The Uzbekistan-Italy business forum was held in Tashkent on November 22, as part of a visit by an Italian delegation led by the governor of the Lombardy region.
Speaking at the forum, Uzbekistan Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade, Sardor Umurzakov underscored that such forums were important from the point of view of discussing practical issues of bilateral cooperation in investment, trade, economic and banking fields.
“The existence of free trade agreements with all the CIS countries and Uzbekistan’s advantageous geographical location is a unique symbiosis, which provides free access to a 300 million people market for the products made in Uzbekistan.
Many investors are already taking advantage of this, setting up production facilities in Uzbekistan to export their products to the CIS and countries neighbouring Uzbekistan,” he added.
“This year, for the first time in Uzbekistan’s history, the share of investments in GDP of the country reached 38%, which is the highest figure in the world right now.
In the year-end, we are expecting the foreign direct investment to nearly triple,” he highlighted.
Uzbek official added that Uzbekistan attaches great importance to further advancing cooperation with Italy, which is reflected in holding of the next meeting of the Intergovernmental Working Group this year and the participation of the Uzbek delegation in the XII Eurasian Economic Forum.
Governor of Lombardy region, Attilio Fontana expressed readiness to provide all possible assistance for further enhancing bilateral economic relations.
Among the Lombardy-based companies interested in cooperation with Uzbekistan are Maire Tecnimont, Mapei, Wood/Foster Wheeler, Asco Filter, SI.SE, Marzoli, Pietro Fiorentini, Cannon / Bono, Plastics Technologies, In3act, General Med Merate and Unicredit Bank and Banca Intesa San Paolo banks.
According to data provided at the business forum, the number of companies with Italian capital in Uzbekistan has doubled in the last two years (reaching 46). Year-to-date, 15 enterprises have been established, 7 Italian companies were accredited. Investors underscore good investment perspectives in agriculture, automotive industry and components, fruit and vegetable production, chemical industry, oil and gas industry, textile, silk and leather industry, building materials, pharmaceuticals, metallurgy sectors.