President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, addressed the Uzbekistan-Turkey Business Forum held as part of the state visit of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was also present in the forum, to Uzbekistan.
"Today is a truly historic day. Turkey was the first country to recognize Uzbekistan’s independence. And for the first time since then, the heads of two states attend such a business forum. This is our new history".
"Turkey is our strategic partner. We are interested in expanding and strengthening our partnership ties. Over the past year and a half all our efforts with President Erdoğan have been aimed at strengthening our ties, implementing our agreements."
"We have one goal which is to enhance the level of mutual trust. Up to whom is it to strengthen the bridge between us? Of course, it is up to the businesses".
“Uzbekistan’s doors are now wide open for foreign investors. We have abolished visas for Turkish citizens. A few months ago it seemed impossible. After the October visit to Turkey and thanks to the efforts made jointly with the President of Turkey, we decided that it is wrong to have visa regime with the fraternal people of Turkey".
"I am confident that this decision will contribute to the expansion of cooperation and the development of tourism between our countries".
“We have flights launched between Samarkand and Istanbul, and we have agreed to increase the frequency of the Tashkent-Istanbul and Samarkand-Istanbul flights, and launch of Bukhara-Istanbul and Urgench-Istanbul flights in the future.”
[Stormy applause, "Bravo!"] "Your applauses will get me to sign many more decisions".
“I would like to expressed gratitude to Sadık Badak [the Turkish adviser to the chairman of the Uzbek Committee for Tourism], who is helping to develop tourism and attract tourists to Uzbekistan.”
"I asked President Erdoğan to recommend a person he trusted the most, and he suggested him. I am very pleased with Badak’s work. He is working with dedication. For us it is very important. We are now taking important decisions on tourism, and we have no right for mistakes. You have passed through this path, achieved the development of your tourism sector".
"We simply have to unite" [long applauses].
“The Government of Uzbekistan is doing everything to stimulate and fully protect foreign investments. Many barriers that prevented doing business have been removed. With my brother Erdoğan, we have spent a year and a half to eliminate previous misunderstandings with Turkish businesses, and we will continue this work".
"There was a time when there was distrust and cold between us, but the ice has melted, and this cold will never return".
"I am saying this from my heart. Many reforms have been undertaken in a year and a half in Uzbekistan, which are aimed at enhancing the people’s belief in their future. We are working 24/7 to this end with the new team, so that people and investors have faith in us. If the Turkish business will not believe, then others- all the more".
“For the first time in Uzbekistan’s history a businessman has been appointed to the post of Tashkent city mayor [Jahongir Ortyqkhojaev Artel Group CEO].”
“Uzbekistan is undertaking profound structural reforms in the economy, in the foreign trade rules, with the licensing and permitting procedures simplified, administrative pressure being reduced, and the obstacles for profit repatriation have been eliminated.
"A new tax concept will be adopted soon. I think that it will greatly simplify the work of businesses and investors. The new concept will create a solid foundation for our future".
“Thank you for the intention to invest US$3 billion in 50 promising projects and I promise that the team will do everything possible to implement the deals. There won’t be going back, should we, then we will lose your trust. We have no right to go back".
"Together, we will enhance trade, economic and investment cooperation between Uzbekistan and Turkey to a new, higher level. Thank you".