Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan business forum and a matchmaking session were held in Tashkent yesterday on the day of the arrival of the President of Kyrgyzstan, Sooronbai Jeenbekov, which was attended by over 100 Kyrgyz engineering, construction, food, packaging, light industry and IT companies.
Uzbekistan’s Foreign trade minister Jamshid Khodjaev, welcoming the attendees, said that year-to-date the two-way trade grew by more than 60% hitting US$200 million.
"Taking into account solid contracts that we have, the turnover will reach $ 250 million by the year-end," Khodjaev said.
He stressed that Uzbekistan firms could significantly step up the supplies of cars, trucks, buses, a wide range of agricultural and road machineries, fertilizers, electrical and cable products, home appliances, building materials, ready-made garments, fruits, vegetables and other products.
He offered to regularly hold reciprocal exhibitions of industrial products and invited the Kyrgyz businesses to take part in the annual exhibition and fairs held in Uzbekistan.
Khodjaev said that pursuant to agreements reached at summit meetings in October, the sides are working on launching assembly plants of Uzbek agricultural machineries, passenger cars, SamAvto buses, trailers, Artel washing machines in Kyrgyzstan, as well as setting up textile and building materials joint ventures.
Kyrgyz economy minister Artem Novikov noted that using their potential and mutually complementing each other, the countries can achieve not only $ 500 million in trade turnover, but also mutually expand their export capacities. Kyrgyz firms are ready to supply food products, such as honey, potatoes, onions, dairy and meat products to the Uzbek market, to set up joint coal enterprises with Uzbekistan and to meet the country's demand for travertine stone.
According to Novikov, the parties are discussing the establishment of trade and logistics centers in Kyrgyzstan for accumulation, processing and promotion of goods to trade markets and boosting of cross-border trade. He stressed: for all initiatives to be realized and potential tapped, we must gradually remove all trade barriers, "which are unfortunately still there."
He stated that preliminary agreements had been reached that correspondent accounts would be opened between the banks of the two countries and that "Uzbekistan will not pose any obstacles or restrictions on carrying out of banking and financial transactions, including money transfers between countries.
He also mentioned the importance of development of new transport routes for tourism promotion, in particular, the planned opening of Osh-Tashkent flight and a railway link to Kyrgyzstan’s Balykchi city near Issyk-Kul lake.
About $140 million worth of 60 deals were signed following the business forum. In addition, a Framework Agreement has been signed for advancing cooperation in the field of trade finance and a Road Map for development of trade, economic, investment and transport-communication cooperation for 2017-2019.