Tuesday, 31, March, 2020

Yesterday, the Presidential Palace in Ankara hosted the official welcoming ceremony of the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

According to the Uzbek presidential press service, following the ceremony the two leaders held talks where they discussed the ways to further expand the multifaceted Uzbek-Turkish cooperation, primarily in the political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev reportedly pointed to the need to hold meetings of the intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation on a regular basis to tap the huge potential and emphasized the importance of expanding transport links, establishing multimodal international transport to Europe through Turkey, the press service said.

The parties also touched upon issues of attracting the best practices of Turkey in intensive horticulture, fish farming, animal husbandry and breeding, joint research involving universities and research centers of the two countries. The proposal to open modern clinics and diagnostic centers in Uzbekistan, to launching trainings in small business, textile production and other areas in cooperation with Turkish partners was considered.

High-level bilateral visits in recent years have expedited and fostered relations between Tashkent and Ankara, which are now following a positive course and have enjoyed concrete progress in multiple fields.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived in Ankara Wednesday for a two-day visit and met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with whom he co-chaired the first meeting of the Turkey-Uzbekistan High Level Strategic Cooperation Council.

The two countries also inked several agreements, which are expected to contribute to the contractual basis of the bilateral relations.

The ties were brought to strategic partnership level as a result of Mirziyoyev and Erdoğan’s bilateral visits, and they look to deepen them further in the coming period. Erdoğan had paid a visit to Uzbekistan in 2016 and 2018, while Mirziyoyev visited Turkey in 2017.

Trade ties have been one of the priorities on Tashkent and Ankara’s agenda.

Trade volume between the two stood at only $237 million in 2003, according to Trade Ministry data. This figure hit $1.5 billion in 2017 and $1.7 billion in 2018, before reaching $2.2 billion last year.

A trade target was set at $5 billion in the midterm during the two presidents' visits.

The institutions responsible for the development of cooperation between the two countries and the steps to be taken were determined in 27 different areas of the economy, including trade, transportation, energy, banking and trade local currency.

Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan also announced that Uzbekistan was included among 17 target countries in Turkey's Export Master Plan, announced in late August. Pekcan particularly stressed the potential for the construction industry in Uzbekistan.

After establishing 231 firms in the country in the first half of last year, Turkey now ranks third after Russia and China in establishing the most companies with foreign capital in Uzbekistan.

There are around 1,306 Turkish companies operating in the country, which is home to some 10,604 companies with foreign capital.

Turkish state lender Ziraat Bank opened its fourth branch in the country in Samarkand on Tuesday.

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