by organizing mutual visits of delegations of these institutions in order to familiarize themselves with their activities and identify specific areas of cooperation.

In addition, the prospects for organizing the Days of Culture of Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia, as well as joint events to bring youth together in the two countries were discussed. In particular, it was agreed that the parties will develop and approve a joint program of cooperation between the tourism departments of the two countries with an emphasis on the development of pilgrimage tourism.

During the event, the heads of ministries and departments of both states also spoke, specifying the main directions for further deepening cooperation and discussing promising joint projects and initiatives.

As a result of the meeting, a Memorandum was signed, which included all intergovernmental and interdepartmental agreements and arrangements reached during the event.

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