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27/March/2022   Tashkent International Investment Forum

Uzbekistan and China discussed opportunities for extending industrial cooperation on the sidelines of the Tashkent International Investment Forum

TASHKENT, March 27. /Dunyo IA/. On March 25, within the framework of the program of the Tashkent International Investment Forum, a round table "Uzbek-Chinese Investment Forum: Industrial Cooperation - New Opportunities" was held, reports “Dunyo” IA correspondent.

According to Uzbekistan MIFT, the event was attended by heads of key ministries and departments of Uzbekistan, representatives of major Chinese companies and corporations, as well as representatives of diplomatic missions of the two countries.

China and Uzbekistan are linked by long-term cooperation, which is largely associated with the development of economic projects and the launch of joint ventures. Tashkent and Beijing, among other things, cooperate within the framework of international organizations, implement a number of significant projects in the socio-economic sphere.

The agenda of the event included issues of bilateral cooperation in the areas of investment, trade, innovation, digitalization, healthcare, and transport and logistics cooperation.

As part of the opening of the round table, representatives of the governments of the two countries addressed the audience.

“Thanks to trusting relations between the leadership of Uzbekistan and China, cooperation between our countries has been brought to a new strategic level of partnership. As a result, over the past five years, a positive trend in bilateral relations between our countries has been ensured. In 2021, there was a noticeable increase in mutual trade - the volume of Uzbek-Chinese trade amounted to $ 7.5 billion," noted Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov in his speech.

It was also noted that Chinese companies are the leading investors in the economy of Uzbekistan. Over the past five years, Chinese entrepreneurs have invested more than $9 billion in Uzbekistan. The number of enterprises in our country with the participation of Chinese capital has reached two thousand, which is 15 per cent of the total number of companies with foreign capital operating in Uzbekistan.

It was announced that in recent years the government has given particular importance to measures to unlock the country's investment potential. This includes tax and customs benefits, measures of state support for business, special economic and industrial zones and other tools. In April last year, Uzbekistan received the status of a beneficiary country of the Generalized System of Preferences of the European Union “GSP+”, which allows duty-free import of more than 6 thousand types of products to the EU countries, and also joined the Enhanced Generalized System of Preferences (“GSP Enhanced framework”) Great Britain.

There are 22 free economic zones in the country, as well as a special industrial zone "Uzbekistan - SCO". Sardor Umurzakov, in his address, expressed his readiness to encourage industrial cooperation, which will allow joint production of high value-added products through the introduction of innovations and modern technological solutions.

“We will continue to create all the necessary conditions for the successful activities of foreign investors. I want to outline the great prospects for cooperation between business entities of Uzbekistan and China in the field of electronic and electrical industries, textile production, IT technologies, green economy, chemical, gas chemical and a number of other innovative industries,” emphasized the Deputy Prime Minister.

The partnership between Uzbekistan and China has the potential for development. Thus, in January of this year, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev took the initiative to develop the Strategy for the New Economic Dialogue "China - Central Asia", designed to ensure unhindered trade and the formation of a common space for industrial cooperation and localization. In that appeal, interest was also expressed in further cooperation with China on the issues of modernizing the agricultural sector, growing crops on saline and saline lands, and establishing production chains between enterprises in urban and rural areas.

The Chinese side also highly appreciated the current progress and prospects for further deepening bilateral cooperation. In 2021, the seventh meeting of the Subcommittee on Trade and Economic Cooperation, the first meeting of the Working Group on Investment Cooperation were successfully held, a cloud platform for investment cooperation was launched, presentations were organized on the prospects for partnership in the mining and processing of minerals, pharmaceutical and textile areas and other areas. Last month, the Program for the Development of Trade, Economic and Investment Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Government of the People's Republic of China for 2022-2026 was signed, which determined the principles and priorities for planning economic and trade cooperation in the next five years.

"The Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China is ready, together with the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan, to implement important decisions and agreements reached by the Heads of the two states, to purposefully interact in order to bring investment, trade, economic and industrial cooperation between China and Uzbekistan to a qualitatively new level," - noted Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao. Also in his speech, he called on the parties to intensify bilaterial contacts, work together to promote joint projects, develop new tools for their financing, and consistently expand the economic cooperation between the two countries.

The Chinese side expressed its readiness to sign documents with Uzbekistan as soon as possible on deepening investment cooperation in the areas of the digital economy, green development, artificial intelligence, the creation of smart cities and the development of cross-border logistics.

The Uzbek side, in turn, noted that by 2025 it is planned to bring the export of Uzbekistan in the IT sector to a billion dollars. Uzbekistan also made a proposal to technology parks and outsourcing companies in China to participate in the creation of joint programs in our country.

During the event, the participants exchanged views on the prospects for expanding mutually beneficial cooperation in priority areas, and also developed common positions on specific projects and initiatives.

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