Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan intend to increase bilateral trade to US$5bn by 2020
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
On 14 March, Astana hosted the 17th meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on bilateral cooperation between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan with the participation of the Co-Chairmen of the Commission - First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin and First Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Achilbay Ramatov.
In the course of the meeting it was noted that last year was successful in terms of bilateral cooperation and the key role in this belongs to the Heads of State of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
As is known, the Presidents of the two countries instructed the Governments of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to take measures to intensify trade-and-economic cooperation.
The parties noted the high pace of mutual trade growth. The trade turnover between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2017 amounted to US$2 billion, which is 31.2% higher compared to 2016. Exports from Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan in 2017 grew by 35% to US$1.3 billion. Imports from Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan increased by 25.1% to US$735.2 billion.
“We welcome the stable positive momentum in mutual trade. Further increase in volumes and expansion of the range of trade turnover will contribute to increasing the volume of mutual trade. In addition, we need to timely implement the signed in 2017 trade contracts and agreements,” – A. Ramatov said.
Taking into account the pace of development of trade-and-economic cooperation, the parties agreed to take further coordinated measures to ensure the growth of trade turnover to US$3 billion in 2018 and to US$5 billion by 2020.
An important role in bilateral cooperation is played by the interaction of business circles and investments. Over the past year alone, two large business forums have been held, and commercial agreements worth more than US$1 billion have been signed. Joint ventures (four trading houses) operate in the areas of food supplies, petrochemicals and chemistry. The constituent documents on the trading house in pharmaceutical industry were approved.
Within the framework of the Agreement on long-term cooperation between Uzavtosanoat and SaryarkaAvtoProm LLP, a joint project is being implemented to export products to foreign markets, including the EAEU market. The model line-up is expanding, the localization of production is deepening. The possibility of capital entry of Uzavtosanoat into the SaryarkaAvtoProm LLP is under consideration.
Regional ties are actively developing. The Uzbek side supported the Kazakhstani initiative to hold the Interregional Cooperation Forum on a regular basis.
Particular attention is paid to the Year of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan. It is planned to hold more than 200 events in the sphere of economy, tourism, cultural and humanitarian area.
“The decision of the Heads of our states to hold the Year of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan in 2018 and the Year of Kazakhstan in Uzbekistan in 2019 is a clear indication of the unprecedentedly high level of trust and partnership between our countries,” – A. Mamin emphasized.
In the course of the 17th meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Bilateral Cooperation between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the implementation of the decisions of the Protocol of the 16th meeting of the Commission was discussed, as well as the current state and prospects for expanding bilateral trade-and-economic cooperation.
The parties agreed to consider the possibility of building an international cross-border cooperation center, a transport and logistics center (Dry Port) in the border areas of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Data for 2017 shows an 8% growth of mutual volumes of rail transportation, amounting to more than 20.5 million tonnes. During the two months of 2018, traffic volumes increased by 44% compared to the same period of 2017.
The parties agreed that from April this year, regular railway passenger trains will operate running along the Samarkand-Astana route.
The issues of water cooperation were discussed. Authorized bodies of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan were instructed to continue work on the execution of the activities of the Roadmap on cooperation in the field of water relations between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
In addition, the parties noted the need to develop a legal mechanism for the use of transboundary water resources in Central Asia, which promotes the establishment of a constructive dialogue, taking into account the interests of all the states of the region.
Within the framework of the meeting, the sides confirmed mutual interest in further development of cooperation in the gas industry. An agreement was reached to continue joint work to create a technical opportunity for transit supplies of Kazakh gas through the territory of Uzbekistan to the south of Kazakhstan. In order to implement the reached agreements before September 1, 2018, a corresponding agreement is expected to be signed. The parties also expressed their intention to fulfill their obligations to supply Uzbek gas through swap operations.
As a result of the meeting, a Protocol and an Action Plan for the Year of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan and a number of trade and economic agreements were signed.