Experts: the agreements in Dushanbe are of key importance for overcoming the consequences of the crisis caused by the pandemic and getting on the path of economic recovery in both countries
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- On 16 June, the Institute for Strategic and Interregional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan jointly with the Center for Strategic Research under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan organized an online conference on the topic: "Uzbekistan-Tajikistan: prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation."
During the event, leading researchers, scientists and experts of the two countries reviewed the results of the official visit of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the Republic of Tajikistan on 10-11 June 2021, discussed joint measures for expert support for the practical implementation of the agreements reached during the Uzbek-Tajik negotiations, as well as agreed to continue the search for new growth points for further deepening bilateral relations.
At the conference, the unanimous opinion was expressed that the thorough negotiations of the heads of state, which took place in the traditional spirit of mutual understanding, friendship and openness, as well as the important agreements reached during the visit in the political, trade, economic, cultural, humanitarian and other spheres, are of exceptional importance for the strengthening of comprehensive relations. cooperation and strategic partnership between the two states.
It was noted that the results of the visit once again confirmed the mutual interest of the parties in further deepening and strengthening bilateral multifaceted cooperation, developing and enriching interstate dialogue based on mutual respect, trust, support, mutual understanding and partnership between the two fraternal peoples.
As the first deputy director of the Institute for Strategic and Interregional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Akramjon Nematov emphasized, since 2017, Uzbek-Tajik relations have been characterized by a high level of trust, mutual respect and the absence of any insurmountable contradictions. In a historically short period of time, most of the problematic and acute issues on the agenda of bilateral relations have been removed. Today, Uzbek-Tajik relations, based on centuries-old historical and spiritual ties between the two peoples, are comprehensive, multifaceted and steadily growing.
According to the expert, it was the established regular confidential dialogue at the level of the heads of state, their firm political will and joint efforts that brought relations between Tashkent and Dushanbe to a qualitatively new level, giving a powerful impetus to their comprehensive development and expansion. According to A. Nematov, the presidents of the two countries have held 9 bilateral meetings since 2017, and in 2018, for the first time, mutual state visits were organized, which opened a new page in the history of bilateral relations.
At the same time, according to the ISMI expert, the successfully developing Uzbek-Tajik relations contribute to the formation in Central Asia of a new political atmosphere of mutually beneficial cooperation, act as an important factor in ensuring security, stability and sustainable development of the region.
The high efficiency of the visit, according to the expert, is evidenced by a solid package of signed bilateral documents - 35 interstate, intergovernmental and interdepartmental agreements, memorandums, programs and "road maps" in the spheres of politics, trade, energy, transport, culture, science, education, security. Thus, as A. Nematov stressed, today the juridical base of the Uzbek-Tajik cooperation has reached 200 bilateral documents, while 97, that is, 50% of them, have been adopted only in the last four years. This confirms the high interest of the parties in creating the necessary prerequisites for a comprehensive build-up of long-term mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas of mutual interest.
The conference participants also called the total amount of investment agreements and trade contracts concluded during the visit, which exceeded US$1 billion, unprecedented. According to the general opinion, this will undoubtedly contribute to a significant increase in the volume of bilateral trade, deepening of cooperation ties in various industries, and the effective use of existing reserves and opportunities of the economies of the two countries.
Separately, the importance of the created Uzbek-Tajik Investment Company with an authorized capital of US$50 million, designed to generate and promote industrial cooperation projects, was emphasized.
This, according to A. Nematov, will make it possible to establish cooperation in organizing joint ventures for the processing of local raw materials and the production of export-oriented and import-substituting products, including the development of agro-industrial and industrial clusters. In his words, the centers of trade and economic cooperation, which are planned to be created in the border regions, will also become drivers of mutual growth. Moreover, mutually beneficial cooperation in the trade and economic sphere is of key importance for effectively overcoming the consequences of the crisis caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic and getting on the path of economic recovery in both countries.
The conference participants also welcomed the agreements reached on simplifying the conditions for mutual stay of citizens, in particular, the abolition of mutual requirements for registration of citizens and temporary residence registration within 10 working days from the moment of crossing the state border, as well as payment of the state fee.
It was noted that after the abolition of the visa regime in 2018 and the opening of 17 checkpoints, the number of citizens crossing the Uzbek-Tajik border every day increased significantly and reached 20 thousand people before the pandemic (up to 2017 - 3000-4000 people). . per day). In this regard, it was emphasized that the decision to promptly resume the bus service interrupted in March 2020 due to the pandemic between major cities of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan will contribute to an increase in freight, passenger and tourist flows between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, as well as the development of border trade.
During the conference, issues of further deepening interregional ties between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Tajikistan, intensifying cooperation in the field of transport and transport communications, integrated and mutually beneficial use of water and energy resources in Central Asia, in the field of health care and ensuring sanitary and epidemiological well-being of the population were also discussed. A thorough exchange of views took place on issues of interaction in the field of responding to common challenges and threats to regional security.
In general, the conference participants highly appreciated the results of the official visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the Republic of Tajikistan, and also expressed confidence that the constructive negotiations and documents signed during the visit will make a significant contribution and give a new impetus to deepening bilateral cooperation that meets the fundamental interests of the fraternal peoples of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.