Uzbekistan is ready to provide a standalone industrial zone exclusively for French companies with all the necessary infrastructure, stated by Deputy PM/Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade Jamshid Khodjaev at the Uzbek-French business forum in Paris on November 18.
“Along with these opportunities, we are ready to provide much more, such as the purchase [of products], any waivers, depending on the areas in which our French partners will be investing. We are confident that the synergy of scientific developments, innovations and technologies of our French partners with the infrastructure and personnel potential of Uzbekistan will ensure the stable development of future joint projects,” he added.
He named the most promising areas in which joint cooperation could be considered.
The first, green energy. Due to climatic conditions in Uzbekistan, there are enormous opportunities for the renewables.
In accordance with the new strategy, Uzbekistan vows to increase the share of energy from alternative sources in total generation to 25% by 2026.
“We also intend to enhance scientific and technical potential, facilitate the R&D, train specialists in renewable energy sources. We are interested in further attracting foreign investment in green projects and would welcome the participation of our French partners in these projects,” the minister said.
The second area is the banking and financial sector. Uzbekistan intends to deepen reforms in this area, including the creation of healthy competition, active involvement of foreign banks, a multiple reduction in the share of state-owned banks, and the creation of an efficient stock market.
“In this regard, the presence of French banks in our market is important for increasing the number of joint investment projects. We invite leading French banks, including Société Générale, Crédit Agricole and many others, to buy stakes in in Uzbek banks,” said Jamshid Khodjaev.
The third area is the automotive industry and the production of components. Uzbekistan is the only car manufacturer in Central Asia with a full production cycle and a localization level of more than 60%. Today, the total volume of car production is at over 300,000 cars a year.
In recent years, enterprises have been set up to localize hundreds of various auto components. At the same time, the country continues to import components worth more than $2 billion a year. “We have set a goal of producing up to 500,000 cars a year. We see great prospects for cooperation with our French partners in this area,” he said.
The fourth area is the pharmaceutical industry. The capacity of the pharmaceutical market in Central Asia is $6 billion, including $2 billion in Uzbekistan.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, Uzbekistan is the leading manufacturer of medicines in the region. The country covers up to 50% of the needs of the domestic market. Local pharmaceutical companies also operate in neighboring countries.
The volume of exports of Uzbek pharmaceutical products over the past 5 years has increased almost by 5 times. About 30 original medicines have been developed.
“Given France’s extensive experience in this area, we invite our French friends to create joint production of oncological, antibacterial, cardioprotective and other vital drugs,” said Jamshid Khodjaev.
The fifth area is the food industry. Uzbekistan is one of the world's leading producers of fruits and vegetables, with over 22 million tons of fruits and vegetables grown annually, and the share of their processing at only 15%.
“We intend to attract French technologies, knowledge and experience in the development of our agro-industrial complex for the implementation of joint projects for the development of winemaking, animal husbandry, horticulture and seed production, as well as organic farming using a cluster approach,” the minister stressed.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev yesterday departed for an official visit to Paris on November 21-22.