Uzbekistan and Russia identified priorities for the further development of investment, trade and economic cooperation
On June 23 this year, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan S. Umurzakov visited Moscow and held a number of bilateral meetings with Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation A. Overchuk, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation D. Manturov and Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation M. Reshetnikov. Here, they discussed actual issues to intensify bilateral trade, economic, investment, transport, and logistics cooperation.
During the meetings, the parties repeatedly noted that the ministries and departments of both countries actively work out new areas of economic partnership discussed during previous negotiations, and emphasized the firm commitment of the parties to promptly finish coordination of all available issues to reach specific agreements within the shortest possible time with a view to joint investment projects and conclusion of mutually beneficial commercial agreements.
The parties noted high diversification of the two countries' economies, which provided wide opportunities for cooperative ties in all areas. It was noted, that Russia is one of the largest investors in Uzbekistan's economy and maintains steadily the increase in the number of enterprises in the Republic involving Russian capital over a long period of time.
For reference: In 2019, Uzbekistan received USD 1.3 billion of investments from the Russian Federation (including, USD 650 million direct ones), and USD 329.5 million by the end of the first quarter 2020. Generally, it is expected to receive USD 1.5 billion of Russian investments by the end of 2020.
The parties agreed to accelerate the coordination of projects developed under industrial cooperation, including identification of specific initiators and deadlines. It is also planned to continue the review of new project proposals in the agro-industrial complex, light industry, electrical engineering, energy, automotive, oil and gas, woodworking and agriculture to be included in the joint Road Map to intensify industrial cooperation.
The parties negotiated on the 21st meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Bilateral Cooperation. The joint work in this sphere will be aimed at the registration and preparation for the signing of a package of solid mutually beneficial investment and trade agreements.
At the same time, the parties agreed to particularly strengthen the interregional cooperation being an effective mechanism for investment partnerships, increase of commercial turnover and activation of cultural and humanitarian cooperation. In view of this, the parties touched upon interaction within joint preparation for the II Forum of Interregional Cooperation, as well as the National exhibition of products “Made in Uzbekistan” in Moscow.
Particular attention was paid to the development and implementation of measures to expand trade and economic cooperation with a view to increase mutual trade by increasing the supply of Russian and Uzbek products to the markets of both countries.
For reference: In 2019, mutual trade amounted to USD 6.63 billion, incl. an increase of 15.6% compared to the previous year.
The Russian side emphasized that the active joint work of the relevant ministries and departments of both countries to strengthen positive trends in commercial sector will enable increase of commercial turnover up to USD 10 billion.
They noted significant potential for cooperation within customs regulation, development of customs infrastructure, as well as harmonization of certification standards and metrology, which is also important for the dynamic growth of commercial turnover between the two countries. The parties also discussed possible interaction to modernize the system of testing and metrological laboratories in Uzbekistan, as well as the opening of accredited units of Russian laboratories monitoring the quality of agricultural products in the Republic to increase the supply of products from Uzbekistan to Russia.
The discussion also touched upon the initiative to open a multi-function migration center in Uzbekistan, which will act as the operator of organized employment of citizens of Uzbekistan in the Russian Federation through direct interaction with the regions of Russia and major Russian employers.
The negotiations defined the procedure for systemic cooperation between the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. The overall priority was defined as the completion of approval of the list of new investment projects and trade agreements, as well as the development of measures to further strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries.