Uzbekistan-Turkey Business Forum was attended by Uzbek Deputy PM Rustam Azimov as well as representatives of Uzbek government and enterprises and guests were represented by Deputy PM Tuğrul Türkeş, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi, Minister of Culture and Tourism Nabi Avci and a strong Turkish businesses delegation.
Uzbekistan's Rustam Azimov reminded that for the last 10 years there has been no Joint Economic Commission meeting between the two countries, saying that very fruitful negotiations had been held with significant results achieved.
Azimov reminded that there are about 500 Turkish companies operating in Uzbekistan and that in 2016 trade turnover between the two countries was at $1.2 billion, but said that these figures do not reflect the existing potential.
Azimov also pointed out that their goal is to maximize economic and commercial relations between the two countries.
Inviting Turkish companies and businesses to do business in his country and given their rich experience in modern technologies, Azimov expressed readiness to launch joint projects in such areas as electronics, textiles, leather, consumer goods, food and drug products and tourism infrastructure development.
Speaking at the inauguration of the forum, Turkey Deputy PM Tuğrul Türkeş recalled that Turkey and Uzbekistan are the two countries that have common history and blood roots, and Turkey was the first country to recognize Uzbekistan’s independence.
Recalling that the first President of Independent Uzbekistan Islam Karimov also made his first overseas visit to Turkey, Türkeş emphasized that Turkey has always attached great importance to the development of close relations and to developing ties in economic, social and cultural areas from day one of Uzbekistan’s independence and underscored that his country always acted taking in consideration the bonds of brotherhood.
Underlining that the Presidents of the two countries when they met in Samarkand in November declared their will to bring the bilateral ties to the highest level as soon as possible, Türkeş stated that both sides are working hard to achieve the goal in this direction set out by the Presidents.
Deputy PM Türkeş underlined that Uzbekistan is a remarkable country with a young population, high added value of industrial production, political stability and strong influence in the Central Asian region, and that he strongly believed that people and businesses will benefit in the shortest time from improved ties.
In spite of the fact that Turkey's investments in the country are at $1 billion while pointing to Turkey’s insufficient contribution to Uzbekistan's economy, its development, Türkeş called upon Turkish businessmen to make use of investment opportunities and establish partnership ties with Uzbek partners.
Last year, 134 thousand Uzbek citizens visited Turkey and Türkeş hoped that the number of Turkish citizens visiting Uzbekistan would be the same, but Uzbekistan's visa procedures for Turkish citizens constitutes a significant obstacle to the development of these relations he stressed. Türkeş said that simplified visa procedures would allow more Turkish nationals to discover Samarkand, Bukhara and Tashkent.